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University of the Philippines

Last modified: 2020-06-08 by Zachary Harden
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[University of the Philippines] image by Zachary Harden, 8 June 2020

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The University of the Philippines was founded on June 18, 1908 through Act No. 1870 of the Philippine Assembly. UP was the result of the Secretary of Public Instruction, William Morgan Shuster’s recommendation to the Philippine Commission, the upper house of the Philippine Assembly. The Act authorized the Governor General to establish the University of the Philippines in the “city of Manila, or at any point he may deem most convenient.” The UP was to give “advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training” to every qualified student regardless of “age, sex, nationality, religious belief and political affiliation.” The Second World War saw the destruction of several buildings of UP in Manila and Los Baños, Cebu and Iloilo. In 1947, the Philippine General Hospital formally became a part of UP through Executive Order No. 94. In 1948, under the stewardship of UP President Bienvenido Gonzales, much of the UP was transferred from its campus in Manila to bigger campus in Diliman, Quezon City. 1971 was the year when the Diliman Republic became the Diliman Commune. From January to February, the campus became a battleground between militant students protesting the deteriorating conditions of the country, and policemen. The students completely barricaded the campus and established full control of the facilities. There were several attempts by the police to assault the campus, but they were unsuccessful. In the succeeding years, UP has expanded much by establishing campuses and units in Baguio City; Miag-ao Iloilo; Tacloban City; San Fernando, Pampanga; Mintal, Davao; and the Open University based in Los Baños, Laguna. UP now has eight constituent universities with 17 campuses all over the country; it has 258 undergraduate programs and 438 graduate programs. Source:
Ivan Sache, 31 May 2020


The University of the Philippines (seat of UP System: Quezon City) displays a flag at, uploaded by "pianoforte" on 6 Jan 2008. It appears to be a red over green (the university's primary and secondary colors) horizontal bicolor with arms displaced toward the hoist. The main university website shows the arms at
Jan Mertens, 14 December 2008 and Ivan Sache, 31 May 2020

From a 2005 Protocol Guide, the former (?) flag of the university has the university seal (probably an older variant, from 1998) in full color and centered on the maroon/green bicolor.
Zachary Harden, 8 June 2020


The current seal of the University was approved by the Board of Regents at its 77th meeting on 25 February 1913. "The seal of the University shall be as approved by the Board of Regents. It shall be two inches in diameter (1.25 inches within the circle) and shall have the inscription "University of the Philippines system" [indeed, "University of Philippines") at the top and "1908" at the bottom. A constituent university may adopt the University seal indicating its name and year of establishment." (The 2005 Revised Code of the University of the Philippines System, Art. 467) The interior circle (where the shield is located) is 62.5% smaller than the outer circle of the seal. It contain the eagle perched on the shield that holds a representation for different fields and specializations in the University [agriculture, engineering, and medicine]. The circular baseline of the type "University of Philippines" is 43% smaller than the outer circle. The circles, type, eagle and shield are vertically aligned to the center.

The color of the outline and the logotype is yellow (to approximate gold). It delineates and defines each section. Th background color of the outer circle and the upper part of the shield is forest green. The elements such as the eagle, the interior circle, and the lower part of the shield are in maroon and outlined in yellow. The University of Philippines has four institutional colors. The first two colors are based on Art. 465 of The 2005 Revised Code of the University of the Philippines System . These are: - Maroon (Pantone 1955C) which is the primary color of the University; - Forest green (Pantone 7484C) which is its complementary color. The next two colors are: - Gold (Pantone 1235C) which is applicable only as an accent color and provides definition to the details and main sections of the field; - Spot Black which is used for the logotype. Source: Visual Identity Guidebook 2017

The first seal of UP, adopted at the university's foundation, was adapted from the coat of arms of the Philippines approved by the Philippine Commission in 1905. It showed an eagle with outstretched wings on the crest of a shield that symbolized the city of Manila and the 13 colonies of America which fought for independence against Great Britain. Like the eagle in the coat of arms of the Philippines, the eagle in the University Seal was the American bald or white-headed type. This was the same eagle which appeared on the Seal that was approved in 1913. Several variations of the eagle can be gleaned, however, from the different instances in which the university has appeared from the 1910s to the present. These mutations include the positioning of the wings, the direction where the head turns, and the icons that represent the fields of specialization in the University. The University was also as the foundation upon which Filipino nationalism would take root. Conscious of its role in national development, the University initiated a move to redesign its coat of arms which was seen as a remnant of colonialism. President Salvador P. Lopez opened a competition through Memorandum Circular dated November 13, 1971. He stated, “Just as a new seal was designed for the Philippines when it became independent in 1946, so a new seal for the University should have been designed and adopted at that time…. The eagle appears to be particularly inappropriate as the dominant element in the seal of the university.” The winning design was made by Galo B. Ocampo, then director of the National Museum. The move to adapt it as the new university seal was deferred by the Board of Regents for further study.
Ivan Sache, 31 May 2020