Why are the Puerto Rican Flag and the Cuban Flag similar?
Have you ever wondered why the flags of Puerto Rico and Cuba are so similar? Maybe you can even confuse them. In the world there are a large number of flags, many of them are similar, some of them can certainly share a common origin, and however, others are not related to each other. This is the case of the flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico, flags that at first glance are exactly the same, with the exception that one uses the color red and the other blue, as if it were a photo with inverted colors. As if that weren’t enough, both are islands in the Caribbean and belong to the Greater Antilles.
It is not about ideological or political motives, nor does it have to do with a cultural meaning such as that of the flags of the Nordic countries. These flags, although they do not have a common origin, find their similarity in the fraternity for the fight against Spain to achieve independence. Although they do not have a common chronological starting point, the Puerto Rico Flag originates from the flag of Cuba, a country that had previously started the fight for freedom. The Cuban flag was created in New York in 1849 by Miguel Teurbe Tolón at the request of the military officer Narciso López, who was a Venezuelan deserter from the Spanish army. It was adopted in 1869 and officially in 1902 as the flag of independent Cuba.
The Puerto Rico flag was created in 1895 from the Cuban one and symbolizes the brotherhood between the Cuban and Puerto Rican people in the fight for freedom. Both countries were allied under the common cause of political reforms and independence from Spain; the group of Puerto Rican separatists who adopted the flag design as their group’s emblem was associated with Cuban separatists who fought with the same ideals under the Cuban Revolutionary Party. This flag was raised for the first time in 1897 (when Puerto Rico was still under Spanish rule) and officially adopted in 1952. Interestingly, from 1898 to 1952 it was a crime to raise the flag of Puerto Rico and doing so could be punished with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Although these flags are similar and have a revolutionary essence in common, there is one more difference in addition to the aforementioned reverse colors, which lies in the official size format: the flag of Cuba is longer than that of Puerto Rico, having a ratio of 1:2 while the Puerto Rican a ratio of 2:3 Finally, an important detail is that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, therefore its flag usually flies next to that of that country while that of Cuba, being an independent nation, usually flies alone.
In conclusion, both flags share the ideals of freedom and determination but seeing them closely, they have much more interesting differences than just their colors.