Cherry trees, crystal skies and green, hilly countryside – that’s South Korea pretty much summed up. It is located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula and has developed cities like Seoul, which also happens to be its capital. South Korea’s flag is thought-provoking and quite unique. It’s a blend of various patterns, colors and shapes. Popularly known as Taegukgi, it comes in three parts. A white rectangular background, red and blue Taeguek in it’s center, and four black trigrams in each corner.
History of the South Korean Flag
Korea never had a flag before 1876, and it was only after the separation of North and South Korea that the Korean government decided to have its own official flag. Though during negotiations with Japan ,Japanese government has their own flag while Korea did not, it was only until several other negotiations took place after which the government decided to create it’s own national flag. In 1949, the current flag became the official one.
Symbolism of the South Korean Flag
The South Korean Flag is unique amongst the flags in the world. The white color represents purity and peace. It also symbolizes the traditional Korean dress which is a white attire. The ying-yang symbolizes the balance which should be maintained and the blue represents negative cosmic energies while the red represents positive cosmic energies.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the fun facts.
Fun Facts About South Korean Flag For Kids
- This flag was used by both North and South Korea until North Korea got separated in 1948 and it had a different flag ever since.
- Despite the rivalries and present relations between North and South Korea, they ensure they have a unified flag in events like sports in which both the nations participate.
- Trigrams not only represent the Yin-Yang concept, but they also represent sun, moon, heaven and earth in four seasons and directions.
- Park Yeong Hyo is accredited to designing the flag.
- White color symbolizes purity and peace which is the Korean ideology too (in line with their traditional dress).
- The Yin-Yang concept also symbolizes the universal balance with blue (negative cosmic energies) and red (positive cosmic energies).
- It is called the Taegukgi flag as the name comes from the so called Taegeuk symbol found in the middle of the flag.
- Koreans who wore the traditional attire were also known as the white clad people of Korea.
- A recent study discovered that only one third of the South Koreans have a Taegeukgi flag at home, while in the early 2000s, almost everyone had it.
- The dynamics within the sentiments of the South Koreans have changed to a extent where they do not consider hoisting a physical flag on their national holidays as they used to in the past.
- In the 21st century, the Koreans too, are particular about their sentiments and opt for digital ways for most situations. They choose a digital version of the flag to display on their social media on national holidays instead of physical flags.
The Status of Taegeukgi Today
The South Korean Flag is filled with patriotism and dense history along with symbolism. However, ever since the last five years, the flag has some negative aura as well. This is attributed majorly to the Taegeukgi rallies which are carried out by far right groups in Korea. These people gather with these flags at Gwanghwanun square.
Unfortunately, such gatherings are disliked by the general public after many citizens decided to show up without taking any precautions and violating the SOPs during the coronavirus pandemic. These people were seen without a face mask in the second wave of the pandemic.
Sentiments aside, majority of the public frowned upon this, as many could have been affected by the airborne virus. On the other hand, these people who gather are called Taegeukgi Units as they claim to be representing patriotism for their country, to lift spirits by waving the Taegeukgi flags too.
Such public gatherings are strictly prohibited considering the COVID-19 situation. Though many countries have eased the restrictions, SOPs violation is still not appreciated by majority of the audience of South Korea. Therefore, at present, the celebratory, patriotic gatherings, are too, frowned upon.
South Korea’s flag makes a very innovative one throughout the world and can be identified from afar. It can be safely assumed that this flag still remains a reason for the peace and unity established amongst the North and South Korea. In major world events, they are always represented by this one, single flag, making them unified.