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May 28 National Flag Day.

Today is Philippine National Flag Day - celebrated on the 28th day of May every year to remember the date when the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated the Spanish forces in the Battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite, in 1898.

May 28 until June 30 is National Flag Month and Filipinos are enjoined to display the Philippine flag in all offices, agencies, and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes.

PROTOCOL OF THE FLAG. Reverence and respect shall at all times be accorded the Philippine Flag, the symbol of our nation's identity, independence, and integrity. We owe to former President Fidel V. Ramos RA 8491, the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.

Our flag is a horizontal bicolor with equal bands of royal blue (up) and scarlet red (below), and a white equilateral triangle at the hoist; a golden yellow sun with eight rays represents provinces that started the 1896 Philippine Revolution; and at each vertex of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Ours is the only known flag to indicate a state of war or peace:

* In time of peace, the blue field is on top. Hanging in vertical position, the blue field is on the flag's right side (left to observer).

* In time of war, the red field is on top. Hanging in vertical position, the red field on the flag's right side.

Prescribed measures:

* The flag shall be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset.

*The flag is hoisted to the top briskly and lowered ceremoniously. When flying the flag at half-mast, it is hoisted first to the peak of the flagpole before being lowered. When lowering a flag at half-mast, it is first hoisted again to the peak before it is brought down.

* When used to cover a casket, the equilateral triangle with the sun and stars is at the head, the blue field to the right, and the red field to the left of the deceased.

*A flag worn out through wear and tear shall not be thrown away. It shall be burned to avoid misuse or desecration.

* On a stage or platform, the flag shall be positioned at the left (facing the audience.)

When the PH flag is flown or displayed with another national flag:

- The flags are flown on separate staffs of the same height and of equal size. The PH flag is hoisted first and lowered last.

- The PH flag shall be on the right of the other flag.

- If there is a line of other flags, the PH flag shall be in the center.

DON'Ts. The flag is not hoisted when the weather is inclement; but if already up, it shall not be lowered.

* Flag does not touch anything beneath, such as the ground, plants, or other objects.

* Flag is never be draped with black crepe except in national mourning.

It is prohibited:

- To mutilate, deface, defile, trample on, or cast contempt or commit any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag.

- To dip the flag to any person or object by way of compliment or salute.

- To wear the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform.

- To add any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawings, advertisement, or imprint of any nature on the flag.

- To print, paint, or attach any representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise.

- To use, display, or be part of any advertisement or infomercial.

During the flag ceremony, or when the flag is passing in a parade, all present face the flag, stand at attention, and salute. Men remove their hats or headdresses with the right hand and hold them at the left chest. Women salute by placing the right hand over the left chest. The salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at the moment the flag passes. When the national anthem is played, the same manner of saluting the flag is observed.

NATIONAL ANTHEMS. At the presentation of credentials of foreign envoys and on official events with visiting dignitaries, the Philippine flag is hoisted first and national anthem played; after which, the visitor's national flag is hoisted and its national anthem played. (Source: RA 8491, Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.)

GOTCHA? Someone pointed out a mistake in the huge mural at the Manila Hotel - the Philippine flag in vertical hanging position has the red field on the right and the blue field on the left.

No, Sir, explained the Chief of Protocol. That was an illustration of a scene during the Philippine Revolution. We were at war, remember?

"Priests told: Return tainted 'pork' money" - Headline.

Expect a second collection after next Sunday's mass if your shepherd needs to reimburse. FEEDBACK:

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Title Annotation:Opinions and Editorials
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 28, 2014
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