Flag of South Vietnam

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Gold Flag with 3 Red Stripes
Cờ vàng ba sọc đỏ
Flag of South Vietnam.svg
Name Flag of the Republic of Vietnam (Heritage and Freedom Flag - Lá cờ Tự Do và Di Sản)
Use Civil and state flag
Proportion 2:3
Adopted June 14, 1949
Design Yellow flag with three stripes.
Designed by Lê Văn Đệ
Flag of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces.svg
Variant flag of Gold Flag with 3 Red Stripes
Cờ vàng ba sọc đỏ
Name Flag of the RVNMF.
Use War flag
Design Yellow flag with three stripes, and the emblem of RVNMF (gold eagle) in the middle.
Designed by Design is a variant of the flag of South Vietnam.

The flag of South Vietnam was designed by Lê Văn Đệ in 1948 and was revived by Emperor Bảo Đại in 1948. It was the flag of the former State of Vietnam (the French-controlled areas in both Northern and Southern Vietnam) from 1949 to 1955 and later of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) from 1955 until April 30, 1975 when the south unconditionally surrendered to the north, to which it was officially joined in a unified Vietnam a year later. The flag consists of a yellow field and three horizontal red stripes and can be explained as either symbolising the unifying blood running through northern, central, and southern Vietnam, or as representing the symbol for "south" (as in, south from China (Viet Nam itself) and also 'nam' meaning south), in Daoist trigrams.

It is still used by many Vietnamese immigrants to other countries. The current Vietnamese flag is often considered offensive by them, for being representative of the current Communist regime - the regime most Overseas Vietnamese (Viet Kieu) fled from in the late 1970s and 1980s as Boat People.[1] From June 2002 onward, in the United States, at least 13 state governments, seven counties and 85 cities in 20 states have adopted resolutions recognizing the yellow flag as the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag.[2][3][4] In Vietnam, attempts to display this flag had resulted in prosecutions for "propaganda against the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam".[5]

Colors[edit]

Specifications. (Note that the width of the flag should be 4.5a instead of 4a; the height of the flag is equal to two-thirds of its width. Moreover the width of the red bands as well as the width of the separation between them should equal a/5, not 2/5a.)
Scheme Yellow Red
Pantone Yellow 116[citation needed] Red 032[citation needed]
CMYK 0.0.100.0[citation needed] 0.90.86.0[citation needed]
RGB (255,255,0)[citation needed] (250,60,50)[citation needed]
HTML #FFFF00[citation needed] #EF4135[citation needed]
NCS S 0570 G70Y[citation needed] S 0580 Y80R[citation needed]


Origins[edit]

Vietnamese Americans parading with the South Vietnamese flag during Tet in Little Saigon.

During the reign of Emperor Gia Long (1802–1820), the yellow flag was also used as the symbol of the Empire of Vietnam. This was continued as the Emperor's flag when the Court of Hue became a French protectorate.


In 1945 with the French ousted by Japan, Prime Minister Trần Trọng Kim of the newly restored Empire of Vietnam adopted another variant of the yellow flag. It included three red bands but the middle band was broken to form the Quẻ Ly Flag. Derived from the trigrams, Quẻ Ly is the sixth of the Bát Quái (the Eight Trigrams - (Ba gua) in I Ching): Càn, Khâm, Cấn, Chấn, Tốn, Ly, Khôn, Đoài. It was chosen to symbolize the "fabulous unicorn", the sun, fire, light, and civilization. And most importantly, it represents the southern lands, that is Vietnam. This flag was used briefly from June to August 1945 when Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated.

On 2 June 1948, the Chief of the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, Brigadier General Nguyen Van Xuan, signed the decree with the specifications for the Vietnamese National Flag as follows: "The national emblem is a flag of yellow background, the height of which is equal to two-thirds of its width. In the middle of the flag and along its entire width, there are three horizontal red bands. Each band has a height equal to one-fifteenth of the width. These three red bands are separated from one another by a space of the band's height." When the former Emperor Bảo Đại was made chief of state in 1949, this design was adopted as the flag of the State of Vietnam.

The three red bands have the divination sign of Quẻ Càn (乾), the first of the Eight Trigrams mentioned above. Quẻ Càn represents heaven. Based on the traditional worldview of the Vietnamese people, Quẻ Càn also denotes the South, the Vietnamese Nation, Vietnamese people, and the people's power. Another interpretation places the three red bands as symbols of the three regions of Vietnam: North, Central, and South.

With the foundation of the republic in 1955, the flag was adopted by the successor state, the Republic of Vietnam (more commonly known as South Vietnam). It was the national flag for the entire duration of that state's existence (1955–1975) from the First Republic to the Second Republic. With the capitulation of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the Republic of Vietnam came to an end and the flag ceased to exist as a state symbol. Afterwards, it has been adopted by many in the Vietnamese diaspora to symbolically distance themselves from the Communist government and continues to be used either as an alternative symbol for ethnic unity or as a protest tool against the current government.

Political significance[edit]

Overseas Vietnamese commemorating the Fall of Saigon as Black April and pro-democracy rally
Vietnamese-American Heritage flag displayed along El Cajon Blvd, San Diego in commemoration of April 2010

The flag of the former South Vietnam (also used under Emperor Thành Thái) remains highly controversial, particularly in the case of Vietnamese Americans, Vietnamese Australians, and other Vietnamese around the world who fled Vietnam after the war, who call it the "Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag."

Displaying this flag in public in Vietnam have resulted in prosecutions for propaganda against the state.[5]

In the United States, virtually no Vietnamese Americans use the current flag of Vietnam,[6] which many of them consider offensive. Instead, they use the flag of South Vietnam as their symbol. The same is true for Vietnamese Canadians in Canada, Vietnamese Germans in western Germany, for Vietnamese in the Netherlands, France and Norway, and for Vietnamese Australians in Australia.

  • In 1965, the South Vietnamese flag's design was incorporated into the Vietnam Service Medal which was created by President Lyndon Johnson and designed by Thomas Hudson Jones and Mercedes Lee.
  • When a Vietnamese American video tape store owner displayed the current flag of Vietnam and a photo of Ho Chi Minh in front of his store in Westminster, California, in 1999, a month-long protest against it climaxed when 15,000 people held a candlelight vigil one night, sparking the Hitek Incident (Hitek was the name of the store).[7]
  • A faux pas by the United States Postal Service in using the current Vietnamese flag in a brochure to represent the Vietnamese American community that it serves caused outrage among Vietnamese Americans and resulted in an apology.
  • In 2004, many Vietnamese American students at the California State University, Fullerton threatened to walk out on their graduation ceremony when the university chose to use the current flag of Vietnam to represent its Vietnamese students. The Vietnamese American students demanded that the university use the former flag of South Vietnam instead. This resulted in the university scrapping all foreign flags for the ceremony.
  • In 2006, Vietnamese-American students at the University of Texas at Arlington protested against the use of the Vietnamese flag in the Hall of Flags in Nedderman Hall and the exclusion of the South Vietnamese flag at a cultural diversity show during International Week.[8] After weeks of protests, the university decided to scrap all flags from the display.
  • During World Youth Day 2008, tensions flared between the 800 Vietnamese pilgrims who used the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the 2300 Vietnamese Australians pilgrims who used the Republic of Vietnam flag.[9]
  • In 2008, many protested against Nguoi Viet Daily News, a Vietnamese-language newspaper in Orange County, California, for publishing a photograph of an art installation[10] depicting a foot spa bearing the colors of the flag.[11]
  • The from 2002 onward, the lobbying efforts of Vietnamese Americans resulted in the state governments of Virginia, Hawaii, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma,[3] Louisiana,[12] Ohio,[13] California,[14] Missouri,[15] Pennsylvania,[16] and Michigan[17] recognizing it as the symbol of the Vietnamese American Community. Also, at least 15 counties and 85 cities in 20 states have also adopted similar resolutions.[2][4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Viet Flag
  2. ^ a b States and Localities Recognizing the Vietnamese Freedom and Heritage Flag[dead link]
  3. ^ a b Quoc Ky Vietnam: A Map and List of state and city legislation recognizing the Freedom and Heritage Flag Retrieved 2013-8-7
  4. ^ a b Vietnamese American Television: List of states and cities that recognize the Vietnam Freedom and Heritage Flag Retrieved 2013-8-7
  5. ^ a b Tây Thành (2013-05-16). "Nguyễn Phương Uyên bị phạt 6 năm tù, Đinh Nguyên Kha 10 năm tù". Thanh Niên. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  6. ^ Christian Collet, Pei-te Lien (2009). The transnational politics of Asian Americans. Temple University Press. p. 67. 
  7. ^ KOCE, Saigon, USA, 2004
  8. ^ A.J. Eaton (2006-04-20). "Protests will last until finals week". The Shorthorn Online. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  9. ^ David Ramli (2008-07-15). "Vietnamese Flag Choice Sparks Ideological Debate". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  10. ^ art installation
  11. ^ My-Thuan Tran (2008-02-12). "Vietnamese Americans protest published photo". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  12. ^ Louisiana Legislature. "RS 49:153.3". Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  13. ^ Ohio Legislature, SB-114
  14. ^ Office of the Governor, Executive Order S-14-06
  15. ^ Missouri Legislature, HCR0026I
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Legislature, HR 863
  17. ^ Michigan Legislature, Resolution No. SR148 and HR16

External links[edit]

A explanation of the flag by the Flags of the World which is the website devoted to vexillology.