Originally created in 1895 and inspired by the Cuban flag, its colors represented resistance and independence from Spain.
Red: the blood of the patriots
White: victory and peace
Light-Blue Triangle: the sea and the sky
Star: the Island
After the invasion of the United States in 1898 and the emergence of a nationalist movement it was used by Puerto Rico’s radical left and was banned by the government. In 1952 the flag was appropriated by Luis Muñoz Marín as the official Puerto Rican flag. Under the Estado Libre Asociado of Puerto Rico (Free Associated State of PR, or loosely translated as the Commonwealth of PR, aka colony) the flag received a new meaning, silencing the previous one.
Red: the blood of the republican government
White: the freedom and rights of the people.
Dark-Blue Triangle: the republican government, a dark-blue to resemble USA’s flag
Star: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
…Then, a Black Puerto Rican Flag appeared on a door in San Juan. The original flag was painted by a group of artists in 2012 and became a tourist attraction. The Black Flag was painted by the same artists between the night of 4th and the 5th of July 2016. The new colors represent Puerto Rico’s crisis, the failure of our government, but also our will to stand against the people who have failed us. In a recent letter the artists encouraged this new reading.
Black: the putrid blood of the government
White: our rights, still standing
Triangle: the death of the the government that failed us
Star: Puerto Rico’s will to fight