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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Design of the PH flag has NOT been changed

It's still the same from 1898.

Jun 1, 2020

VERA Files

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At least two netizens and a Facebook (FB) page published from May 29 to June 1 a fake graphic falsely claiming the Philippines will use a new design for the national flag beginning June 12, the country’s Independence Day.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the primary government agency in charge of preserving the country’s historical legacies, debunked this in a statement on its official FB page on June 1.

Translated from Filipino, it said: “THERE IS NO TRUTH TO THIS. The design of the Philippine Flag may only be changed by amending the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8491), which needs to undergo a plebiscite or referendum to be ratified.”

The untrue post featured an illustration of the supposed new design, changing the present two horizontal bands of blue and red, to three horizontal bands in a blue-red-blue scheme. The first version of the post, which has since been taken down, was published by an impostor page pretending to be the NHCP.

The circulating versions of the false post grabbed the fake flag uploaded by the fraudulent NHCP page and added this phrase to the new infographic: “Start June 12 2020 Well Change of New Flag.”

In a June 1 advisory, NHCP Executive Director Restituto Aguilar said the institution did not make the fake FB page, or advocate or support a new design for the national flag.

“The NHCP has neither the mandate nor the intent to change the current specifications of our National Flag,” he said.

The fallacious “change of new flag” infographic was published after the NHCP released on its FB page educational posters in celebration of National Flag Days, being observed from May 28 to June 12. The deceptive posts dubiously copied the layout of the May 28 and May 29 posts of NHCP.

The versions of the false post published by two netizens flagged by VERA Files have collectively been shared almost 200 times. The now-deleted post by the fake NHCP page, which received backlash from netizens who pointed out that it was a fraud, was shared over 900 times.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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