Would you believe that the Philippines has different flags depending on whether or not they are in a state of war? This is surprisingly true, but what is even more unusual is how simple the difference is. Not only that, the if any other nation had their flag displayed in that way they’d be completely outraged. Would you like to learn more about it? Read on.
Throughout the world every country has a flag that symbolizes their nationality. But just about every country has only one national flag. That’s right. Just about every country, except one. The Philippines has two flags. So what is the meaning of the two Philippines flag? One of the Philippines flags is flown during times of peace, the other is flown during times of war.
Before we proceed we must clarify that although some countries will have two flags, there’s only one national flag. Take for example Australia. Its national flag is on a blue field with the Union Jack in the canton, the Southern Cross beside it and a white seven point star below the Union Jack. The Aboriginal people also have a flag that is itself also an official flag of Australia, but is not a national flag. But the Philippines has two national flags, although its essentially the same flag, just flown upside down.
When it comes to flags there’s such a thing known as flag protocol. It describes the handling, placement and proper use of flags. In most cases, and traditionally for that fact, when a flag is flown upside down it has been considered as one of two things. Either as a sign of distress or as an act of dishonor. One of the most notable examples of dishonor of a flag was during the 1992 World Series of baseball. In game 2 the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard accidentally flew the flag of Canada upside down. The Corps apologized for the error and not much came from it as the two countries are on the friendliest of terms. But if flying the flag upside down is a sign of distress or dishonor when it comes to flag protocol, why does the Philippines do it?
The Philippines flies the flag upside down because it is part of it flag protocol, and enshrined in law. The first noted use of the war flag was during the Revolution of 1896. It might come as a surprise to many that the Philippines isn’t the only country to have a war flag. Some surprising inclusions of countries who also have war flags are Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. These countries rarely use the war flag, instead opting in most cases to use their national flag.