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Vexillopedia

Flag of Cuba

Cuba
Ratio 1:2
Adoption 1902
Design Five horizontal bands of blue alternate with white with a red chevron based on the hoist side bearing a white five-pointed star in the center. [0]
Colors
#CF142B
#002A8F
#FFFFFF

History

After fighting for the Spanish Crown against the rebel armies of Venezuela, Narciso López moved from his native Caracas to Cuba. His involvement in anticolonial movements forced him into exile. In 1849 he moved to New York City, where he continued to advocate for an independent Cuba.

It is believed that when López awoke, one morning, and looked outside the window, he saw colors of the dawn sky. He could see "a triangle of red clouds announcing the dawn, and in the triangle shone the morning star Venus, while two white clouds departed from the triangle to divide into three blue stripes of shining heaven". Excited by what they had just seen, López turned to his friend, Miguel Teurbe Tolón, to tell of the event that unfolded. Aside from this anecdotal version, an alternative story is that the flag was inspired by the U.S. flag (the U.S. expedition to Cuba in 1850 was intended as an annexation).

The poet Miguel Teurbe Tolón designed the flag alongside López, based upon the story of López's vision. Emilia Teurbe Tolón, Miguel's wife, sewed the first flag. López and Tolón, together with José Aniceto Iznaga Borrell, his nephew José María Sánchez Iznaga, Cirilo Villaverde and Juan Manuel Macias, settled upon the final design for the flag of Cuba: two white stripes, three blue, a red triangle, a lone star. On it they swore to fight and lay down their lives to create an independent Cuba.

Narciso López used this same flag in 1850 to carry out his coup attempt, which resulted in failure. The coastal town of Cardenas was the first town that saw the splendor of the lone star flag hoisted on May 19, 1850, in the taking of the city by Cuban rebels.

A year after the start of the Ten Years' War, the first Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Cuba met arms in Guáimaro, Camagüey Province. The debate focused between two flags of great symbolism, the Demajagua – which was very similar to the Chilean flag – created by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes to give start to the war of independence, and the Lone Star of Narciso López, the latter being chosen since Narciso López had taken the first step for the freedom of Cuba. [0]

Meaning

The three blue stripes represent the three departments in which Cuba was divided at that time, the white purity of ideals, the light; the red triangle, originating from the French Revolution – and the three ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity: red for the blood and the courage; the star was the new state that should be added to the United States. [0]