Civil Service Commission Chairperson Karlo Nograles urged civil servants to strive for patriotism by always respecting the Philippine flag as the country observes National Flag Days from 28 May to 12 June 2023.

Chairperson Nograles reminded government officials and employees of their sworn oath to observe the eight (8) norms of conduct mandated under the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which include “nationalism and patriotism”.

“Bilang mga kawani ng gobyerno, ugaliin po nating ipakita ang paggalang sa watawat hindi lang dahil sa ating sinumpaang tungkulin kundi dahil sa marubdob na pagmamahal sa bansa,” said Chairperson Nograles.

He also reiterated the need to comply with the provisions of R.A. No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which mandates that “reverence and respect shall at all times be accorded the flag, the anthem and other national symbols which embody the national ideals and traditions and which express the principles of sovereignty and national solidarity.”

The legislation requires that the flag should be appropriately displayed and raised, and it specifies that the flag ceremony during official or civic events should be conducted in simple and dignified manner. This involves all attendees standing in attention the moment the first note of the anthem is played, placing their right palms over their chests. Subsequently, the National Anthem should be sung correctly, followed by the recitation of the Panunumpa sa Watawat.

Additionally, the said law forbids mutilating, trampling, or any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag over its surface. It prohibits using the flag as a drapery, tablecloth, or covering for ceiling, statues, and other objects, as well as wearing the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform. The law also prohibits the addition of any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, advertisement, or imprint of any nature on the flag. Furthermore, it explicitly forbids printing, painting or attaching representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise, among other prohibited acts.

“May we always aspire to serve as examples for our stakeholders and fellow Filipinos in the way that we honor the flag not only during flag ceremonies but in and out of the office. Remember that patriotism is not just a requirement for civil servants. It is a virtue that leads to a common goal – national development,” Chairperson Nograles said.

By virtue of Proclamation No. 374, former President Diosdado Macapagal designated the 28th of May as the National Flag Day. This day serves as a tribute to the historic occasion when the national flag was first raised in Alapan, Imus, Cavite, in 1898. The momentous event took place after the Philippine Revolutionary Army emerged victorious in the Battle of Alapan, signifying the defeat of the Spanish forces.

Republic Act No. 6713, issued in 1998, modified the previous law by declaring 28 May to 12 June of each year as Flag Days. During that period, all offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, learning institutions, and private homes are enjoined to display the flag.