National Emblem of the People's Republic of China
|National Emblem of the People's Republic of China|
|Armiger||People's Republic of China|
|Adopted||20 September 1950|
|Escutcheon||Red disc with a representation below of Tiananmen Gate, the entrance gate of the Forbidden City as seen from the Tiananmen Square in Beijing and five stars above. The outer border is composed of sheaves of wheat and the inner border of sheaves of rice, with a cog-wheel at the center of the bottom portion of the border.|
The national emblem of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国国徽; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國國徽; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó guóhuī) contains in a red circle a representation of Tiananmen Gate, the entrance gate to the Forbidden City, where Mao declared the foundation of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Above this representation are the five stars found on the national flag. The largest star represents the Communist Party of China, while the four smaller stars represent the four social classes as defined in Maoism. The emblem is described as being "composed of patterns of the national flag":
...The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution and the yellow color of the stars the golden brilliant rays radiating from the vast red land. The design of four smaller stars surrounding a bigger one signifies the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
—China Yearbook 2004
The outer border of the red circle shows sheaves of wheat and the inner sheaves of rice, which together represent agricultural workers. At the center of the bottom portion of the border is a cog-wheel that represents industrial workers.
According to The Description of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (《中華人民共和國國徽圖案說明》), these elements taken together symbolise the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people since the May Fourth Movement and the coalition of the proletariat which succeeded in founding the People's Republic of China.
In 1949 the government held a competition for the design of the national emblem. There were two finalists. One group was from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts: Zhang Ding, Zhang Guangyu, Zhou Lingzhao, Zhong Ling, and the other group was from the Department of Architecture at Tsinghua University: Liang Sicheng, Lin Huiyin, Mo Zongjiang, Zhu Changzhong, Li Zongjin and Gao Zhuang. The design selected for the emblem was mainly based on Zhang Ding's proposal. The design proposed by Lin Huiyin, a jade disc with a large star in the center, was finally rejected.
Zhang's design was selected on June 10, 1950. Two groups then worked in a second round on designing the details of the emblem. The group of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin standardized the design of the Tian'anmen Gate on the emblem and selected red and yellow as the main colors. Their draft was selected and the design was standardized and simplified by Gao Zhuang. This design was officially made the national emblem on 20 September 1950 by the Central People's Government.