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General information
National symbols

National flower

The White Mariposa or Butterfly Jasmine(Hedychium Coronarium Koenig). An endemic jasmine species used by the Cuban women in the wars of independence to pass messages to the battlefields. It symbolizes purity, rebelliousness and independence.

It grows in humid places as banks of rivers and lagoons, but it is also cultivated in yards and gardens of many Cuban houses.

National bird

The Tocororo or Cuban trogon (Priotelus temnurus). Autochthonous bird related to the quetzal. The Tocororo's feathers exhibit the colors of the Cuban flag: red, blue and white.

National tree

The Royal Palm. Although it is not indigenous of Cuba, it is present in the country's whole landscape and symbolizes the undeniable character of the Cuban people, as it endures the most furious gales on foot, without falling.

In most cases, its height varies between 40 and 50 feet and it is crowned with a beautiful crest. This is one of the many trees that grow in Cuba; its majestic structure and height, as well as its strength and its many uses have earned it to be called all over the country as the queen of our fields.

The Flag

It was first raised in the city of Cárdenas (Matanzas Province), when in 1850 a group of insurrectionist took up arms against the Spanish colonial power.

The three blue stripes represent the departments that the Island was divided into at that time. The two white stripes evoke the purity of the intentions for independence of the people. The equilateral triangle stands for freedom, equality and fraternity. Its red color is the announcement of the blood that would be necessary to shed in order to reach the independence. The white and lone star is the symbol of absolute freedom among the other people.

When the War of Independence started, on October 10, 1868, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes ordered another flag designed; that one now stands next to the national emblem in the hall of sessions of the Cuban Parliament.
The Shield

It is shaped like an ogival shield. Its upper section portrays a golden key that symbolizes Cuba's key position among the two Américas, therefore the name "The Key to the Gulf". The rising sun stands for the emergence of a new nation. The three blue stripes, separated by two white ones, represent the departments that Cuba was divided into, during the colonial period. The Royal Palm that appears in the third space or quarter, represents the noble and serene firmness of the Cuban people.
The National Anthem

It was the patriot Perucho Figueredo who composed, in 1867, the music of the Anthem. Later, in 1868, when the independence forces seized the city of Bayamo (Granma Province), Figueredo himself wrote the words:

People of Bayamo, to arms in the battle

that the Homeland contemplates you proudly

Fear not a glorious death, for dying for the Homeland is like living. To remain in chains is to live in dishonor and vile subjugation

O, hark to the call of your nation

take up arms, all ye brave sons

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