World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Taiwan Mean?

The national flag of Taiwan was first adopted in October 25, 1945.

Taiwan officially known as the ROC (Republic of China) is an Asian nation which is on the eastern parts of Asia. The official flag of Taiwan is red with a blue canton which has a white sun and twelve triangular rays. In Chinese it is described as a wholly red earth, white sun and blue sky to reflect the country’s attributes. The flag of Taiwan was used for the first time as a navy flag in 1912 in mainland China, before becoming their official flag in 1928.

History of the Flag of Taiwan

The first flag of this region was flown during the Tungning kingdom in 1663. It was a plain white flag with the word "zheng" written on a red-bordered circle. The Qing Dynasty flag was flown from 1683 to 1895 when Formosa was formed. The Flag of Formosa was a blue banner with a tiger and Azure clouds. Under the Japanese rule, the island used the Japanese flag from 1895 to 1945. The Taiwan government was created on January 1, 1912, and they selected a 5-colored flag as their provisional flag. The army used the 18-star flag, while their navy adopted the current flag. After Taiwan was transferred to China from Japan in 1945, the government approved the naval ensign as their flag in the article 6 of their 1947 constitution.

Symbolism of the Flag of Taiwan

The twelve white rays represent the twelve months in a year and the twelve shichens. A shichen is a traditional time unit which corresponds to about two present-day hours. The Red Earth was added to the flag to symbolize the blood of all the people who helped overthrow the Qing Dynasty and establish the Republic of China. The three colors correspond to the fundamental principles of the people of Taiwan; red symbolizes fraternity and people’s livelihood, white stands for equality and democracy, and blue represents liberty and nationalism.

The Kuomintang of China, one of the leading Chinese political parties, uses the white-and-blue canton as their flag. Due to the controversial and unique political status in the country, the Taiwan flag has developed a great deal of symbolism to the locals. It represented the fact that the ROC (Republic of China) and PRC (People’s Republic of China) are not governed by the same government. Since it was also used as the flag over the entire country (both the ROC and PRC), to some people, it represents a connection with mainland China and is a symbol of the continuity of the principles of Chinese nationalism.

Some people see it as an expression of pride and Chinese nationalism with their disapproval of the communist regime. It also represents the admiration and identification of the political thoughts of Sun Yat-Sen (the founding father of ROC) and his three ideals for his people.

Where Is the ROC Flag Banned?

Even though the flag of Taiwan is frowned upon and can result in an arrest if used in PRC, Cambodia is the only nation which has outlawed it officially. The Prime minister of Cambodia Hun Sen announced that it would be banned from being flown in Cambodia in February 2017 as the country’s commitment to supporting the one-China policy.

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