The wikipedia page on the flag of Cuba says:-

It is one of the two flags of a currently socialist country (the other being Laos) that does not use any Communist Symbolism.

The symbolism is (from the same page):-

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.

The flag was adopted in 1902 but the Cuban Revolution happened fifty to sixty years later! Why didn't the new regime do away with the flag or add any communist symbolism (same goes for aforementioned Laos) to it to distinguish it from say, Puerto Rico (the design is the exact same but the colours are flipped)? Some of the symbolism is also quite surprisingly contradictory to communism!

Side note:- The current flag was adopted in 1902 but dropped again in 1906 for a flag that is the same, just with a lighter turquoise-ish shade of blue. The current flag was reinstated after the revolution.

  • at first, fidel was hiding the fact that he was communist. Only after the revolution was over he admitted that openly. It was already to late to change flags. But why a commie flag when you have Che t-shirts?
    – Luiz
    Jul 29, 2019 at 13:06
  • 3
    Why do you assume that it should? Is there a requirement? I suspect the Communist Internationale pays more attention to how effectively Cuba advances the cause of revolution than they do to vexillographic conventions. (Yes, I just wanted to use vexillology in a sentence).
    – MCW
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:37
  • Isn't Wikipedia confusing socialist and communist in that page. As far as I can tell even free enterprise capitalistic countries have many socialistic policies, so that all advanced countries are either communist or at least partially socialistic. So there are many at least partially socialistic countries that don't have communist symbols in their flags.
    – MAGolding
    Jul 29, 2019 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Because Cuba wasn't communist at the time.

The flag was designed in 1849 and adopted in 1902. The original design purposely copied French and United States elements.

The Cuban Revolution that brought the Castros to power didn't happen until 1958. This would have been the time to change the flag, if it were going to get changed. However, they actually got a fair bit of help from the US, and in turn insisted they were not Communist in any way. Fidel Castro said this in an interview in 1959 (after he took power):

I know the world thinks of us, we are Communists, and of course I have said very clear that we are not Communists; very clear.

However, once he got to looking at the changes he wanted to make, Communism started to look attractive. Over 70% of Cuba was owned by foreigners, including the Catholic Church. About a month after this quote, Cuba's government started confiscating this land. A year later, they officially confiscated all foreign-owned property. It still wasn't until about 1965 (5 years later) until Castro's party had completely transformed into the modern Communist Party of Cuba.

  • 3
    Then why hadn’t Cuba changed it’s flag after the transformation to associate with its other communist allies?
    – Rohit Hari
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:12
  • @RohitHari - That's a separate question. Historically though, I did mention in the answer that the best time to change the flag would have been immediately after Batista's government was defeated, and at that time they weren't Communist. Coming up with a whole new flag is symbolically a big deal. Usually the only time its done is when a revolution succeeds, and the new entity adopts the flag the revolution used.
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:57
  • @T.E.D. Hey, question was "Why doesn’t Cuba's flag have any communist symbolism?" I think that if they have the power to confiscate all the land, they should be able to change the flag at will at any time. So I am not sure if you exactly answer the question. Jul 29, 2019 at 15:11
  • 5
    @axsvl77 - They can change the flag anytime they want of course. Any country can. Its just a thing that's not done. Nothing's more symbolic of a country than its flag. Completely changing a flag is a way of saying "This is a different country than it was last year". So you really only see drastic changes immediately after drastic changes in the government (eg: Revoultions). But immediately after the Cuban revolution, they were still saying that they'd just restored the pre-Batistia Republic (which used this same flag).
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 29, 2019 at 15:15

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