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Lares (Puerto Rico)

Last modified: 2013-07-30 by zoltán horváth
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by Blas Delgado



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Overview

The flag of the "Grito de Lares" has been the official municipal flag of Lares since 1952, and the star is supposed to be white and not "pale yellow star". Most texts (including the one on the Lexjuris site) say that the star is white, and . However, another difference is that, according to my source, the width of each limb (arm?) of the cross is supposed to be one-third of the width of the flag. As for proportions, , the image of the flag of "Grito de Lares" is unusually long, so probably the current version is shorter.
This city of 29,015 inhabitants was founded in 1827. The flag of Lares has a particular historical origin. It is worth noting that for once, the Coat of Arms is inspired by the flag. At the end of May/beginning of June, 1868, in a meeting of the Junta Centro Bravo, don Manuel Rojas presented the design of a flag, imagined by Dr. Ramón [Ramo'n] Emeterio Betances, to be used as a symbol of the Grito de Lares and flag of Puerto Rico when the nation's independence would be gained. This flag consists of a white Latin cross at the centre, "the width of its limbs being equal to one-third of the width of the flag [emblem]". The two upper rectangles are sky blue, the lower ones brilliant red, and a white five-pointed star is placed at the centre of the upper left rectangle. The flag was proclaimed the official representation of the Municipality of Lares in 1952 by the Municipal Assembly . Description of the flag is the following: The white cross conveys the desire for a homeland and redemption [or is it the recovery of their rights?]. The red refers to the blood shed by the heroes of the revolt. The star stands for liberty ["en el azul soledad" -- lonely in the blue?].
Thanh-Tâm Le, 11 January 1999

Flag first presented in 1868. It was the symbol of the revolution of 23 September 1868, when it was known as "Grito de Lares". Officially adopted in 1952. The Coat of Arms, adopted 1952, is derived from the flag of Lares. The name Lares is derived from a village in Badajoz (Spain), called Llares, where the conquistador Rodrigo y Amador de Lares, who arrived here in 1519, came from. Lares was founded 1827 and is in northwest Puerto Rico
Jarig Bakker, 1 Febuary 2000

Is there any connection between the historical (and local) flag of Lares (Puerto Rico) and the old national flag (1844-1861) of the Dominican Republic? They are identical, except for the star on the upper hoist of the puerto-rican flag...
Antonio Martins, 27 March 2000

There is a connection between the Dominican and the Lares flag. Some of the leaders of the 1868 revolution were exiled in the Dominican Republic and from there they came to Puerto Rico. They had planned to bring arms and supplies from the Dom. Rep. but the Spaniards were informed of their plans, so they had to move ahead the date of the rising in Lares hoping that they could hold long enough to receive the arm supplies. This was not the case as the revolutionary forces were crushed in three days. Becasue of their connection with the Dom. Rep. it was natural that the leaders would choose a flag similar to that nation's. The 1895 leaders did the same when they chose a flag similar to the Cuban one, since they were intimately connected with the Cuban struggle.
Victor Quinones, 31 March 2000

The original "Grito de Lares" flag is the same as the one use today. It was originally created by Ramón Emeterio Bentances to be the flag of the Puerto Rico Republic once independent from Spain. The flag is identical to the original Dominican Republic flag but with the five-pointed star. I do not know of any relationship, but Puerto Rican independence was thought about among several Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans gathered in New York."
Blas Delgado, 25 April 2000

From <www.ngw.nl>: "The coat of arms of Lares is based upon a flag created by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán, who was an Puertorrican independence activist, born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico in 1827 and died in France in 1898. This flag created by 1867-68 was inspired by Dominican flag, because Dr. Betances was an Dominican Republic ambassador to France and by the Dominican support to the Puertorrican struggle for independence from Spain. This flag was presented by Manuel Rojas (an underground partner of Betances in Puerto Rico) to the underground Revolutionary Council meeting in Lares in June 1868 and the Council members approved it. The Lares flag was used officially for first time on the mountainous town of Lares on September 23, 1868 when a revolutionary underground army of volunteers took this town expelling its Spanish authorities and proclaimed in it the Republic of Puerto Rico the same day. The lack of reinforcements waited from outside and the superior firepower of Spaniards defeated the Revolutionary Army headed by Manuel Rojas on Sept. 24, 1868 in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico (a market town near west of Lares), and the revolution was crushed same day. The original Lares flag was taken by a Spain's army officer as a war prize and many years later transferred to the puertorrican people. Now is exhibited on University of Puerto Rico's Museum. The features of this flag (and over the coat of arms too) have this meaning:
- Top blue rectangles: Freedom from Spain
- White cross: Fatherhood and Equality for all Puertoricans
- Upper red rectangles: The blood restrained by independence fighters
- White star over left blue rectangle: the country free and independent
Many years later, in 1952, the Lares Municipality decided that the historical flag raised in 1868 must be the Municipality ensign too, in memory of the defeated Independence Revolution that Lares housed and supported. The coat of arms adopted same year has the same pattern of flag by the same reason. "
Nelson Román, 8 July 2004


Coat of Arms


by Nelson L. Román, 6 July 2004