The flag of Cuba features five horizontal stripes of equal size, starting from the top: blue, white, and red, followed by another blue and white stripe. In the left-hand corner, there is a white star that is surrounded by a red background. The blue stripes represent the three departments into which Cuba was divided during its colonial era, while the white stripe represents the purity of the nation’s intentions. The red stripes represent the blood that was shed in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spain. The white star represents the unity of the Cuban people. The flag was designed by Narciso López, a Venezuelan who fought for Cuba’s independence, and it was first raised in 1850. The current design, which is slightly different, was adopted on May 20, 1902, when Cuba gained independence from the United States.