Cuba Flags

An Insight Into the Flags and Emblems of Cuba

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Origins of Cuban Flag

One man, two versions

The first version says that the Venezuelan general Narciso López, made in 1848 the first serious attempt to help Cuba break away from Spanish rule. He carried 'La Estrella Solitaria' -'The Lone Star'-banner, Cuba's present flag. (While he was having important meetings on the revolution, his wife embroidered it). His attempt was not successful; only in 1902 Cuba became an independent republic and López's flag was adopted as the official flag. The three blue stripes are the symbols of the original three provinces. The triangle is a masonic symbol, here signifying liberty, equality and fraternity. The red color is for the blood sacrificed by the Cuban patriots.

Portrait of Narciso Lopez

The other version is in the year 1849. It was a steamy hot day in New York City and General Narciso López, of Venezuelan origin, had joined the fight for Cuba's independence. Exhausted from planning all that was entailed in bringing Revolution to Cuba, he sat a local park, and quickly fell asleep. He was concerned about the pending arrival in Cuba. He felt a flag was necessary to add patriotic fervor to the endeavor. When he awoke in the park, the colors of the splendorous sky allowed him to envision the would-be flag. Full of emotion, he went to his friend, a poet and soon-to-be patriot, Miguel Teurbe Tolon, who incorporated Narciso's ideas and designed the flag which was later sewn by Emilia Teurbe Tolon. And so it was: Three light blue stripes, later changed to ocean blue, representing Cuba's three sections at the time, Western, Central and Eastern. The two white stripes representing the purity and justice of the patriotic liberators' motives. While the lone white star within the equilateral red triangle represents the unity of our people upon the blood spilled by our revolutionary heroes.

Cuban Flag

When Cuba became independent from Spain on May 20, 1902, Cespedes Flag was officially designated the flag of the city of his birth: Bayamo, Oriente, and the flag which Venezuelan-born, Cuban patriot, Narciso López flew in the city of Cárdenas on May 19, 1850, was officially designated the Cuban national flag. In honor of Cespedes and the bravery of the residents of Bayamo, who during the 10 Year War burned the prosperous city to the ground and moved to the forrest rather than surrender it to the Spaniards, Bayamo was proclaimed a "National Monument" and from then on would have its name proceeded by the initials M.N. for "Monumento Nacional." Since Cuba gained independence from Spain, the flag of Bayamo is displayed alongside the Cuban national flag at official ceremonies and events.

The Coat of Arms

The National Coat of Arms of Cuba

Cuban coat of arms
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Miguel de Teurbe Tolon created the Cuban Coat of Arms (el Escudo Cubano)...

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Miguel de Teurbe Tolon created the Cuban Coat of Arms (el Escudo Cubano).
The Cuban Coat of Arms consists of three divisions, crowned by the Phrygian Cap (Gorro Frigio) or liberty cap that has a sole star, with the borders of the divisions surrounded by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the other.
The oak branch symbolizes the strength of the nation; and the laurel wreath: Honor and Glory.
The Phrygian Cap serves as a crown symbolizing liberty, and the sole star on the Phrygian Cap stands for Independence.
These symbols were meant to represent the rights of man: Equality, Liberty and Fraternity.
In the first top division, horizontally, there is a key symbolizing Cuba’s geographical position, with a bright rising sun in the background. In the division located to the right are the stripes, vertically, representing the three departments which divide the island: Oriental, Central y Occidental (the Eastern, Central and Western).
In the division toward the left, there are pictures of mountains, rivers, the valley and most evident a Royal Palm Tree, the national tree of Cuba - graceful and elegant - representing the rich soil that Cuba has been blessed with.

Regional Coat of Arms

Pinar del Rio Coat of Arms
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The Province of Pinar del Río is located on the extreme western part of Cuba...

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The Province of Pinar del Río is located on the extreme western part of Cuba. It has an area of 13,500 square kilometers (5,400 square miles), occupying approximately 12% of the entire Island of Cuba. Pinar del Río is the fourth largest province of Cuba.
The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 448,422 residents. The population consisted of 34% urban and 66% rural, making Pinar del Río the province with the most rural population in Cuba.
The caciques or Indian chiefs from Marién, Guaniguanico and Guanahacabibes established Pinar del Río. It was originally called "Vuelta Abajo" with its capital dating back to 1571. On the 9th of June 1878, a judicial decree divided the Island of Cuba into six provinces, with the Vuelta Abajo area established as the Province of Pinar del Río.
This province originally consisted of 25 municipalities, but they were reduced to 15 municipalities after the 1878 decree. These municipalities are Artemisa, Cabañas, Candelaria, Consolación del Norte, Consolación del Sur, Guanajay, Guane, Los Palacios, Mantua, Mariel, Pinar del Río, San Cristóbal, San Juan y Martínez, San Luis, and Viñales.
This province forms part of the geographic region called Occidente, which encompasses the Provinces of Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, and Las Villas. The Pinar del Río area is divided into seven subregions:
1) la Cordillera de los Organos y sus valles intramontanos;
2) la Sierra del Rosario;
3) las Alturas de Pizarra;
4) la llanura Costera del Sur de Pinar del Río;
5) la llanura Costera del Norte de Pinar del Río;
6) la Península de Guanahacabibes;
7) la Isla de Pinos, even though this Isle belongs to the Province of La Habana.
Pinar del Río contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Cuba, especially an area called the Valle de Viñales, a picturesque and profound valley of small hills and dense groves. Also of significance is Pinar del Ríos magnificent and breathtaking mountainous areas called la Cordillera de los Organos, la Sierra del Rosario, and las Alturas de Pizarra.
Tobacco was the most important agricultural product produced in Pinar del Río, the largest production in all of Cuba with 56% of the national output. Other important agricultural products of this province were sugar cane, cattle, sweet potato, cassava and rice. There were nine major sugar mills in Pinar del Río: Andorra, Bahía Honda, El Pilar, La Francia, Merceditas, Niágara, Orozco, San Cristóbal and San Ramón.

Havana province emblem
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The Province of La Habana is located on the central western part of Cuba....

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The Province of La Habana is located on the central western part of Cuba. It has an area of 8,221 square kilometers (3,288 square miles) and is the smallest province of Cuba. The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 1,538,803 residents, second largest following the province of Oriente.
The population consisted of more than 75% metropolitan areas, with the La Habana municipality being the most populated. La Habana was established by the cacique or Indian chief Abana, and consisted of the entire Province of La Habana and a major part of the Province of Matanzas. Diego Velázquez established the capital of the Republic in 1515 at the mouth of the Río Mayabeque, the most significant river in the area. The capital was relocated in 1519 to an area called Puerto Carenas near a village called La Habana. This small village eventually became the most important city of Cuba, sometimes referred to as "the Paris of the Americas."
The Province of La Habana consists of 26 municipalities, which are Aguacate, Alquízar, Batabanó, Bauta, Bejucal, Caimito del Guayabal, Guanabacoa, Güines, Guira de Melena, La Habana, Isla de Pinos, Jaruco, La Salud, Madruga, Marianao, Melena del Sur, Nueva Paz, Quivicán, Regla, San Antonio de las Vegas, San Antonio de los Baños, San José de las Lajas, San Nicolás, Santa Cruz del Norte, Santa María del Rosario, and Santiago de las Vegas.
This province forms part of the geographic region called Occidente, which encompasses the Provinces of Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, and Las Villas. The La Habana Province corresponds to the region called Sección de La Habana-Matanzas, which is divided into two subregions: 1) Alturas de La Habana-Matanzas, and 2) Llanura Roja, La Habana-Matanzas. Its orography consists of three main mountain groups that extend through the province. The Havana harbor, la bahía de La Habana, located on the northern coast of the province, is its most important geographical element. The harbor is one of the most secure and protected harbors in the world, which has allowed the city of La Habana to considerably prosper throughout the years.
There are many important areas in the Province of La Habana, such as the cities of Guanabacoa, Regla, Santa María del Rosario and Marianao. La Habana is also the location of Cuba's largest lagoon, called Ariguanabo, and many of Cuba's beautiful beaches such as Santa Fe, Cojímar, Tarará, Marbella, and Jibacoa.
The Province of La Habana was, without a doubt, the most industrialized province of Cuba. Of significant importance were its textile manufacturers, construction, footwear, metallurgic, graphics and lithography, and fishing industries. Other important agricultural products of this province were sugar cane, cattle, tobacco, fruits and vegetables. There were thirteen major sugar mills in La Habana: Amistad, Fajardo, Gómez Mena, Habana, Hershey, Josefita, Mercedita, Occidente, Portugalete, Providencia, Rosario, San Antonio, and Toledo.

Matanzas Emblem
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The Province of Matanzas is located toward the central part of Cuba...

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The Province of Matanzas is located toward the central part of Cuba. It has an area of 8,444 square kilometers (3,378 square miles). Matanzas is the fifth largest province of Cuba, greater only than the Province of La Habana. The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 395,780 residents. The population of Matanzas consisted mostly of rural residents, with 59% rural and 41% urban.
The cacique or Indian chief Abana originally formed Matanzas as part of the La Habana area. The Matanzas and La Habana areas were later seperated, with the Matanzas capital being founded in 1690. This Province of Matanzas consists of 22 municipalities, which are: Agramonte, Alacranes, Arcos de Canasí, Bolondrón, Cabezas, Cárdenas, Carlos Rojas, Colón, Guamacaro, Jaguey Grande, Jovellanos, Juan Gualberto Gómez, Los Arabos, Manguito, Martí, Matanzas, Máximo Gómez, Pedro Betancourt, Perico, San José de los Ramos, Santa Ana Cidra, and Unión de Reyes.
This province forms part of the geographic region called Occidente, which encompasses the Provinces of Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, and Las Villas. The Matanzas area is divided into two significant regions: 1) the northwestern area that extends to the hills called Tetas de Camarioca; and 2) an area called the Llanura de Colón, an extensive valley that occupies the vast majority of the province. Matanzas contains one of the most picturesque and beautiful valleys in Cuba called the Valle de Yumurí, as well as the magnificent caverns called the Cuevas de Bellamar. Matanzas harbor are also one of the most beautiful and important in Cuba, which include the bahías de Matanzas, Cárdenas, and Santa Clara. Cárdenas contains a peninsula called Hicacos, the site of Cuba's most beautiful beach, Varadero -- also called "Playa Azul". Matanzas most important agricultural product was sugar, followed by the industries of distilleries, sugar refineries, liquor manufacturers, and pastry producers. There were twenty-four major sugar mills in Matanzas: Alava, Araujo, Australia, Carolina, Conchita, Cuba, Dolores, Dos Rosas, Elena, España, Guipúzcoa, Limones, Mercedes, Porfuerza, Progreso, Puerto, San Ignacio, Santa Amalia, Santa Rita, Santo Domingo, Soledad, Tinguaro, Triunfo, and Zorilla.

Las Villas Emblem
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The Province of Las Villas is located in the central part of Cuba...

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The Province of Las Villas is located in the central part of Cuba. It has an area of 21,411square kilometers (8,564 square miles). Las Villas, or Santa Clara as it was called up to the 1940 Constitutional Agreement, is the third largest province of Cuba, following the Provinces of Oriente and Camagüey. The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 1,030,162 residents.
The population of Las Villas approximately consisted of 50% rural and 50% urban, with the Santa Clara municipality being the most populated. The caciques or Indian chiefs from Sabaneque, Xagua, Cubanacán, and Magón formed the Las Villas area. It was originally called "Cinco Villas." This province consists of 32 municipalities, which are: Abreus, Aguada de Pasajeros, Cabaiguán, Caibarién, Calabazar de Sagua, Camajuaní, Cienfuegos, Cifuentes, Carralillo, Cruces, Encrucijada, Esperanza, Fomento, Palmira, Placetas, Quemado de Güines, Ranch Veloz, Ranchuelo, Remedios, Rodas, Sagua la Grande, San Antonio de las Vueltas, Sancti Spíritus, San Diego del Valle, San Fernando de Camarones, San Juan de los Year, Santa Clara, Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, Yaguajay, and Zulueta.
This province forms part of the geographic region called Occidente, which encompasses the Provinces of Pinar del Río, La Habana, Matanzas, and Las Villas. The Las Villas area is divided into four significant sub-regions: 1) Trinidad; 2) Sanctio Spíritus; 3) Cienfuegos; and 4) Central y Norte. Las Villas contains one of the most modern Cuban cities, Cienfuegos, founded in 1817. Its northern coast contains two ports, Sagua la Grande and Caibarién, which are notable for their shellfish. Of significance is the spectacular waterfall called the Salto del Hanabanilla and the majestic valley called Valle de Santa Clara.
Important agricultural products for Las Villas was sugar, followed tobacco, coffee, rice, potato, and fruits. There were a total of 50 major sugar mills in Las Villas, 42 Cuban owned, 4 Spanish owned, and 4 American owned. These were: Adela. Amazonas, Andréita, Caracas, Carmita, Constancia (Abreu), Constancia (Encrucijada), Corazón de Jesús, Covadonga, Escambray, Fe, Fidencia, Hormiguero, La Vega, Macagua, Manuelita, María Antonia, Narcisa, Natividad, Nazabal, Nela, Parque, Pastora, Perserverancia, Portugaleta, Purio, Ramona, Reforma, Resolución, Resulta, San Agustín (Santa Isabel de las Lajas), San Agustín (Remedios), San Francisco, San Isidro, San José, San Pablo, Santa Catalina, Santa Isabel, Santa Lutgarda, Santa María, Santa Rosa, Santa Teresa, Soledad, Trinidad, Tuinicú, Ulacia, Unidad, Vitoria, Washington, and Zaza.

Camaguey Emblem
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The Province of Camagüey is located toward the central eastern part of Cuba...

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Province of Camagüey is located toward the central eastern part of Cuba. It has an area of 26,346 square kilometers (10,538 square miles). Camagüey is the second largest province of Cuba, smaller only than the Province of Oriente. The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 625,319 residents.
The caciques or Indian chiefs Ornofay and Camagüey first formed the Camagüey area. In 1513, the area was conquered by Pánfilo de Narváez, who founded its capital with the name Puerto Príncipe on the northern coast in the Nuevitas municipality area. Many centuries later, the capital was moved to its current location because of the many coastal pirate and buccaneer attacks. In 1899 the province's name was changed from Puerto Príncipe to Camagüey. This Province of Camagüey consists of 9 municipalities, which are: Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Esmeralda, Florida, Guáimaro, Jatibonico, Morón, Nuevitas, and Santa Cruz del Sur.
This province almost entirely forms the geographic region called Camagüey, which occupies 28% of Cuba's territory. The Camagüey area is divided into four significant sub-regions: 1) La Llanura de la Trocha; 2) Subregión Camagüey-Tunas-Holguín; 3) Subregión del Norte de Camagüey; and 4) Subregión del Sur de Camagüey. Camagüey is called the "Región Prócer" or the "Father Region" because of the many Cuban patriots that originated from this area during Cuba's struggle for independence. The most picturesque and significant colonial style areas of Camagüey are in the municipalities of Camagüey, Nuevitas, Morón, and Ciego de Avila.
Important agricultural products for Camagüey were cattle and livestock, followed by sugar cane, corn, tobbaco, pineapple, and plantains. There were twenty-four major sugar mills in Camagüey: Adelaida, Agramonte, Algodones, Baraguá, Céspedes, Cunagua, Elia, Estrella, Florida, Francisco, Lugareño, Macareño, Morón, Najasa, Patria, Punta Alegre, Vertientes, Jaronú, Jatibonico, Santa Marta, Senado, Siboney, Stewart, Violeta.

Oriente Emblem
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The Province of Oriente is located toward the extreme eastern part of Cuba...

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Province of Oriente is located toward the extreme eastern part of Cuba. It has an area of 36,602 square kilometers (14,641 square miles) and occupies approximately one third of all of Cuba. Oriente is the largest province of Cuba. The population estimates according to the 1953 census were approximately 1,797,606 residents. This province consists of the oldest Indian areas of Maniabón, Cueiba, Bayamo, Macaca, Bayatiquirí, Maisí, and Baracoa.
The conquistador Diego Velázquez founded the capital of Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, in 1514. This Province of Oriente consists of 22 municipalities, which are: Alto Songo, Antilla, Banes, Baracoa, Bayamo, Campechuela, Caney, Cobre, Gibara, Guantánamo, Holguín, Jiguaní, Manzanillo, Mayarí, Niquero, Palma Soriano, Puerto Padre, Sagua de Tánamo, San Luis, Santiago de Cuba, Victoria de las Tunas, and Yateras. This province forms the geographic region called Oriente, and is divided into seven significant sub-regions: 1) Sierra Maestra; 2) Cuenca de Santiago de Cuba; 3) Cuenca de Guantánamo; 4) Valle Central; 5) Subregión de Nipe; 6) Llanura del Cauto; and 7) Subregión de Baracoa. Of all these sub-regions, the Sierra Maestra is the most mountainous area, containing Cuba's highest peaks and elevations. Oriente contains many key areas, specifically Baracoa -- one of the first cities in Cuba, founded in 1513 -- Bayamo, Holquín, Victoria de las Tunas, and Manzanillo. Other interesting places are the Santuario del Cobre, Puerto Boniato, el Río Cauto, and the Sierra Maestra's Pico Turquino.
Important agricultural products in Oriente were sugar and coffee, followed by cacao, plantains, and significantly mineral resources. There were forty-one major sugar mills in Oriente: Algodonal, Alto Cedro, América, Báguanos, Baltony "Almeida", Borjita, Boston, Cacocún, Cape Cruz o Pilón, Chaparra, Delicias, Dos Amigos, Ermita, Esperanza, Estrada Palma, Isabel (Bealtie), Isabel, Jobabo, Los Caños, Mabay, Maceo, Manatí, Miranda, Niquero, Palma, Preston, Río Cauto, Romelié, Salvador, San Antonio, San Germán, San Ramón, Santa Ana, Santa Cecilia, Santa Lucía, Santa Regina, Sofía, Soledad, Tacajó, Tánamo, and Unión.

City and Town Coat of Arms

Havana city Emblem

The three castles represent...


The three castles represent the three original main castles which defended the city - namely, the Fuerza Castle, The Morro Castle and the Punta Castle. The key represents that Cuba and its key city Havana were the Key to the Gulf of Mexico represented by the blue background.

Güines Emblem

The man on the tower is...


The man on the tower is San Julian, the patron saint for whom the town is named "San Julian de Güines", the 3 flowers beneath the castle are tobacco flowers, a symbol of fertility.

Cárdenas Emblem

The chief of the arms shows the...


The chief of the arms shows the Cuban Flag, a right granted to the city by the "Academia de la Historia," for having been the first place in which the national emblem ever flew over Cuban soil. The small shield contains the coat of arms of the family of Don Mateo de Cárdenas, founder of the villa; to its right is the Caduceus, representing Cárdenas' commerce; to the left are two towers, representing industry, and below is an agave plant, representing agriculture. The point represents the seas that surround Cárdenas. The motto "Primus in Cuba", or first in Cuba, is again a recognition of the first raising of the national banner. The laurel branch that appears to the right of the shield represents the city's triumphs and the olive branch to the left is representative of its sports.

Mayarí Emblem

It is assumed that Mayarí's coat...


It is assumed that Mayarí’s coat of arms was made between 1944 to 1946 after the initiative of historian Mario Vaillant Moon despite the fact that Mayarí had been constituted as the municipality since 1879. In 1986 PCC (Commission of Historians) agreed to make slight changes that were approved by the governing body. The shield is shaped like a bib and consists of 2 main parts; the top one taking up one third of the whole design and representing characteristic landscape of the region. The same contains also the blue sky, mountains of Sierra de Nipe and Cristal, royal palm trees and meanders which are frequent to Mayarí river, which runs through the valley and flows into Bahia de Nipe. The bottom is divided into four, equal parts intertwined by a sugar cane or machette representing traditional economic symbols of Mayarí. In one of the bottom parts there is a beehive with 14 bees simbolising industriousness of 14 districts of Mayarí. Along the left one can see three coffee plants with fruit in the right third of a snuff while at the very bottom there are three gears referring to the industry of Nicaro and Felton area. In the centre of this set there is a red circle and inside it is the printing Maceo confiscated in Santa Isabel de Nipe where the first liberated newspaper "El Cubano Libre" was published.

Old Cuban Flags

Joaquin Infante Flag

Joaquin Infante Flag - 1810.

Union of Cuba Flag

Design of Bolivar for the union of Cuba - 1823. Nickname: Sun's flag.

Suns and Rays of Bolivar flag

Flag used by the conspiracy "Suns and Rays of Bolivar", 1823.

1st flag of independence

1st flag of independence called "Suns and Rays of Bolívar" - 1823

Club de la Habana flag

Club de la Habana flag - 1847

La Mina de la Rosa Cubana First Flag

Conspiracy of La Mina de la Rosa Cubana First Flag - 1848

La Mina de la Rosa Cubana Second Flag

Conspiracy of La Mina de la Rosa Cubana Second Flag - 1848

La Mina de la Rosa Cubana Third Flag

Conspiracy of La Mina de la Rosa Cubana Third Flag - 1848

Cespedes flag

Used by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Father of Cuba, in his uprising "Grito de Yara" of October 10, 1868

Non-official Cuban flag

Non-official use after 10 February 1878. Abolished: c. 1899.

flag of the 4th September 1933

'flag of the 4th September 1933'. The 4th September 1933 is the end of the dictatorship of Machado.

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