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Republic of China (Taiwan)

Taiwan, 中華民國, 臺灣

Last modified: 2009-08-15 by phil nelson
Keywords: taiwan | sun |
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[Flag of Taiwan] image by Željko Heimer
Proportions: 2:3
Usage Code: [FIS Code]

Construction Sheet
[Taiwan construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer

ISO Code: TW TWN 158; CN-71
FIPS 10-4 Code: TW
MARC Code: ch

Taiwan: Index of Pages

See also:

Outside Links

Explanation of the flag

The red in the flag represents the land of China itself, with reference to the Han race which is the dominant race among the many races of China. The white sun symbolizes the spirit of progress as the twelve points represent the twelve hours of the day (a traditional Chinese hour = two conventional hours), and the sun on a blue field is the party flag of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) which ruled Taiwan until 2000. This flag was first used in 1928.
Xuess Wee York Ting, 25 September 1996
Editorial Note: The above has been corrected to reflect the current political situation.

Mr. Hou-tung Lu designed the basics of the national flag of Taiwan (the blue sky, white sun). Later the red field was added by Dr. Sun Yat-sen to become the national flag.
Michael Wang, 13 May 1997

I have the 1919 and 1930 editions of Jane's Fighting Ships which show the naval and marine ensigns of the day. This flag of Taiwan is shown in both the 1919 and 1930 editions of Jane's Fighting Ships and is identified as the Chinese Naval Ensign.
Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins, 30 March 1998

Strictly speaking, the flag was first officially adopted in 1914 as the 'naval flag' (both afloat and ashore). It became the national flag in 1928, but remained the naval flag. It is still the official naval flag in Taiwan.
Miles Li, 02 February 1999

In a book titled: 'Republic of China: a reference book', published in 1983 by United Pacific International Inc. and sponsored by the Government Information Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan), there is a description of the symbolism of the colours in the national flag: 'The three colors of blue, white and crimson collectively signify the Three Principles of the People:
Blue - Liberty, justice and Min Chuan (Democracy)
White - Equality, brightness and Min Sheng (People's Livelihood)
Crimson - Fraternity, sacrifice and Min Tsu (Nationalism)'
Jose Manuel Erbez, 23 September 1999

The symbolism cited for the Taiwanese flag by Jose Manuel is correct. The "three principles of the people" represented by the white-twelve-pointed star (Equality, brightness and Min Sheng (People's Livelihood)), the blue canton (Liberty, justice and Min Chuan (Democracy)) and red field (Fraternity, sacrifice and Min Tsu (Nationalism)) were drafted by the Republic of China's founding father Dr Sun Yat-Sen. In a book called "Sun Yat-Sen's Revolution: a Pictorial History" some pictures of the original designs are depicted.

The design was primarily the political flag of the Tung Meng Hui Society (later, in 1912, the Kuo Ming Tang, KMT, Taiwan's ruling party) and, after the 1911 revolution and later, after the death of Yuan Shi Kai in 1916 (the Republic of China's second provisional president recommended by Dr. Sun; Yuan was to declare himself emperor) and the ongoing fighting between Chinese warlords during the 1920s, became the flag of the Republic. After the victory of the Chinese Communist forces over those of nationalist China, the Government fled to Taiwan island (Formosa) where it settled as an exile government. This government remained internationally recognized until the mid-seventies, when the UN admitted and recognized Beijing's (instead of Taipei's) government as the legitimate government of China. Although the RoC (Taiwan) continued to make claims over the Chinese mainland, it seems now that Taipei's government is seeking for the recognition of its independence as a State. So we might be looking forward to a change in the flag and the coat of arms (even though I see that as an unlikely possibility.
Guillermo Aveledo, 23 September 1999

The National Flag of the Republic (of China) under Articles 3, 4 aand 5 of Decree No. 47 of the National Government is dated 19 December 1928.
Christopher Southworth, 5 July 2005

Civil ensign

[Taiwan Civil Ensign] image by Željko Heimer
Proportions: 2:3
Usage Code: [FIS Code]

Red ensign with the blue canton containing the white sun, the red field is defaced with four serrated yellow stripes.

Construction Sheet
[Taiwan Civil Ensign construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer

Construction details are given in Flaggenbuch: in all equal to the national flag, the serrated stripes are constructed with help of 16 imaginary horizontal stripes, the serrations making 13 vertical swings. This could be described in more details, but I believe this and image should suffice.

The same construction sheet is applicable for all other (previous) Taiwanese ensigns of this pattern. This ensign seems to have fallen in disuse. It is, however not clear if it is abandoned officially. More research on the status of this and similar ensigns should be made.
Željko Heimer, 3 February, 2003

President's standard

[Presidential flag] image by Željko Heimer

Construction Sheet
[Taiwan Presidential flag construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer,

The presidential flag is of particular historical interest. The story began in 1924, when the Army Officers' College was established in Whampoa, near Canton (Guangzhou), China, with Chiang Kai-Shek appointed as Commandant (headmaster). The College adopted a red flag, with the white sun on a blue disc at the centre of the flag. (This flag is still used by several military colleges in Taiwan.) When Chiang became the president of China in 1928, it seemed natural for him to adopt a presidential flag which reflected his connection with the Whampoa College. Hence a flag similar to the Whampoa College flag, but with the addition of yellow borders, became the presidential flag.
Miles George Li, 15 June 1999

Vice President's standard

[Vice Presidents flag] image by Željko Heimer

Flagpole and finial

The Republic of China (ROC) National Flag and Emblem Act of 1928 did not mention the colour of the flagpole (other than a red ball finial, which understandably was almost universally ignored), but the ROC National Flag and Emblem Act of 1954 did specify a white flagpole with golden-yellow ball finial.

The President's flag has white pole and golden-yellow spearhead finial, whereas all other military flags have red pole and silver-white spearhead finial.
Miles Li, 11 August 2008