Philippines Commonwealth Flag, 1919-1941.

Sub-collection: de Young Museum

Philippines Commonwealth Flag, 1919-1941.
This flag from the Philippines was formerly part of the collection of the M.H. de Young Museum. Founded in 1895 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum was San Francisco's first museum. It was a great success from its opening and has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.

Michael Henry de Young, 1849 -1925, was an American journalist and businessman who owned and published the San Francisco Chronicle. He used his wealth to further his eclectic tastes and accumulated a collection of immense variety, and such diverse objects such as sculptures, paintings, flags, polished tree slabs, paintings, objet d'art, jewellery, a door reputedly from Newgate Prison, birds' eggs, handcuffs and thumbscrews, and a collection of knives and forks.

As San Francisco's premier repository, the de Young Museum came to house a number of flags associated with the American acquisition of the Philippines after the Spanish American War.

After the suppression of the Philippine Insurrection by the United States, the flag which had been adopted in 1898 to represent Philippine independence was outlawed by the American authorities. (See ZFC0200 and ZFC0206.) The ban on that flag was lifted in 1919, but only the Stars and Stripes remained official.

With the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, official recognition was again given to the Philippine flag. The design details were different from the 1898 flag, however. In the new flag the facial features were omitted from the sun and its rays were stylized. Also the original light blue of the top stripe became a "national flag blue," as in the US flag.

This flag, from the De Young Museum collection, is clearly of the Commonwealth period (1919-1941). This is indicated, for example, by its metallic gold sun and stars and the silk fabric from which it is made. Few flags from that era survived the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1941-1945), making this flag somewhat rare.

ZFC Significant Flag


History of the de Young Museum, de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 17 November 2011: http://deyoung.famsf.org/about/history-de-young-museum

War Trophy, Wikipedia, 17 November 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_trophy

Michael Henry de Young, Wikipedia, 17 November 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._H._de_Young

WATAWAT - FLAGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS, 17 November, from: http://www.watawat.net/index.html

Philippines, Flags of the World, 17 November, 2011, from: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ph.html

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 32
Length of Fly 18.5


Comments on Star Measurements One star in each point of the white triangle, an eight rayed sun centered between them.
Size of Stars 1.5


Width of 1st Stripe 9.25
Width of 3rd Stripe 9.25
Width of Last Stripe 9.5
Size of Hoist 0.5


Is it framed? no


Number of Stars 3
How are the stars embeded? Printed
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? yes


Number of Stripes 2
Color of Top Stripe Blue
Color of Bottom Stripe Red
Has a Blood Stripe? no


Description of Crest/Emblem Sun & stars


Nation Represented Philippines


Fabric Silk


Stitching Machine


Type of Weave Plain


Comments on Method of Attachmen On both sides
Method of Attachment Ties


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.
Research Documents
Id Tag w/ auction estimate

Id Tag w/ auction estimate

Public Copy & Signs
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Faded
Displayable yes


Date 1931-1941