The Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi is the considered as the original Rizalist group. The sect was established on December 25, 1936. Rev. Fr. Luis Fabrigar and Jose Valincunoza was the sect's first Supreme Bishop and president respectively. According to another source the sect was founded by
Arsenio de Guzman but followers of another early leader, Gaudioso Parabuac contested that claim.
The sect's headquarters is located in Calamba, Laguna and has established 100 chapters throughout the Philippines. In the 1980s, the number of Rizalista converts was about 100,000 the highest amount in sect's history.
Beliefs and practices :
The Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi requires aspiring priest to study in an institution somewhere in Bicol. Their priests are also allowed to marry after they have served the church for at least five years. Sect officials are not paid and are supported by donations by the sect's financially able members.
Alongside the Bible, they also have the Sugong Kayumanggi (lit. The Brown Messenger), the second most important book for the sect. Rizal's two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo is considered by some as the sect's counterpart of the Bible of the Catholics by some eleders
They also have only three commandments as opposed to the ten by the Catholic Church. The Rizalistas are taught to love God, people and society. Recently love for the environment were added to their teachings.
The birth and death anniversary of Rizal are considered one of the most important holiday for the sect. During these days the sect celebrates Misa de Tres an elaborate celebration of flowers, flags and parades. Gomburza Day, Bonifacio Day and other national holidays are also important holidays for the sect. The sect also celebrates Christmas every October 3, the date they consider as the true birthday of Jesus Christ.
During many religious celebrations, sect members often wear clothing with the colors of the Philippine flag.
The Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi believes that Rizal is the incarnation of Holy Spirit. They believed that Rizal was never truly killed during his execution in Bagumbayan. The point out that when Rizal's body was about to be exhumed in Paco Park, Rizal was nowhere to be found and that a tree trunk and a pair of shoes was found at the site. They believed that Rizal is still living in Mount Makiling
The sects has its version on the account of Jose Rizal's life. Jose Rizal as a baby was found by Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo, who were recorded by documented historical accounts as his biological parents. The couple wanted to baptize Rizal as Jove Rex Al, but the name was turned down due to it being close to Christ's name by the officiating Catholic priest. The baby was then baptized as Jose Rizal. The first preachers of the sect were referred to as the Banal na Tinig (lit. Holy Sound). They are believed to be able to communicate with Rizal, who lived in Makiling.
One of the symbols of the Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi, clearly influenced by Masonry is the triangle with the " eye of God " and three stars on it .