The Color of Puerto Rico’s Flag

Puerto Rico’s flag often shows up in social media. Observers will note that is seems to come in different colors, and comments often  follow, saying that the wrong flag is being shown.

The example below called out McDonald’s rather than an individual.

Specifically, the controversy usually focuses on the shade of blue being presented.

In this photo, we see the official flag of Puerto Rico, with five red and white stripes and a navy blue triangle with a single white star. It was officially adopted in 1952.

The flag in the photo above shows sky blue rather than navy blue. This variation of the flag is associated with the Independence Party, even though it is being used here at a pro-statehood demonstration.

This flag was first flown in 1897 during the Yauco Revolt, but was presented at a political meeting in New York in 1895. It was a variation of the Cuban flag, suggested by Francisco Gonzalo Marín, though there is controversy about its designer and its origins.

There is controversy about the color as well, since the Cuban flag uses a bright cobalt blue.

Some observers believe that this shade of blue is not quite the navy blue of the American flag, suggesting that this original color scheme was darkened to match the U.S. flag in 1952.

The photo above shows both shades of blue, being carried at an anti-statehood demonstration. Some “commonwealth” supporters may use either shade of blue.

Is the color important?

In a word, yes. It is important enough for people on social media to drop in and complain about seeing the wrong color. It is important enough that viewers know the sky blue flag is associated with independence and the navy or royal blue flag is associated with statehood — as well as being the official flag.

However, it is fair to say that many people in the States are unaware of this symbolism.

The government website specifies the color #0066FF, which is the color shown below.

This color matches neither the U.S. not the Cuban flag.

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