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Philippines: President and Vice President

Last modified: 2013-12-18 by ian macdonald
Keywords: philippines | president | sealion |
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[Flag of Philippines president] 26:33 by Željko Heimer, 8 November 2002


See also:

President's flag

The Philippines' Presidential Flag is a blue 2:3 (I assume; it did not seem as long as the national Philippines flag), with the President's Emblem centered inside it. This emblem consists of a ring of white stars, and within it the sun from the national flag, together with a red, equilateral triangle, the corners of which bear each a golden star (similar to the arrangement on the flag). Inside the triangle, we see a sea lion, in a different version to that on the Manila flag.
Guillermo Tell, 19 August 2000

Album des Pavillons shows the presidential flag with a light blue field, and a proportion of 26:33. There are also minor differences in the emblem: the sea lion has no sword, and all of the three stars are pointing upwards.
Ivan Sache, 23 August 2000

As the last freed Jolo French hostages were holding a conference with President Estrada last Tuesday, I noticed that the Presidential Standard was on a light blue field and that the sea-lion did not have the sword. So I suppose that many variants exist of that standard.
Armand du Payrat, 21 September 2000

The color of blue has not been officially specified; generally, at present, its follows the "royal blue" used in the national flag and/or the American navy blue used in the old Philippine flag (in the presidential palace both are used!). Please note also that in current practice the same proportions as the national flag are used 1:2. Neither is there an official construction sheet for the presidential flag which has a presidential seal erroneously portrayed since the 1950's. But this is a complicated issue. Simply, at present, the Philippine presidential flag is 1:2, containing the presidential seal as follows:

A red triangle at whose points is a five pointed yellow star; at the center of the triangle, a sealion with a sword, all in yellow. The triangle placed upon an eight-rayed Philippine sun, also in yellow, the whole surrounded by a ring of 81 stars (the number of Philippine provinces), the stars being white, although the original Executive Order specified that the ring of stars be yellow.
Please note I did not count the stars in the circle. They should number 81 or so (the current number of provinces [in 2002]).
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

There are only 79 provinces at present, not 81. Consequently, the Presidential flag should therefore only have 79 stars.
Christian Darklight, 18 March 2005

I am involved in the process of trying to put some order into the symbols used in the office of the president of the Philippines, and I was discussing with the head of protocol why the flags in the presidential palace do not conform to the 1998 law on the colors of the flag. According to the officer, the protocol office is insistent that the flags used in the presidential palace should be of cloth but the only flags that can be produced according to the specifications laid down in law are the nylon flags. She told me it was impossible for current flag manufacturers to make the flags in silk or other natural cloth according to the cable colors laid down in law. The other problem is that the cable colors laid down in law do not have any official corresponding shades in Pantone, etc. color schemes, which means government forms, brochures and books all have varying shades which do not conform to law.
Manuel Quezon III, 11 December 2002

[Flag of Philippines president] image by Zoltan Horvath, 11 November 2013

Today during a news broadcast of Colombian TV news outlet Caracol Noticias (http://www.noticiascaracol.com), the Presidential flag of the  Philiopines is seen. The image broadcasted however, is different from the one shown at the top of this page. It is darker blue and is a rectangular flag (maybe 2:3).
Esteban Rivera, 11 November 2013

 The current presidential flag was defined in Executive Order 310 issued on April 20, 2004:
"The Flag of the President of the Philippines shall consist of the Coat-of-Arms of the President in proper colors, with a rectangular blue background (instead of the circular blue shield). The shade of the blue background shall conform to the blue color of the National Flag enumerated in Republic Act No. 8491, the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines. The fringe shall be of knotted yellow silk. The ratio of the Flag shall be 1:2."
Source: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Philippine_Executive_Order_310_(Arroyo)
Zoltan Horvath, 11 November 2013


Presidential Seal

[Philippines president seal] by Manuel L. Quezon III, 6 March 2002

The Philippine presidential seal is described in the relevant executive orders.

To reiterate:
Original statute: Executive Order 38, Jan. 7, 1947: "Pursuant to the powers vested in me by law, I, Manuel Roxas, President of the Philippines, do hereby order:

"SECTION 1. The coat of arms of the President of the Philippines shall be of the following design:
"SHIELD: the eight-rayed Philippine sun rayonnant in or ; on the center an equilateral triangle in gules; over-all the traditional lion (ultramar) of the ancient or original coat of arms of the City of Manila on guard with sword or at hilt; on three points of triangle three mullets in or.
SEC. 2. The seal of the President of the Philippines shall consist of the coat of arms of the President of the Philippines encircled by the words 'Seal of the President of the Philippines'."

Latest modification: "August 27, 1998
"EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 19
"AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 38 DATED 07 JANUARY 1947 ENTITLED "PROVIDING FOR THE COAT OF ARMS, SEAL AND FLAG OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES", AS AMENDED

"WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 38 dated 07 January 1947 entitled "Providing for the Coat of Arms, Seal and Flag of the President and Vice President of the Philippines" adopted a Coat of Arms, Seal and Flag design which consist of the eight-rayed Philippine Sun, with a red equilateral triangle containing the traditional sea lion with a sword, and a mullet each at the corner of the three angles; "WHEREAS, Section 2 thereof provides that the seal of the President of the Philippines shall consist of the Coat of Arms of the President of the Philippines, encircled by the words "Seal of the President of the Philippines"; "WHEREAS, Executive Order 451 dated 04 July 1951 amended Executive Order No. 38 to specify that the color of the sun and the sea lion shall be in golden yellow and, additionally provide that the design shall be surrounded by stars forming an amulet in a number equivalent to the number of provinces of the Republic as of 04 July 1951; "WHEREAS, from 1951 to the present, the total number of provinces has increased from fifty-one (51) to seventy-eight (78); and, "WHEREAS, in view of the continuously changing number of provinces, there is need to regularly update the Presidential Seal and Flags to ensure that the number of stars in the amulet matches the number of provinces of the country at any given time.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order the following:

"SECTION 1. Section 1 of E.O. No. 38, s. of 1947, is further amended to read as follows:
""Section 1. The Coat of Arms of the President of the Philippines shall be of the following design:
"Shield: the eight-rayed Philippine sun rayonnant in golden yellow; on the center, an equilateral triangle in gules (red); overall the traditional sea lion of the Coat of Arms granted to the City of Manila in 1596, on guard with sword, or at hilt and one mullet in golden yellow in the corner of each of the three angles of the equilateral triangle: one mullet representing Luzon; one, Visayas; and another, Mindanao.
"The whole, surrounded by stars in the form of an amulet with one point of each star outward on the imaginary radiating center lines, the number of stars conforming to the number of provinces of the Republic at any given time.""

The blue has changed over the years, from navy blue in 1947 to the mid 1960's when light blue was at times used, back to navy blue, to the present royal blue as specified in the national flag (the following being standard cable colors for the various heraldic colors commonly used in Philippine flags): "The blue color shall bear Cable No. 80173; the white color, Cable No. 80001; the red color, Cable No. 80108; and the golden yellow, Cable No. 80068."

"Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas" is the Filipino translation of "Seal of the President of the Philippines."

Please note that the actual dimensions of the seal vary from administration to administration depending on who renders the seal. A sample is shown above.

Manuel L. Quezon III, 6 March 2002


Development of the Presidential Flag

The Spanish Governors and Captains-General of the Philippines had a swallow-tailed rank flag.

[Filipinas Obsolete Registration Ensign (Spanish Philippines)] 3:5 by José Carlos Alegría
Filipinas Provincial Ensign 1845-1886, Manila Provincial Ensign 1886-1898

The head of the Katipunan Revolutionary movement, Andres Bonifacio had his personal standard, as did General Emilio Aguinaldo, head of the various Philippine revolutionary governments. However, there is no recorded presidential flag per se for General Aguinaldo, although the Philippine flag was originally used by him as his personal standard.

As far as is known, there was no flag for the American governors-general of the Philippines (1903-1935), although I keep encountering anecdotal evidence there was an official flag for the governors-general of the Philippines, in this time period.

In 1935, with the inauguration of the autonomous Commonwealth of the Philippines, a flag was adopted for the President of the Philippines, as well as for the US High Commissioner (successor to the US Governors-General, and representative of American sovereignty in the islands). Both are reproduced in the Flaggenbuch (1939). The Philippine presidential flag was based on the American presidential flag of the time: a navy blue flag defaced with the coat of arms of the Commonwealth, with a white mullet in each corner. It was customary to use a fringe for this flag. There was no vice presidential flag.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 12 April 2002

1935-1946
[Flag of Philippines president] 4:7~ by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

As in Flaggenbuch (1939). A blue flag with the coat of arms in the middle and four yellow five-pointed stars, one in each corner. The coat of arms at the time was a shield: per pale azure and gules, in the chief argent thee mullets of five or and overall an escutcheon oval per fess gules a tower issuant or and argent a sea-lion or holding a sword. Crest: on a torse gules and argent standing an eagle displayed proper. Motto: below on ribbon argent "COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES". This coat of arms was in use 15 November 1935 - 7 January 1947, according to Christian Siemer's site. There might have been similar presidential flag in 1946-1951 period with the subsequent coats of arms.
Željko Heimer, 11 November 2002

The presidential flag from 7 January 1947 (retroactive to 4 July 1946) to 4 July 1951 was similar but with a new presidential seal replacing the seal of the commonwealth.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 12 November 2002

This flag is also shown on the Watawat pages at http://www.watawat.net/flags_and_symbols_under_the_american_occupation__-.html with the designation:

" PRESIDENTIAL AND U.S. HIGH COMMISSIONER FLAG
With the inauguration of the autonomous Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935), a flag was adopted for the President of the Philippines, as well as for the US High Commissioner (successor to the US Governors-General, and representative of American sovereignty in the islands)."

There is also a post 1939 version there.

1946-1951

[Flag of Philippines president] by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

As in Znamierowski (1999) (4 stars).

In 1947, a new presidential flag was adopted to reflect the independent status of the country, retroactive to July 4, 1946. It was also based on the American presidential flag, with the new presidential seal in the center, and one yellow five-pointed star in each corner.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1951-1981

[Flag of Philippines president] by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

With a ring of stars. The number of stars theoretically* progressed: 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 58, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74 (as the number of provinces changed).

In 1951, with the change in the American presidential flag, a change was made also to the Philippine presidential flag, copying the ring of stars. A curious result of this copying was that the official order making the changes specified that the ring of stars would be yellow, but in practice, copying the American model, the stars have been represented as white. The vice presidential flag was also modified at this time.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1981-1986

[Flag of Philippines president] by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

The triangle was inverted and an eagle replaced the sea lion, 74 stars.

In 1981, Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed the Fourth Republic of the Philippines and changed the presidential seal, to an upside-down triangle with an eagle instead of the sea lion. This seal and flag was abolished after the Revolution of February, 1986.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1986-1998

[Flag of Philippines president] by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

Reverted to pre-1981 pattern, number of stars theoretically* increased: 74, 75, 77, 78, 79?

After 1986, the presidential flag has consistently been either a dark blue or royal blue reflecting the blue of the Philippine flag.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1998-

[Flag of Philippines president] by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2002

Design same as previously, but legislation "strengthened". The president's flag now has a ring of 81 stars, increasing theoretically*: 79?, 80, 81?
Željko Heimer
, 18 November 2002

In 1946, the Philippines became independent, and in 1947, President Manuel Roxas issued an executive order specifying the presidential seal and flag. The flag was also navy blue, defaced with the presidential seal, and with a mullet in each corner. The same executive order also specified the vice presidential flag, differenced by its having a white field, and blue sun and stars.

It is unclear when navy blue was dropped, but the state portraits of Presidents Carlos P. Garcia (1957-1961) and Diosdado Macapagal (1961-65) both portray presidential flags with a Yale Blue field. The proportion of the triangle to the sun also changed from administration to administration.

In 1986, the presidential flag prior to 1981 was restored, with a royal blue field. This remains the presidential flag in use today, with this one minor amendment.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 12 April 2002


Vice President's Flag

[Flag of Philippines vice president] 26:33 by Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

Album des Pavillons also has a verbose description of the flag of the Vice-President's flag: same pattern as the Presidential flag, but with:
- white field with four blue stars in the four corners
- blue sun, inner stars and sea lion on white.
Ivan Sache, 23 August 2000

1935-1946
No vice president's flag

1946-1951

[Flag of Philippines vice president] by Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

Vice president's flag as in Album des Pavillons (2000) (where obsolete, 4 stars)

1951-1981

[Flag of Philippines vice president] by Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

Vice president: with the ring of stars, abolished 1972. Number of stars theoretically* increased: 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 58, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74.

In 1972, Congress was abolished and the vice-presidency, so there was no vice-presidential flag after this date.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1981-1986

No vice presidential flag.

1986-1998

[Flag of Philippines vice president] by Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

Vice president's flag reintroduced in the 1951 pattern. Number of stars theoretically* increased: 74, 75, 77, 78, 79?

The vice presidential flag was technically restored in 1986 but is hardly used; institutional memory is not there, so by mistake, often the presidential flag is used for the vice president. The number of stars fixed in 1951 was increased in 1998 to reflect the increased number of Philippine provinces.
Manuel L. Quezon III, 10 November 2002

1998-

[Flag of Philippines vice president] by Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

Vice president's flag lacks the ring of stars. Manuel sent me this image of the current VP's flag without the ring of stars (and without the corner stars, of course). I must have missed this part in the recently posted legislation (or it is defined somewhere else), therefore I don't really know when exactly the ring of stars was dropped.

Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

*Note: The number of stars is theoretical because it is highly probable that the actual flags produced and used were always "behind", and some specimen were probably never made (for subsequent changes in several months). I don't think that there is a point of picturing each and every version of the number of stars above, but documenting what the number was (or might have been legally) is important. The variations in the shade of blue are ignored in this review. As Manuel informed us, the variations are considerable but without any legal background. See our page listing growth in number of provinces.

Željko Heimer, 10 November 2002

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