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Flag of the Republic of China

Flag Ratio: 1:2

The Flag of the Republic of China is currently used on Taiwan and is therefore often incorrectly identified as the flag of Taiwan. It is referred to as "Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth (青天、白日、滿地紅 in pinyin: qing1 tian1, bai2 ri4, man3 di4 hong2)".


The modern form originated from the "Blue Sky with a White Sun" Flag (青天白日旗 qing1 tian1 bai2 ri4 qi2) designed by Lu Hao-tung in 1895 to represent the revolutionary army, and later became the the Kuomintang party flag and coat of arms.  The "red earth" portion was added by Sun Yat-sen in winter of 1906, bringing the flag to its modern form. 

In 1911, the "Blue Sky with a White Sun" Flag became the navy flag of the new Republic of China in Nanjing, with the national flag being a five-horizontal stripped one, the Five-coloured Flag (五色旗) (a popular choice supported by the Senate), that represents the five nationalities of China with the longest history: Red (the Han), yellow (the Manchus), blue (the Mongols), white (the Hui), and black (the Tibetan). Sun Yat-sen, however, did not consider the five-coloured flag appropriate, offering the explanation that horizontal order implies a hierarchy or class, like those existed in the Empire.

In 1913, as Yuan Shikai overtook China, Sun Yat-sen moved the nominal government to Tokyo and employed the modern flag as the national ROC flag. But even after the ROC was re-established on the Mainland in 1928, and the modern flag was made official in December 17, the Five-coloured Flag was continued to be still used commonly by the locals in unofficial capacity.

In October 23, 1954, the Law of the National Emblem and National Flag of the Republic of China (「中華民國國徽國旗法」) was promuglated to specify the size, measure, ratio, production, and management of the flag. The gist, and the details of flag making, described in this legal document is taught in the mandatory scout classes in Taiwanese junior high schools.


In the "Blue Sky with a White Sun" Flag by Lu Hao-tung, the twelve rays of the white sun symbolize the twelve months and the twelve traditional Chinese hours (時辰 shi2 chen0), each of which correspond to two modern hours (小時 xiao3 shi2, literal meaning: "little shi").

The "Red Earth" of Sun Yat-sen signifies the blood of those revolutionaries who sacrificed themselves in order to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and create the Republic of China, including that of Lu Hao-tung.

Together, the three colours of flag correspond to the Three Principles of the People:

  • White represents people's livelihood,
  • blue democracy, and
  • red nationalism.


The use of the flag is somewhat political signficant and controversial on Taiwan itself. Because it is technically the flag of the Republic of China and not of Taiwan, it has an association with the ideology of Chinese nationalism and Chinese reunification. In addition, the fact that the flag is derived from the seal of the Kuomintang is also quite controversial.

One major concession that the Democratic Progressive Party and the Chen Shui-Bian has made in order to demonstrate that it has moderated its position on Taiwan independence is to use the flag on state occasions. However, the ROC flag and its colors is almost never seen in political rallies of the Democratic Progressive Party while it is usually given great prominence in political rallies of the Kuomintang and the Pan-Blue Coalition and in fact that party color associated with Chinese reunification comes from the color of the field of the flag.

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