Here's a picture a the Puerto Rican flag:

enter image description here

Is there a historical reason why it looks pretty much like the flag of the U.S.A.? I mean, there are white and red stripes (differing only in quantity), one star (one state, i.e. the state of Puerto Rico, so also only differing in quantity; the U.S.A. has 51 of them, though Puerto Rico isn't one of them and the citizens of Puerto Rico have the U.S.A. citizenship), but instead of a rectangular form in which the stars of the flag of the U.S.A. are placed, the Puerto Rican flag has its star placed in a triangle.

So, is this just coincidence, is it a form that is just popular or is there a historical reason for it?

  • 1
    When did the US get a 51st state?
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 24, 2017 at 13:49
  • I don't know exactly, but you can find it here, I guess mandelaeffect.com/51-52-united-states/ Are you seriously calling yourself Jon Custer, or is this just your real name? Speaking of flags, I'm pretty sure the fed flag hangs out widely outside your house, waving proudly in the wind! – descheleschilder 5 mins ago edit Dec 24, 2017 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


The flag is actually supposed to show the island's links with Cuba, rather than the US. Consider the Cuban flag:

Cuban flag

The flag of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is basically the Cuban Flag with the red and blue colours reversed.

According to one tourist site, the symbolism is as follows:

The white star stands for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico while the three sides of the equilateral triangle together represent the three branches of the Republican government (executive, legislative and judicial branches). The three red strips symbolize the blood that feeds those parts of the government. The two white stripes symbolizing the rights of man and the freedom of the individual, are a perpetual reminder of the need for vigilance of a democratic government is to be preserved.

Of course, that may be a later "re-interpretation" after Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth in 1952.

Just for completeness, according to Wikipedia, the symbolism of the Cuban flag is

The three blue stripes represent the three departments in which Cuba was divided at that time, the white purity of ideals, the light; the red triangle, originating from the French Revolution – and the three ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity: red for the blood and the courage; the star was the new state that should be added to the United States.

  • interesting. But the symbolism for Cuban flag says "the star was the new state that should be added to the United States."..? I guess that might be a question on its own.
    – user100487
    Dec 23, 2017 at 18:53
  • 3
    @user100487 It had to do with the movement for independence for the islands from Spain, but by all means ask a new question. :) Dec 23, 2017 at 18:55

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