Flag of China
|Name||Wǔ-xīng Hóng Qí ("Five-star Red Flag")|
|Use||Civil and state flag, civil and state ensign|
|Adopted||27 September 1949|
|Design||A large golden star within an arc of four smaller golden stars, in the canton, on a field of red.|
|Designed by||Zeng Liansong|
Flag of the People's Liberation Army
|Design||A red field with a yellow star at the canton, and the Chinese numerals for "8" and "1", the date of the PLA's establishment on 1 August 1927.|
|Flag of the People's Republic of China|
|Literal meaning||People's Republic of China flag|
|Five-star Red Flag|
The flag of the People's Republic of China, also known as the Five-star Red Flag, is a red field charged in the canton (upper corner nearest the flagpole) with five golden stars. The design features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle set off towards the fly (the side farthest from the flag pole). The red represents the communist revolution; the five stars and their relationship represent the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The flag is now mostly used within PRC-controlled territories of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The flag was designed by Zeng Liansong, a citizen from Wenzhou, Zhejiang. He designed it in response to a circular distributed by the Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference (Chinese: 新政治协商会议筹备会; pinyin: Xīn Zhèngzhì Xiéshāng Huìyì Chóubèi Huì) in July 1949, shortly after they came to power following the Chinese Civil War. The design competition received 2,992 (or 3,012, see below) entries, and Zeng's design was put into a pool of 38 finalists. After several meetings and slight modifications, Zeng's design was chosen as the national flag. The first flag was hoisted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on a pole overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square on 1 October 1949, at a ceremony announcing the founding of the People's Republic.
Other flags used in the People's Republic of China use a red background to symbolize the revolution in conjunction with other symbols. The flag of the People's Liberation Army uses the gold star with the Chinese characters 8-1 (for 1 August, the date of the PLA's founding). The flag of the Communist Party of China replaces all of the stars with the party emblem. Due to government regulations, cities and provinces of China cannot have their own flags; the only sub-national flags that exist are those of the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions. Despite this, at least two cities have adopted flags after the law was passed. The cities of Kaifeng and Shangrao adopted their flags in March 2006 and March 2009 respectively. This implies that the law is either repealed or not enforced.
On 4 July 1949, the sixth working group of the Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference (新政治協商會議籌備會, PCNPCC) created a notice to submit designs for the national flag. After a few changes, the notice was published in the papers People's Daily, Beiping Liberation News, Xinmin News, Dazhong Daily, Guangming Daily, Jinbu Daily and Tianjin Daily during a period between 15-26 July. The list requirements for the national flag were also posted in the notice:
- Chinese characteristics (Geography, nationality, history, culture, etc.)
- Power characteristics (A people's democratic government, led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance.)
- The shape should be rectangular and the length-breadth ratio should be 3:2
- The colour should mainly be bright red(an early draft of the notice had the colour at dark red, but was changed to bright red by Zhou Enlai).
Zeng Liansong was working in Shanghai at the time the announcement came out; he wanted to create a flag design to express his patriotic enthusiasm for the new country. In the middle of July, he sat down in his attic for multiple nights to come up with designs. His inspiration for the current design comes from the stars shining in the night sky. He thought of a Chinese proverb "longing for the stars, longing for the moon", (盼星星盼月亮, pàn xīngxīng pàn yuèliàng) which shows yearning. Later, he realized that the CPC was the great savior (大救星, dà jiùxīng) of the Chinese people, being represented by a larger star. The idea of four small stars came from On the People's Democratic Dictatorship a speech by Mao Zedong, which defined the Chinese people as consisting of four social classes. Yellow also implies that China belongs to the Chinese people, a "yellow race". After working out the details of the placement of the stars and their sizes (he had tried to put all of the stars in the center, but believed it would be too heavy and dull), he sent his "Five Stars on a Field of Red" (紅地五星旗, hóng dì wǔxīng qí) design to the committee in the middle of August.
As of 20 August, a total of 2,992 (or 3,012) designs were sent to the flag committee, which included input from committee members themselves, such as Guo Moruo and Tan Kah Kee. From August 16 to 20, the designs were viewed at the Beijing Hotel and culled down to a list of 38. These designs are collected into a book named A Reference of National Flag Designs (國旗圖案參考資料). This book was then submitted to the newly established Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) for further discussion. However, Zeng's design was not included until Tian Han nominated it again.
On the morning of 23 September, the representatives of the CPPCC discussed the national flags, but came to no conclusion. Some disliked the symbolism which Zeng attached to the four smaller stars, and said it should not include the bourgeoisie. The design Mao and others liked had a giant golden star in the corner on a red flag that was charged with a golden horizontal bar. But this design was strongly opposed by Zhang Zhizhong due to the golden bar symbolizing the tearing apart of the revolution and the country. In the night, Peng Guanghan (彭光涵) recommended Zeng's design to Zhou Enlai, Zhou was satisfied with it and asked for a larger copy of the design to be made. Tan Kah Kee also gave his advice to Mao and Zhou that the power characteristics are more important than Chinese geography characteristics, so there was no need to insist on the golden bar which stands for the Yellow River. Two days later, Mao had a meeting in his office about the flag. He persuaded everyone to adopt Zeng's design, with some slight modifications. According to earlier discussions at the Beijing Hotel, the hammer and sickle from Zeng's original design was removed since it was similar to the Flag of the Soviet Union. On 27 September 1949, Zeng's modified design was selected unanimously by the First Plenary Session of CPPCC, which changed the flag's name to "Five-star Red Flag".
On 29 September the new flag was published in the People's Daily, so the design could be copied by other local authorities. The flag was officially unveiled in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 1 October 1949, the formal announcement of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The first flag flown over Tiananmen Square was sewn together by Zhao Wenrei (赵文瑞), a seamstress who finished the task around 1 pm on 30 September. Zeng had a hard time believing that his design was picked, due to the missing hammer and sickle from the giant star. However, he was officially congratulated by the General Office of the People's Government as the designer of the flag and received 5 million yuan for his work.
According to the current government interpretation of the flag, the red background symbolises the revolution and the golden colours were used to "radiate" on the red background. The five stars and their relationship represents the unity of Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The orientation of the stars shows that the unity should go around a center. In the original description of the flag by Zeng, the larger star symbolizes the Communist Party of China, and the four smaller stars that surround the big star symbolize the four social classes (the working class, the peasantry, the urban petite bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie) of Chinese people mentioned in Mao's "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship". The five stars that formed an ellipse represent the territory of China (including Outer Mongolia) which is shaped like a Begonia leaf. It is sometimes stated that the five stars of the flag represent the five largest ethnic groups: Han Chinese, Zhuangs, Hui Chinese, Manchus and Uyghurs. This is generally regarded as an erroneous conflation with the "Five Races Under One Union" flag, used 1912–28 by the Beiyang Government of Republic of China, whose different-coloured stripes represented the Han Chinese, Hui Chinese, Manchus, Mongols and Tibetans.
Construction details, sizes and colours
The construction sheet for the national flag was published on 28 September 1949 by an order from the Presidium of the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The information can also be found in the document "GB 12982-2004: National flag" that was released by the Standardization Administration of China.
Improper adherence to these flag dimensions have led to embarrassing diplomatic incidents. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Chinese flags used during the opening ceremony and two medal ceremonies featured the four small stars incorrectly angled in the same direction, inciting fury in the Olympic organisers.
The Law on the National Flag mentions five possible sizes that could be made for the national flag: According to Article four of the Law On the National Flag, people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government are directed to authorize companies to make any copy of the national flag. Besides five official sizes for flying on flagpoles, there are another four smaller sizes for other purpose, such as decoration on cars or display in the meeting room.
|Length × width (cm)||288 × 192||240 × 160||192 × 128||144 × 96||96 × 64||66 × 44||45 × 30||30 × 20||21 × 14|
The colours of the national flag are regulated in the document "GB 12983-2004: Standard Colour Sample of the National Flag," also released by the Standardization Administration of China. The colours are in the CIE Standard illuminant D65 and the CIE 1964 Supplementary Standard Colourimetric System.
|Fabric||Stimulus ValueY10||Colour Coordinate||Allowable Error Margin|
|Synthetic fiber||Red||9.4||0.555||0.328||All are
|Sleeve||White||78.0||–||–||The stimulus value Y10 must not be less than 78|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
The current law about the national flag was passed by 14th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on 28 June 1990 and was enforced starting 1 October 1990. The main point of the law was to not only set down regulations on how to make the Chinese flag, what it looks like, where it can be flown and how it can be flown. The law also stresses that the national flag is "the symbol and hallmark of the People's Republic of China" and that everyone "shall respect and care for the National Flag."
Folding the flag
- Fold horizontally along the centre.
- Repeat, fold horizontally along the centre.
- Fold vertically along the centre of the flag.
- Repeat, fold vertically along the centre of the flag.
- Repeat, fold vertically along the centre of the flag.
Flags of the Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China
Due to an order passed by the CPC Central Committee General Office and General Office of the State Council, cities and provinces are no longer allowed to adopt their own symbols. However, both of the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions of China have their own special flags. The precise use of the SAR flags are regulated by laws passed by the National People's Congress.
The Regional Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region features a stylized, white, five-petal Bauhinia blakeana flower in the center of a red field. On each petal is a red star; the stars demonstrate that Hong Kong residents love their motherland while the overall flag design signifies the link re-established between post-colonial Hong Kong and China while demonstrating the "One country, two systems" political principle applied to the region. The flag of Hong Kong was adopted on 16 February 1990. On 10 August 1996, it received formal approval from the Preparatory Committee, a group which advised the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the PRC in 1997. The flag was first officially hoisted on 1 July 1997, in the handover ceremony marking the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China.
The Regional flag of the Macau Special Administrative Region is "Macau green" with a lotus flower above a stylized image of the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and water in white, beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large star in the center of the arc and four smaller ones. The lotus was chosen as the floral emblem of Macau. The Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge is a bridge linking the Macau Peninsula and the island of Taipa. The bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the territory. The water beneath the lotus and the bridge symbolize Macau's position as a port and its role played in the territory. The five five-pointed stars echo the design of the national flag, symbolizing the relationship Macau has with its mother country. The design was chosen on 15 January 1993 by a committee that was drafting the Basic Law for the Macau SAR and was formally adopted by the Macau SAR Preparatory Committee on 16 January 1999. The flag was first officially hoisted on 20 December 1999, in the handover ceremony marking the transfer of sovereignty from Portugal to China.
There are five flags that are used by the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The main feature of these flags is a golden star at the top left corner and two Chinese characters "八一" to the right of the star, all placed on a red background. The characters "八一" (literally "eight one") pay homage to the events on 1 August 1927 (8th month, 1st day); this was when the PLA was created by the Communist Party to start their rebellion against the Kuomintang Government in Nanchang. The main flag of the PLA was created on June 15, 1949 by a decree issued from Mao. The flag has a ratio of 4 by 5, which has a white sleeve measuring 1⁄16 of the flag's length. For ceremonies, a PLA flag with golden fringe is placed on a pole with gold and red spiral stripes and topped with a golden finial and red tassel. Each branch of the PLA, the Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force, also have their own flags to use. In a 1992 order, the flags of the three branches were defined. The top 5⁄8 of the flags is the same as the PLA flag; the bottom 3⁄8 are occupied by the colours of the branches. The flag of the Ground Forces has a forest green bar at the bottom, the naval ensign has stripes of blue and white at the bottom, the Air Force uses a sky blue bar and the Rocket Force uses a yellow bar at the bottom. The forest green represents the earth, the blue and white stripes represent the seas, the sky blue represents the air and the yellow represents the flare of missile launching.
After the Communist Party of China was founded in 1920, various sections of the party made flags based on what the Bolsheviks used, producing various designs and patterns. The current flag of the CPC was not created until 28 April 1942. On that date, the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau issued a decree announcing the flag and the pattern it should follow. The design was further defined in the CPC Constitution in 1996. The flag has a red background that is charged with the emblem of the CPC in gold at the top left corner. The flag ratio is defined as two by three (24×36 units); the size of the emblem is eight units square, placed four units away from the hoist and three units away from the top of the flag.
The flag of the Communist Youth League of China was adopted on 4 May 1950. The design of the flag consists of the group emblem, a gold star surrounded by a ring of gold, charged on a red field. The construction of the flag consists of making the top hoist portion of the flag into twelve by eighteen units, placing the emblem in the middle of that rectangle. The radius of the emblem is four units.
There are two flags used by the Young Pioneers of China. The first flag that is used is for large detachments. The length of the flag is 90 centimetres and the width is 120 centimeters. A golden badge of the Young Pioneers is placed in the center of the flag. For a medium detachment, a modified flag is used. The flag has a length of 60 centimetres and a width of 80 centimetres. A 20-centimeter triangle is cut out of the fly edge of the flag and the golden emblem is shifted closer towards the hoist.
Flag of the Republic of China (1912-1928). This Five-coloured flag was used.
The Flag of the Reorganized National Government of China was based on the Flag of the Republic of China. After this the Chinese Civil War started.
- Emblem of the People's Republic of China
- March of the Volunteers
- Flag of the Republic of China
- Red flag
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