Flag of Taiwan

Flag of Taiwan
Country Taiwan
Population 23,923,276 (2023)
Area (Km²) 35,410
Сontinent Asia
Emoji 🇹🇼
  hex rgb
#FE0000 254, 0, 0
#000095 0, 0, 149
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255

The flag of the Republic of China, commonly referred to as the flag of Taiwan, consists of three colors: red, blue, and white. The blue canton (the top corner of the flag near the flagpole) contains a white circle with 12 pointed triangles around it, symbolizing the sun and rays.

What does the flag of Taiwan mean? 

  • The blue sky symbolizes the bright and direct character and ambition of the Chinese nation;
  • the white sun symbolizes frankness, justice and unselfishness, and teaches to have a pure heart and mind;
  • the red earth symbolizes the blood of revolutionary martyrs, sacrifice and courage.

The three colors also represent nationalism, civil rights, and socialism in the "Three Principles of Democracy" and symbolize freedom, equality, and fraternity.

If we take the symbol of the "Blue Sky with White Sun" separately, it has the following meaning:

  • The white sun is a symbol of revolution and the fact that democracy and freedom shine brightly throughout the world; 
  • the rays of the white sun are sharp, which means the progress of the revolution; 
  • the twelve rays represent the twelve months of the year and the twelve traditional shicheng (時辰; shíchén), i.e. twelve units of time corresponding to two modern hours.

In 1911, a newspaper in San Francisco published an article entitled "History of the Flag of the People's Republic of China" in which the flag was described as follows:

  • red is the color of blood, a symbol that freedom can only be achieved through bloodshed; 
  • blue - the color of the sky, which means justice, i.e. equality;
  • white is the color of purity. People are able to show brotherhood only when their hearts are pure.

History of the Taiwanese flag - from five stripes to blue sky, white sun and red earth

The predecessor of the national flag of the People's Republic of China was the "White Sun and Blue Sky Flag" designed by revolutionary martyr Lu Haodong in the fall of 1893, two years after the founding father convened the first meeting in Hong Kong to approve the use of this flag as the military flag of the revolution, which has since been used as a banner in many uprisings, revealing the meanings of "light and righteousness" and "freedom and equality."

In 1906, it was proposed to use the white sun and blue sky flag as the national flag to honor the memory of the designer Lu Haodong and all the martyrs of the revolution, but Huang Xin thought it was too monotonous and simple, and similar to the Japanese flag. So they came up with the idea to add red to make the flag more aesthetically pleasing and to encompass the three meanings: Freedom, Equality and Fraternity.

History of the Taiwanese flag - from five stripes to blue sky, white sun and red earth

After the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, views on the national flag varied among the union states. The founding father favored a red flag, but it was not immediately adopted. Instead, a five-color flag was approved, symbolizing the culture and understanding of the different ethnic groups in China. The founding father did not make his resolution on the flag public and appealed to the Provisional Senate not to vote on the resolution until an elected Congress was established. However, the result of the vote became public knowledge and the five-color flag was adopted as the national flag. This flag was used until the transfer of power to interim President Yuan Shikai in February 1912. Later, on May 10, the Provisional Senate supported the previous resolution, so the five-color flag continued to be the national flag until 1928.

In 1921, the president ordered the abolition of the five-color flag and the use of the blue sky, white sun, and red earth flag as the national flag. My father opposed the five-color flag for three reasons: 

  • The five-color flag was the official flag of the former Qing Dynasty, and it was wrong to use the official flag instead of the national flag;
  • the five-color flag represented five ethnic groups, and it was wrong to assign the five-color flag to five ethnic groups;
  • although it was said that the five ethnic groups were equal, the five-color flag was arranged in a top-to-bottom order, and there was still a hierarchy. 

In the 14th year of the Republic of China's existence (1925), the National Government of the Republic of China was established in Guangzhou, and the red flag was recognized as the national flag. The following year, the government set out on the Northern Expedition and planted the red flag wherever it went. After the expedition ended in 1928, the five-color flag became a thing of the past, and the red flag became the national flag of the entire country.