Forts and Flags

February 21, 2022

Sentinel post in Castillo San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Delaney Marrs)

However, the cathedral is not the main attraction. Old San Juan is known more for its forts, Castillo de San Cristóbal and, most famously, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, or, in punchier terms, El Morro.

El Morro has a military history extending from Spanish colonization through World War II where it has stood guard over San Juan. 

Partnered with Fortín San Juan de la Cruz, El Cañuelo for nicknames sake, the Dutch, British, and pirates were all turned away from the shores of Spanish Puerto Rico. 

In the hands of the United States after the Spanish-American War, El Morro served in both world wars as a part of Fort Brooke. 

Today, kites can be seen flying over the vast green lawns that carpet the path to El Morro as children chase the iguanas that climb the fort’s walls. 

(Left to Right) The Puerto Rican, Burgundy Cross, and American flags fly over all of San Juan’s forts.

Designated both a National Park Service and World Heritage Site, El Morro is titled “Symbol of Power, Source of Pride” by one of the various signs that guide tourists through the winding levels of the castillo (Castle). 

This island and its mezcla of languages fly over the walls of all fortifications at San Juan National Historical sight. 

Three flags fly in line: that of the United States of America, Puerto Rico, all the way back to the Burgundy Cross which flew as the Spanish military flag under Spanish colonial rule. 

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