October 30, 1919, Flag Day was Declared by Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison
October 30, 1919, Flag Day was declared by Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison following the passage of Act No. 2827 of the Philippine Legislature restoring the use of the Filipino Flag.
From 1901-1907, the Philippine flag and other banners and emblems of the Katipunan continued to proliferate. In response, the Philippine Commission, dominated by Americans, passed Act No. 1697 or the Flag Law of 1907, which outlawed the display of the Philippine flag and replaced the country’s flag to the stars and stripes of the United States of America.
Under this Act (1696), displaying of the Philippine Flag during the American regime in any place was prohibited and it provided severe punishment for violators. The same law prohibited the playing of the national anthem.
It took 11 years until the Philippine Legislature, finally in the hands of elected Filipino representatives and senators, repealed the Flag Law, through the efforts of Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, and reinstated the Philippine flag as the official standard of the nation.
It was Governor General Harrison, who was sympathetic toward the Filipino cause, who urged the repeal of the Flag Law. On October 16, 1919, Senator Rafael Palma, taking the cue from Harrison’s message, sponsored a Senate bill scrapping the ban on the flag.
The bill repealing the Flag Law was approved and became Act No. 2871.
Harrison likewise issued Proclamation No. 18 setting aside October 30, 1919 as a public holiday in the Philippines to be known as “Flag Day”.
Since then, there have been other Flag Days such as May 28 and June 12. The latest is the observance of Flag Day on June 12 of every year in accordance with the proclamation issued by President Elpidio Quirino.
The Philippine Flag, made in Hong Kong by Marcela de Agoncillo, assisted by daughter Lorenza Agoncillo Delfina Herboza, was officially hoisted while the Philippine National March was played in public on June 12, 1898 following General Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of Philippine Independence in Cavite el Viejo, now Kawit Cavite.