South Korean flag: colors, meaning and history

Current South Korean flag
Posted: November 15, 2017 at 1:13 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

South Korean flag design:-

The South Korean flag is divided into three parts: a white background, In the center of the flag, there is a half blue and half red circle; The circle is surrounded by four black trigrams, one in each corner. The proportion of South Korea flag is 2:3. The flag of South Korea is also known as the Taegukgi (also spelled as Taegeukgi, literally “supreme ultimate flag”).
The original version of the South Korean flag was adopted on January 27, 1883, used by the Joseon dynasty. It was then adopted as the official flag of South Korea on October 15, 1949, and the current version of Korean flag was adopted in October 1997.

Description of  South Korean flag:-

The width and height of South Korean flag are in the ratio of 3 to 2. There are five sections in the flag, the taegeuk and the four groups of bars. The diameter of the circle is half the height. The upper part of the taegeuk must be red, and the lower part of the taegeuk must be blue. The groups of bars are placed in the four corners of the flag.

Construction Sheet of South Korean flag:-

Construction sheet of South Korean flag


Meaning of South Korean flag:-

White is a traditional color of the Korean people, and it represents Peace and Purity.

The blue and red circular emblem in the center of the South Korea flag represents the dual strength of yin (blue) and yang (red). The red side represents positive cosmic forces, and the blue side represents the opposing negative cosmic forces.Yin and yang balance and maintain a harmonious existence to be complementary opposites, positive and negative, active and passive, men and women, night and day, good and evil, etc. Yin is the passive or static mode, and yang is the energetic or forceful mode.

The four trigrams on the flag of South Korea denote the elements of fire, water, earth, wood, and metal.Together, the trigrams represent movement and harmony as fundamental principles. Each trigram (hangeul: 괘 [gwae]; hanja: 卦) represents one of the four classical elements, as described below:

Meaning of Trigrams on the South Korean flag:-

TrigramKorean NameCelestial BodySeasonCardinal DirectionVirtueFamilyNatural ElementMeaning
(건 / 乾)
(천 / 天)
(춘 /春)
(동 / 東)
(인 / 仁)
(부 / 父)
(천 / 天)
(정의 / 正義)
(리 / 離)
(일 / 日)
(추 /秋)
(남 / 南)
(의 / 義)
(녀 / 女)
(화 / 火)
(결실 / 結實)
(감 / 坎)
(월 / 月)
(동 /冬)
(북 / 北)
(지 / 智)
(자 / 子)
(수 / 水)
(지혜 / 智慧)
(곤 / 坤)
(지 / 地)
(하 /夏)
(서 / 西)
(례 / 禮)
(모 / 母)
(토 / 土)
(생명력 / 生命力)

South Korean flag colors:-

The colors of Taegukgi (South Korean flag) are specified in the “Law of Ordinance of the Law Relative to the National Flag of Korea.” (Korean: 국기법 국기법 There) There were no exact specifications on colors until 1997 when the South Korean government decided to provide standard specifications for the flag. In October 1997, a Presidential Order was approved on the standard specification of the South Korean flag, and the National Flag Act approved this specification in July 2007.


Colors are well-defined in the legislation of the Munsell and CIE color systems

SchemeMunsellCIE (x, y, Y)PantoneHex triplet[
Red6.0R 4.5/140.5640, 0.3194, 15.3186 Coated#CD2E3A
Blue5.0PB 3.0/120.1556, 0.1354, 6.5294 Coated#0047A0
BlackN 0.5N/AN/A#000000

Unified Korean flag:-

The unified Korean flag is a flag designed to represent the whole of Korea when North Korea and South Korea participate as a single team in sporting events. The flag represents a united Korea (North and South). The background is white. In the center is a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula, which includes Jeju Island to the southwest and the Ulleungdo and Liancourt Rocks to the east, added in 2006. The flag has no official flag status in either country.

Unified Korean flag

History of  South Korean flag:-

The absence of a national flag became a problem for Korea only in 1876, during the reign of the Joseon Dynasty. Before 1876, Korea did not affirm the necessity or importance of a national flag. The problem arose during the negotiations of the Japanese-Korean Treaty of 1876, where the delegate of the Empire of Japan showed the Japanese national flag, while the Joseon Dynasty had no corresponding national symbols to display. At that time, certain people proposed to create a national flag, but the Korean government considered that the issue was unimportant and unnecessary. In 1880, the proliferation of negotiations abroad led to the necessity of a national flag. The most popular proposal was described in the “Korean Strategy” documents, written by Chinese delegate Huang Zunxian. He offered to incorporate the flag of the Qing Dynasty of China to that of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. In reply to the Chinese proposal, the Korean government sends out delegate Lee Young-Sook to discuss the project with Chinese statesman and diplomat Li Hongzhang. Li accepted some elements of Huang’s suggestion by accepting that Korea makes some changes. The Qing government agreed with Li’s findings, but the degree of enthusiasm with which the Joseon government has explored this proposal is unknown.
The issue was not pursued for a period, reappearing with the negotiation of the 1882 Treaty of the United States and Korea, also known as the Shufeldt Treaty. The controversy arose after delegate Lee Eung-Jun presented a flag similar to Japan’s flag to Chinese officer Ma Jianzhong. In response to the dialogue, Ma Jianzhong said against the idea proposed to use the Qing dynasty flag and proposed a flag with a white background, with a middle red circle and black middle, with eight black bars around August 22, 1882, Yeong-Hyo Park created a Taegukgi model for the Joseon government. Yeong-Hyo Park became the first person to use Taegukgi in the Empire of Japan in 1882. On January 27, 1883, the government formally promulgated Joseon Taegukgi to be used as the official national flag.
In 1919, a flag similar to the current flag of South Korea was used by China’s exiled interim government in Korea.
After the restoration of Korea’s independence in 1945, the Taegukgi remained in service after the southern part of Korea became a democratic republic under the influence of the United States, but also used by the People’s Republic of Korea. At the same time, the flag of the United States was also used by the military government of the United States Army in Korea with Taegukgi. After the establishment of the State of South Korea in August 1948, the South Korean government declared the official flag on October 15, 1949, although it had previously been used as the de facto national flag.
In February 1984, the exact dimensional specifications of the flag were coded. In October 1997, the precise colors of the flag were specified by presidential decree.

Previous South Korean flag Images:-

South Korean flag from 1945 to 1948

South Korean flag from 1945 to 1948

South Korean flag from 1948 to 1949

South Korean flag from 1948 to 1949

South Korean flag from 1949 to 1984

South Korean flag from 1949 to 1984

South Korean flag from 1984 to 1997

South Korean flag from 1984 to 1997

South Korean flag from 1997 to 2011

South Korean flag from 1997 to 2011

Current South Korean flag

Current South Korean flag

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