What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The National Flag Of China Mean?

By Joseph Kiprop on September 22 2017 in World Facts

The official flag of China.
The official flag of China.

The flag used by the People's Republic of China has a red field featuring five golden stars. The flag is mainly used in the territories of Mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong. The initial flag was raised on October 1, 1949, by the People's Liberation Army at an event to proclaim the establishment of the People's Republic. The first flag was raised on a pole overlooking the Tiananmen Square situated in Beijing.

History Of The National Flag Of China

Notice to hand in national flag designs was given on July 4, 1949, by the Preparatory Committee working under the New Political Consultative Conference. The notice had four requirements such as the inclusion of Chinese and power characteristics and a bright red color. The notice also dictated that the shape had to be rectangular with a length-breadth ration of 3:2. On reading the announcement, Zeng Liansong went to work on his design, drawing inspiration from the stars visible in the night sky, a Chinese proverb, and a speech by Mao Zedong. Zeng then sent his design to the committee around mid-August. By August 20, 1949, 2,992 designs had been received by the committee. After extensive consultations, Zeng's design was adopted and modified, and it was published in the People's Daily on September 29, 1949. Zeng was compensated with 5 million yuan for his design.

Colors Of The Chinese Flag

Red serves as a traditional color of the Chinese society. The color also denotes the Communist Revolution and the blood of the individuals who lost their lives in the course of the Japanese invasion and the civil war. The Manchu dynasty has yellow as its official color. The yellow color further implies that the Chinese people are of the “yellow race.”

Stars In The National Flag Of China

The five stars and their association represents the unity of the Chinese under the rule of the Communist Party of China. The biggest star represents the country's Communist Party. The rest of the four stars imply the four traditional classes noted to exist in Chinese society by Mao Zedong's "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship." These classes are the national bourgeoisie, the peasantry, the working class, and the urban petite bourgeoisie. The working class denotes the population employed in exchange for wages while the peasantry implies the farmers who support an agrarian society. The five stars are sometimes regarded to represent the five main Chinese ethnic communities namely the Han Chinese, Uyghurs, Hui Chinese, Zhuang, and the Manchus. This stipulation is considered as a mistaken association with the "Five Races Under One Union" flag which was used by the Beiyang government from 1912 to 1928 and whose colored stripes represented the Tibetans, Manchus, Han Chinese, Mongols, and Hui Chinese.

Construction Details Of China's Flag

The construction sheet for the Chinese flag was published through an order from the First Plenary Session’s Presidium under the Chinese People Political Consultative Conference on September 28, 1949. The Standardization Administration of China also released the construction details in the “GB 12982-2004: National flag” document. The law concerning the national flag stipulates five potential sizes that can be made for the country’s flag. People’s governments of provinces, municipalities, and autonomous territories have the power to authorize firms to make a copy of the national flag.

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