The national flag of the Philippines is a horizontal bicolour with equal bands of blue and red, and with a white equilateral triangle based at the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a golden yellow sun with eight primary rays, each containing three individual rays; and at each corner of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star. The flag is displayed with the blue field on top in times of peace, and with the red field on top in times of war.
According to official sources, the white triangle stands for equality and fraternity; the blue field for peace, truth and justice; and the red field for patriotism and valour. The eight primary rays of the sun represent the eight provinces which declared themselves in a state of war as soon as the first revolt was initiated (Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas) that sought independence from Spain and were placed under martial law by the Spaniards at the start of the Philippine Revolution in 1896. The three stars represent the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
However, the symbolism given in the 1898 Proclamation of Philippine Independence differs from the current official explanation. It says that the white triangle signifies the emblem of the Katipunan, the secret society that opposed Spanish rule. It says the flag's colours commemorate the flag of the United States as a manifestation of gratitude for American protection against the Spanish during the Philippine Revolution. It also says that one of the three stars represents the island of Panay, rather than the entire Visayas, and sometimes, the present symbolism of the eight-rayed sun represents the Hispanity of the Philippines and the Hispanicity of the Filipinos.