Adding ninth ray of sun in PH flag would 'destroy' its historical context: historian

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 12 2018 09:46 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2018 11:17 PM

Filipino youth activists brave the waves as they hoist a Philippine flag on the shores of Zambales facing the West Philippine Sea on June 12, 2017, Independence Day, as a symbol of the country’s claim to the disputed territory. Jun Dumaguing, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Adding another ray to the 8-ray sun in the Philippine flag would "destroy" the historical context behind the symbolism, a historian said Tuesday amid recurrent calls for such move. 

Xiao Chua, a historian and lecturer at the De La Salle University, explained that there is usually a misconception about what the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag represent.

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

Most Filipinos think of the rays as a representation of the first eight provinces- Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac- that joined the revolt for the country's independence during the Spanish occupation.

But Chua said this was not so. 

"These were just the 8 provinces in which the Spaniards suspected that there are members of the Katipunan," he told ANC's "Beyond Politics" in reference to the revolutionary movement.

"To add the ninth ray to it would destroy the historical context. It is something that is not correct should we say it," he added.

There have been propositions to add a ninth ray of the sun in the Philippine flag to represent the Muslim community. 

As the Philippines marked its 120th year of independence, Chua explained that there is no need to alter the country's flag since it already represents Filipinos well.

"The sun in the flag represents the nation shining including all ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines," he said.
 
"So if you look at it, that flag symbolizes all of us and well-thought of by our founding fathers as it is," he added.