collection of Philippine laws, statutes and codesnot
included or cited in themain indicesof
theChan Robles Virtual Law Library This page features the full text of
Republic Act No. 8491.
ACT NO. 8491
CODE OF THE NATIONAL FLAG, ANTHEM, MOTTO, COAT-OF-ARMS AND OTHER
ITEMS AND DEVICES OF THE PHILIPPINES.
Section 1. Short title.
— This Act shall be known as the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the
Sec. 2. Declaration
of policy. — Reverence and respect shall at all times be accorded
flag, the anthem, and other national symbols which embody the national
ideals and traditions and which express the principles of sovereignty
national solidarity. The heraldic items and devices shall seek to
the national virtues and to inculcate in the minds and hearts of our
a just pride in their native land, fitting respect and affection for
national flag and anthem, and the proper use of the national motto,
and other heraldic items and devices.
Sec. 3. Definition
of terms. — Whenever used in this Act, the term:cralaw:red
mean all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines including the
Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology,
and the Bureau of Fire Protection;
NATIONAL FLAG A.
b) "Festoon" shall
mean to hang in a curved shape between two points as a decoration;
the Philippine National Flag, unless stated otherwise;
the part of the flag outside the hoist or length;
mean any conventional sign which reveals man's achievement and heroism
(for orders and decorations), identification, authority and a sign of
(for coat-of-arms, logo and insignia);
mean lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and
of the staff;
mean the part of the flag nearest the staff or the canvass to which the
halyard is attached;
shall mean that a typhoon signal is raised in the locality;
shall mean the Philippine National Anthem;
shall mean Malacañang, and other government-owned structures
the President resides, and other structures occupied by the Philippine
Consulate or Embassies abroad;
k) "Places of
shall mean places of hilarity marked by or providing boisterous
or recreation; and
mean the National Historical Institute.
Sec. 4. The flag of the
Philippines shall be blue, white and red with an eight-rayed
sun and three five-pointed stars, as consecrated and honored by the
Display of the National Flag
Sec. 5. The flag shall
be displayed in all public buildings, official residences, public
and institutions of learning every day throughout the year.
Sec. 6. The flag shall
be permanently hoisted, day and night throughout the year, in front of
the following: at Malacañang Palace; the Congress of the
building; Supreme Court building; the Rizal Monument in Luneta, Manila;
Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite; Barasoain Shrine in Malolos,
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Libingan ng mga Bayani; Musoleo de los
Beteranos dela Revolucion; all International Ports of Entry and all
places as may be designated by the Institute.
The flag shall be
illuminated at night.
Sec. 7. The flag shall
also be displayed in private buildings and residences or raised in the
open on flag-staffs in front of said buildings every April 9 (Araw ng
May 1 (Labor Day); May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence
Day); last Sunday of August (National Heroes Day); November 30
Day); and December 30 (Rizal Day); and on such other days as may be
by the President and/or local chief executives.
The flag may also be
throughout the year in private buildings or offices or raised in the
on flag-staffs in front of private buildings: Provided, That they
flag-raising ceremonies in accordance with the rules and regulations to
be issued by the Office of the President.
Sec. 8. All government
agencies and instrumentalities, and local government offices,
corporations and local government units are enjoined to observe flag
with appropriate ceremonies. Socio-civic groups, non-government
and the private sector are exhorted to cooperate in making the
Sec. 9. The flag shall
be flown on merchant ships of Philippine registry of more than one
(1000) gross tons and on all naval vessels.
On board naval vessels,
the flag shall be displayed on the flag-staff at the stern when the
is at anchor. The flag shall be hoisted to the gaff at the aftermast
the ship is at sea.
Sec. 10. The flag, if
flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of
and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the
blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in time of
and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.
The flagpole staff must
be straight and slightly tapering at the top.
Sec. 11. If planted on
the ground, the flagpole shall be at a prominent place and shall be of
such height as would give the flag commanding position in relation to
buildings in the vicinity.
If attached to a
the flagpole shall be on top of its roof or anchored on a sill
at an angle upward.
If on a stage or
or government office, the flag shall be at the left (facing the stage)
or the left of the office upon entering.
Sec. 12. When the
flag is flown with another flag, the flags, if both are national flags,
must be flown on separate staffs of the same height and shall be of
size. The Philippine flag shall be hoisted first and lowered last.
If the other flag is
a national flag, it may be flown in the same lineyard as the Philippine
flag but below the latter and it cannot be of greater size than the
Sec. 13. When displayed
with another flag, the Philippine flag shall be on the right of the
flag. If there is a line of other flags, the Philippine flag shall be
the middle of the line.
When carried in a
with flags which are not national flags, the Philippine flag shall be
front of the center of the line.
Sec. 14. A flag worn
out through wear and tear, shall not be thrown away. It shall be
burned to avoid misuse or desecration. The flag shall be replaced
when it begins to show signs of wear and tear.
Sec. 15. The flag shall
be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset. It shall be on the mast at
the start of official office hours, shall remain flying throughout the
Sec. 16. The flag may
a) Inside or
or on stationary flagpoles. If the flag is displayed indoors on a
it shall be placed at the left of the observer as one enters the room;
b) From the top of a
which shall be at a prominent place or a commanding position in
to the surrounding buildings;
c) From a staff
upward from the window sill, canopy, balcony or facade of a building;
d) In a suspended
from a rope extending from a building to pole erected away from the
e) Flat against the
vertically with the sun and stars on top; and
f) Hanging in a
position across a street, with the blue field pointing east, if the
is heading south or north, or pointing north if the road is heading
The flag shall not be raised
when the weather is inclement. If already raised, the flag shall not be
Flag Raising Ceremony
Sec. 17. The flag shall
be hoisted to the top briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
The flag shall never
anything beneath it, such as the ground, flood, water or other objects.
After being lowered,
flag shall be handled and folded solemnly as part of the ceremony.
Sec. 18. All government
offices and educational institutions shall henceforth observe the
ceremony every Monday morning and the flag lowering ceremony every
afternoon. The ceremony shall be simple and dignified and shall include
the playing or singing of the Philippine National Anthem.
Sec. 19. The Office of
the President upon the recommendation of the Institute shall issue
and regulations for the proper conduct of the flag ceremony.
Sec. 20. The observance
of the flag ceremony in official or civic gatherings shall be simple
dignified and shall include the playing or singing of the anthem in its
original Filipino lyrics and march tempo.
Sec. 21. During the
ceremony, the assembly shall stand in formation facing the flag. At the
moment the first note of the anthem is heard, everyone in the premises
shall come to attention; moving vehicles shall stop. All persons
shall place their right palms over their chests, those with hats shall
uncover; while those in military, scouting, security guard, and
military training uniforms shall give the salute prescribed by their
which salute shall be completed upon the last note of the anthem.
The assembly shall sing
the Philippine national anthem, accompanied by a band, if available,
at the first note, the flag shall be raised briskly.
The same procedure
be observed when the flag is passing in review or in parade.
Sec. 22. During the
lowering, the flag shall be lowered solemnly and slowly so that the
shall be down the mast at the sound of the last note of the anthem.
in the assembly shall observe the same deportment or shall observe the
same behavior as for the flag-raising ceremony.
Sec. 23. The flag shall
be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning on all the buildings and
where it is displayed, as provided for in this Act, on the day of
announcement of the death of any of the following officials:cralaw:red
President or a
President, for ten (10) days;
Chief Justice, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House
of Representatives, for seven (7) days; and
c) Other persons to
by the Institute, for any period less than seven (7) days.
The flag shall be flown at
on all the buildings and places where the decedent was holding office,
on the day of death until the day of interment of an incumbent member
the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, the Senate or the House of
and such other persons as may be determined by the Institute.
The flag when flown at
shall be first hoisted to the peak for a moment then lowered to the
position. The flag shall again be raised to the peak before it is
for the day.
Sec. 24. The flag may
be used to cover the caskets of the honored dead of the military,
of previous wars, national artists, and of civilians who have rendered
distinguished service to the nation, as may be determined by the local
government unit concerned. In such cases, the flag shall be placed such
that the white triangle shall be at the head and the blue portion shall
cover the right side of the caskets. The flag shall not be lowered to
grave or allowed to touch the ground, but shall be folded solemnly and
handed over to the heirs of the deceased.
Sec. 25. The following
shall be the Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine flag:cralaw:red
Sa watawat ng
At sa bansang
Na may dangal,
Such pledge shall be recited
while standing with the right hand with palm open raised shoulder high.
Individuals whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from making
such pledge must nonetheless show full respect when the pledge is being
rendered by standing at attention.
Sec. 26. The period
May 28 to June 12 of each year is declared as Flag Days, during which
all offices, agencies and instrumentalities of government, business
institutions of learning and private homes are enjoined to display the
of the National Flag
Sec. 27. The flag shall
have the following proportions. The width of the flag, 1; the length of
the flag, 2; and the sides of the white triangle, 1.
Sec. 28. The technical
specifications shall be as follows:cralaw:red
Cable No. 80173; the white color, Cable No. 80001; the red color, Cable
No. 80108; and the golden yellow, Cable No. 80068.
Sec. 29. In order to establish
uniform criteria in the making of our national flag and to guarantee
durability by the use of quality materials, the following standards and
procedures shall be observed:cralaw:red
the purchase of the Philippine National Flag must be based on strict
with the design, color, craftsmanship and material requirements of the
b) All submitted
of flags by accredited suppliers offered for purchase for government
shall be evaluated as to design, color and craftsmanship specifications
by the Institute, through its Heraldry and Display Sec., which shall
stamp its approval or disapproval on the canvass reinforcement of the
sample submitted. The samples shall be sent to the Institute by the
office, not by the flag supplier; and
c) The Industrial
Development Institute (ITDI) or the Philippine Textile Research
(PTRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shall
the quality of material of all flag samples and certify whether the
for the blue, white, red and golden yellow colors, including the canvas
submitted, conforms to government requirement as to quality of the
The samples shall be sent annually to the ITDI/PTRI by the
The laboratory test results shall be submitted by the said office to
Sec. 30. All deliveries of
the flags requisitioned by the government shall be inspected by the
agency's internal inspector and by the Commission on Audit (COA) using
the flag stamped approved by the Institute as reference.
Sec. 31. In carrying
out its responsibilities under Sec. 4 hereof, the Institute, COA,
ITDI/PTRI shall prepare guidelines to be approved by the Office of the
Sec. 32. All government
agencies and instrumentalities shall ensure that the requirements under
this Act with respect to the standards, requisitions and delivery of
national flag are strictly complied with.
Sec. 33. All
agencies, offices, and instrumentalities of the government,
or controlled corporations, local government units, including
shall include in their annual budgets the necessary outlay for the
of the national flag.
Sec. 34. It shall be
defile, trample on or cast contempt or commit any act or omission
dishonor or ridicule upon the flag or over its surface;
NATIONAL ANTHEM Sec. 35. The
is entitled Lupang Hinirang.
b) To dip the flag to
person or object by way of compliment or salute;
c) To use the flag:
1) As a
display the flag:
2) As covering for
walls, statues or other objects;
3) As a pennant in
side, back and top of motor vehicles;
4) As a staff or
5) For unveiling
or statues; and
6) As trademarks,
industrial, commercial or agricultural labels or designs.
e) To wear
the flag in
or in part as a costume or uniform;
It shall always be hoisted aloft and be allowed to fall freely;
3) Below any
4) In discotheques,
night and day clubs, casinos, gambling joints and places of vice or
f) To add any word,
mark, picture, design, drawings, advertisement, or imprint of any
on the flag;
g) To print, paint or
representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and
articles of merchandise;
h) To display in
any foreign flag, except in embassies and other diplomatic
and in offices of international organizations;
i) To use, display or
part of any advertisement or infomercial; and
j) To display the
front of buildings or offices occupied by aliens.
Sec. 36. The National
Anthem shall always be sung in the national language within or without
the country. The following shall be the lyrics of the National Anthem:cralaw:red
Alab ng puso,
Sa Dibdib mo'y
Duyan ka ng
Di ka pasisiil.
Sa dagat at
Sa simoy at sa
May dilag ang
At awit sa
Ang kislap ng
Ang bituin at
Kailan pa ma'y
Lupa ng araw ng
Buhay ay langit
Aming ligaya na
Ang mamatay ng
Sec. 37. The rendition of
the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance
the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.
Sec. 38. When the
Anthem is played at a public gathering, whether by a band or by singing
or both, or reproduced by any means, the attending public shall sing
anthem. The singing must be done with fervor.
As a sign of respect,
persons shall stand at attention and face the Philippine flag, if there
is one displayed, and if there is none, they shall face the band or the
conductor. At the first note, all persons shall execute a salute by
their right palms over their left chests. Those in military, scouting,
citizens military training and security guard uniforms shall give the
prescribed by their regulations. The salute shall be completed upon the
last note of the anthem.
The anthem shall not be
played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment
except on the following occasions:cralaw:red
where the Philippines is the host or has a representative;
b) Local competitions;
c) During the
and "signing on" of radio broadcasting and television stations;
d) Before the initial
last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances;
e) Other occasions as
be allowed by the Institute.
Sec. 39. All officials and
employees of the national and local government, and any agency or
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations,
entities or offices displaying the national flag and government
of learning are hereby directed to comply strictly with the rules
for the rendition of the anthem. Failure to observe the rules shall be
a ground for administrative discipline.
Sec. 40. The National
Motto shall be "MAKA-DIYOS, MAKA-TAO, MAKAKALIKASAN AT MAKABANSA."
Sec. 41. The National
Coat-of-Arms shall have:cralaw:red
azure and gules; a chief argent studded with three (3) mullets
from each other; and, in point of honor, ovoid argent over all the sun
rayonnant with eight minor and lesser rays. Beneath shall be the scroll
with the words "REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS," inscribed thereon.
Sec. 42. The Great Seal
shall be circular in form, with the arms as described in the preceding
Sec., but without the scroll and the inscription thereon.
the whole shall be a double marginal circle within which shall appear
words "Republika ng Pilipinas." For the purpose of placing The
Seal, the color of the arms shall not be deemed essential but tincture
representation must be used.
The Great Seal shall
bear the National Motto.
Sec. 43. The Great Seal
shall be affixed to or placed upon all commissions signed by the
and upon such other official documents and papers of the Republic of
Philippines as may be provided by law, or as may be required by custom
and usage. The President shall have custody of the Great Seal.
Sec. 44. Any government
entity, including the military, may adopt appropriate coat-of-arms,
seals, logo, insignia, badges, patches, and banners; and initiate
citations, orders or decorations; as may be authorized by Congress or
Office of the President.
Sec. 45. Such heraldic
devices and items shall be filed with the Institute for recording and
as to precedence, design, customs and traditions. The Institute shall
the corresponding rules and regulations which shall be submitted for
to the Office of the President or to Congress.
Sec. 46. All government
offices including the military are hereby ordered to purchase all
items and devices from manufacturers accredited and authorized by the
Such items and devices shall be subject to inspection by the purchasing
agency's internal inspector and the COA representative using the design
and specifications approved by the Office of the President or by the
through the Institute.
Sec. 47. No government
official or employee shall accept any order or decoration from any
government without the consent of Congress, and without the prior
and documentation of such order or decoration by the Institute.
Sec. 48. Failure or
to observe the provisions of this Act; and any violation of the
rules and regulations issued by the Office of the President, shall
proper notice and hearing, shall be penalized by public censure which
be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation.
The Department of
Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education, upon the
of the Institute and after proper notice and hearing, shall cause the
of the recognition or permit of any private educational institution
fails or refuses to observe the provisions of this Act for the second
Sec. 49. The Department
of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) and the Commission on Higher
shall ensure that the National Anthem, as adopted by law, shall be
to memory by all students of both public and private educational
and performed during the flag ceremony conducted in accordance with the
rules and regulations issued by the Office of the President. In
they shall make available the vocal, piano or band scores of the
Anthem, as adopted by law, to all private and public schools, as well
the general public.
Sec. 50. Any person or
juridical entity which violates any of the provisions of this Act
upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than Five thousand
(P5,000) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), or by
for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at
the discretion of the court: Provided, That for any second and
offenses, both fine and imprisonment shall always be imposed: Provided,
further, That in case the violation is committed by a juridical person,
its President or Chief Executive Officer thereof shall be liable.
Sec. 51. The Institute
shall issue the necessary rules and regulations to implement the
of this Act within ninety (90) days after effectivity. The Institute
submit its rules and regulations to the Office of the President and the
Congress of the Philippines.
Sec. 52. The Institute
shall also be responsible for the strict enforcement of the provisions
of this Act. It may call upon any government department, agency,
or government instrumentality, including government corporations, and
government units, for such assistance as it may deem necessary for the
effective discharge of its functions under this Act.
Sec. 53. Separability
clause. — If any provision, or part hereof, is held invalid or
the remainder of this Act not otherwise affected shall be valid and
Sec. 54. Repealing
clause. — Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive
letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation
to, or inconsistent with, the provisions of this Act is hereby
modified, or amended accordingly.
Sec. 55. Effectivity.
— This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from the date of its
in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general
February 12, 1998
to Top - Back
to Main Index - Back
All Rights Reserved