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Puerto Rico - Historical Flags

Last modified: 2006-06-03 by dov gutterman
Keywords: puerto rico | burgundy cross | lares |
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Bandera de Fortificación

On 25 April 2006, representatives of the Spanish government delivered in San Juan the "Bandera de Fortificación" to the "Regimento Fijo". This flag was the first to bear the shield of arms of Puerto Rico. The shield was granted by King Charles IV of Spain to the first Spanish regiment to incorporate local soldiers, that contributed in 1797 to the expelling from San Juan of the English troops (68 vessels and 3,000 men) commanded by General John Abercrombie. The "Regimento Fijo", which is involved in the commemoration of historical acts, required the return of the flag at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, which contacted the Spanish Army.
Source: <>.
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2006

Flag of 1873

by Nelson Román and Blas Delgado, 19 January 2005

Coat of Arms
by Nelson Román and Blas Delgado, 19 January 2005

During a very short period of time, from 1873 to 1875, a Republic was proclaimed in Spain, after the dethronement of Isabella II (1833-1868) and the following abdication of Amadeus, Duke of Aosta, as King (1870-1873). The change from Kingdom to Republic was apparently felt, at least vexillologically, in Puerto Rico with the incorporation of a new Coat of Arms and flag. Both images can be seen in the small museum at Arecibo's Museo del Faro (Lighthouse Museum). Nobody is sure how long they were used, if ever.
Source: photos taken by Nelson Román.
Blas Delgado, 19 January 2005

Puerto Rico Maritime Province 1845-1898

by Jose' Carlos Alegria

Obsolete Colonial Registration Ensign. The difference between the European provinces and those from overseas territories are that the previous were rectangular, while the later were swallotail flags. Ratio: 3:5.
Jose C. Alegria, 5 November 1999

Flag According to Steenbergen Book (1862)

by Jaume Ollé, 16 August 2003

No. 848 - Portorico  [This is the matricule province flag for Puerto Rico].
Source: [stb62]
Jaume Ollé, 16 August 2003

Grito de Lares Flag

[Grito de Lares flag]
pale yellow star version
by Rick Wyatt, 5 August 1998

white star (Lares flag) version
by Blas Delgado

This is the Grito de Lares flag, used 23 September 1868 during an unsuccessful revolt against Spanish government. The flag is still preserved at the University of Puerto Rico. Even though all written material speaks of the star as white, according to Whitney Smith, who has seen the flag, the star is unmistakably pale yellow.
Dave Martucci, 6 March 1998

Francisco A. Scarano in "Puerto Rico Cinco Siglos de Historia" a generally recognized textbook, on p. 432 has a B&W photo of a man and woman holding the flag. They are not identified, but on p. 442 there is a photo of a woman (older) who is almost certainly the same and she is identified as Mariana Braccetti with the mention "Bordó la bandera de Lares." That is, "She embroidered the flag of Lares."
Anna Stone Jimanez, 31 October 1998

An inland town wherein an unsuccessful rebellion was prematurely staged against the Spanih government in September 23, 1868. The Lares flag, intended to become the national flag of the Republic, was designed by Dr. Ramon Emeterio Betances and embroidered by Mrs. Mariana "Golden Hand" Bracetti. This layout in turn honors their liaison to the Antillean Confederacy and nationalist forces in the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Betances had been exiled to.
Juan Vaquer Jr, 26 Febuary 1999 and Peter J. Torres, 26 March 2002