Cuban National Flag 1898.

Sub-collection: Central America

Cuba, Insurrecto Flag, Cuban Revolution, 1898
This cotton, machine sewn Cuban flag is marked and dated on the canvas hoist with "Cuba" & "1898". It is typical of Cuban flags made in the United States in the late 19th century prior to and during the Spanish American War. The flag is called "La Estrella Solitaria" or Lone Star flag. A Venezuelan soldier with a considerable fortune, Narciso Lopez, designed it in 1849. The flag was intended for use by Cuban exiles in the United States who, with American backing, intended to invade Cuba and declare it independent from Spanish rule. President Zachary Taylor, thus the expedition failed, ultimately thwarted their efforts but the flag remained as a symbol and grew in popularity among Cuban émigrés in the United States.

Clearly based on the Stars & Stripes, the three blue stripes of the flag were chosen to represent the Caribbean Sea, which surrounds Cuba, and white was chosen to symbolize the purity of the cause. The triangle, a Masonic symbol, is red to represent the blood shed in battle for freedom. The 5 point white star stands for an independent Cuba, with the hope that someday this star would be added to the US flag.

In the last half of the 19th century flags like this were forbidden in Cuba, but Cuban exiles headquartered in the United States continued to use it as a symbol of the independence movement. This flag's star is rotated in the triangle so that one point is towards the fly of the flag, making it likely that this flag was indented to hang vertically against a wall at a meeting or rally, rather than be displayed on a free standing pole.

After the hostilities of the Spanish American War began Cuban Insurrectos aiding the American forces used flags like this, and in 1902 when an independent Cuba became its own nation this was adopted as the national flag.

The flag is still in use today and has remained the same, even after the change in government due to the Cuban Communist Revolution of 1959.

Provenance: Acquired at Auction from James D. Julia in 1998.

ZFC Significant Flag


Flag of Cuba, Wikipedia, 5 October 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Cuba

La bandera de la estrella solitaria, 5 October 2011, from: http://jpquin.chez.com/bandera.html

Cuba, Flags of the World, 5 October 2011, from:

The Spanish American War (1898-1901), Sparknotes, 5 October 2011, from:

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 42
Length of Fly 25.5


Comments on Star Measurements One white 5 point star, centered on red triangle
Size of Stars 8.5


Width of 1st Stripe 5.25
Width of 3rd Stripe 5.25
Width of Last Stripe 5.25
Size of Hoist 0.75


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 1
How are the stars embeded? Sewn
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes


Number of Stripes 5
Color of Top Stripe Blue
Color of Bottom Stripe Blue
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes 2nd stripe: white 5"
3rd stripe: blue 5"
4th stripe: white 5.25"


Fabric Cotton


Stitching Machine


Comments on Method of Attachmen no rope
Method of Attachment Sleeve


Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Used, worn
Displayable yes


Date Late 19th or 20th