On May 19, 1850, the day when General Narciso Lopez occupied the city of Cardenas, Matanzas the flag that would become later the national flag was flown for the first time. For 19 years, it represented Cuban anti-colonial activities.
Once the War of Independence started on October, 10th 1868, the Asamblea Constituyente (Constituent Assembly) of the Republic of Cuba, meeting in Guaimaro on April 11, 1869, adopted it as the national emblem.
From that moment on, the flag flew at all the events of the independence movement. Jose Marti stated that the blood shed during the War of Independence healed the uncertain origin of the flag which would achieve great glory on the battlefield.
The equilateral triangle is the perfect geometrical shape since it possesses three perfectly equal sides and angles, thus representing equality among men.
The three colours of the triangle (white, blue and red) represent the colours of the revolution and according to Latin connotation they are associated with the French revolutionary triptych of liberty, equality and fraternity. Besides, they also symbolize the ideals of justice, expressed in the purity of the colour white, altruism and height of such ideals expressed in the blue and with the colour red representing the blood shed during the fight for freedom. They also represent the new republican and democratic ideals that are summarized in the citizens of the Cuban republic free and equal, with full rights and duties for everyone, in opposition to the king’s vassals and according to the concepts of absolute monarchy.
Finally, the five-pointed star, with one arm pointing north to indicate stability, expresses the balance between moral and social qualities which must characterize the state, and symbolizes the star shining with its own light, or in other words, it is the independent state.
Therefore, the star stands for liberty, the triangle for equality and the stripes symbolize union, perfection and fraternity.
The flag´s revolutionary significance derived from its symbolism, which allowed the constant ideas of the Cuban nation to be identified. Narciso López, who was a Freemason, knew about revolutionary, republican and humanist symbolism, that’s why he included them in the Cuban flag. His own concept makes the Cuban flag different from the American one, based on the fact that it reflects not only the ideas of freedom, but also those of equality and fraternity which inspired the French Revolution.
Consequently, it is understandable that the Cuban flag became the symbol of generations of patriots and social activists, the symbol of all Cubans. Its revolutionary content summarizes the whole ideal of a humble and brave people, the human, generous and strong feeling of a nation which was conceived of and forged by itself.