Being known as the third or fourth largest country by area and with the most population, China can also be referred to as The People’s Republic of China. The flag of China is also known as the National Flag of China or the Five starred Red at. It comprises of a red field charged in the canton with five golden stars. The flag features one large star accompanied by four smaller ones in the semicircle set off towards the sky.
Chinese flag is the one that we all get to see a lot – the rise of Socialist China brought forth the patriotism and thus, the flag is flown with honor in most events ranging from military parades to sporting events. Soon after the collapse of Soviet Union in around 1991, it is the most obvious socialist flag recognized around the world.
It can be argued though, that cuba, Vietnamese and North Korea’s flags are more socialist than that of China, but what makes the Chinese flag so distinct is the design of the flag which harms back to the Soviet flag which comprises of a yellow hammer and a sickle in the left corner towards the top. Likewise, China’s flag is similar to that in a sense that even it is red, with a large star and flanked by four smaller stars in the left corner towards the top.
History of the Chinese flag:
The Chinese flag was introduced to the vexillography rather late. China was an empire for a long period of time. This empire could overthrow dynasties and emperors, including foreign invasions. Yuan dynasty was established by the Mongols, while the Qing was established by Manchus. The Chinese people were used to being the centre of the world, with their emperor representing the most significant man in the world.
Interestingly, they had many flags, but never a national flag since there was no concept of nation. It was rather a civilization and a way of life, rather than a nation. In the late 19th century though, Qing dynasty did adopt a flag which consisted of a dragon with a yellow background. Since yellow was the national color of imperial China and thereby, resulted in designing the flag that way. Later on, when this dynasty was overthrown, a new Republic used a flag consisting of five horizontal stripes: red, white, yellow and black. These symbolised the five races of the Chinese people.
When Did The New Flag Come?
China underwent 14 years of Japanese occupation, followed by 4 more civil wars. Competition soon arose to design new flag of China. Quite surprisingly, they let the people of China choose the flag for the country. Many designs were presented with similar patterns, while the Communists kept their own flag for decades which consisted of red and yellow stars.
Symbolism of the Flag
Every flag represents something by its color and designs along with use of particular weapons on the flags. In this case, the Chinese flag features a red background which symbolises the blood of the martyrs resulting from efforts for China’s liberation. However, red is a sacred color for the Chinese people in general too. This color is often seen at the Chinese New year as well as at most weddings.
Generally said, the yellow stars signify unity of the Chinese people, but it has more technicalities to that. The large yellow star signifies the Chinese Communist Party which acted as a great unifier that controls much of the Chinese polity. On the other hand, the four smaller stars symbolise various revolutionary classes which would unite together to defeat Japanese in the WW2 as well as nationalists in the civil war.
Fun Facts about China’s Flag for Kids
- The first time the Chinese flag was flown was on October 1, at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
- The Chinese flag flies with honor and dignity at the Great Wall at Badaling.
- The flag’s proportion is divided between the ratio of 2:3.
- The Chinese flag was designed by Zeng Liansong.
- China has particular and rigid laws relating to it’s national flag.
- According to the law, the flag must be flown daily at the Gate of New China, Tiananmen Square, the State Council, immigration agencies, ports of entry and many other places.
- The Chinese flag is supposed to be raised in full time schools daily, exception is only made for Sundays and vacations.
- The appearance of the Chinese flag is distinct and vibrant owing to the red colored background with yellow stars.
- Before selecting Zeng’s design for the Chinese flag, there were many that Mao Zedong preferred for the Chinese flag.
- The respect for the national flag of China is written into the national penal code.
On a concluding note, China’s dense history makes up its flag and the symbolism within it. It represents solidarity, patriotism as well as love for its martyrs. Though many versions of the Chinese flag existed and were flown in many domains like army and navy, the current one too, serves the purpose very well. The rich patriotism has encouraged the Chinese government and its people to honor and respect it’s flag to the utmost – so much so, that certain code of conduct needs to be followed while raising it as well as discarding it (in case of damage of the flag). The Chinese people take pride in its history and has been a progressing community ever since.