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History of the Chinese Flag

Bhakti Satalkar Nov 3, 2018
The Chinese flag has a rather interesting history. Read on to know more.
When we talk about the Chinese flag, we are talking about the flag of the People's Republic of China and not about the Flag of the Republic of China. The Republic of China is what we commonly known as Taiwan.
The confusion also stems from the fact that both the flags have a predominant red background. However, the prints on the flag are different from one another. We will first see how the Chinese flag looks like, and then go on to read about its history.

Chinese Flag

The only colors in the Chinese flag are red and gold. The flag has a red background, and five golden stars in the upper left-hand quarter.
The design has one large star with four smaller stars, which make a semicircle on the right side of the big star. It looks like the four stars are flying away from the big star. Sometimes the flag is also called the "Five Star Red Flag".


Different meanings have been proposed for the flag's design. According to one belief, the red in the flag stands for revolution, which the country went through. The stars in the flag stand for the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
Another belief system says that the large star represents the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the four other stars are said to represent the four classes of people in China, as described by Mao Zedong.
The four classes, as categorized by Mao Zedong, are the workers, peasants, the bourgeoisie and patriotic capitalists. The red color in the flag is associated with communism, while the gold is said to symbolize the yellow race of the Chinese nation.


It is one of the few flags for which ideas were invited from the people of the country. In July 1949, an ad was placed in newspapers by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, asking for entries for the design of China's flag.
More than 3,000 ideas were received, out of which 38 possibilities were shortlisted, from which the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference was to decide. After a lot of deliberation, the design made by Zeng Liansong was chosen.
A small change was made to the design made by Zeng Liansong―a hammer and sickle from the center of the large star was removed. Yet the credit for the design of the flag was given to Zeng Liansong. The design was officially approved on September 27, 1949. The flag was adopted officially on October 1, 1949.
The flag was raised for the first time over Tiananmen Square by the then President of China, Mao Zedong, and citizens were able to see the flag for the first time.
There is a tradition followed in regards to the Chinese flag. It is raised at sunrise everyday and lowered at sunset in a simple ceremony everyday. These daily ceremonies take place in Beijing at the Tiananmen Square in front of a large crowd of spectators.