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Flag of South Korea

The Flag of South Korea, or Taegukgi (sometimes also romanized as Taegeukgi) is the national flag for
the Republic of Korea. It has three parts: a white background, a red and blue Taeguk, which is a red and
blue Taiji yin- and yang-symbol in the center, and four black trigrams, which are selected from the
original eight, on each corner of the flag
Design
The white background is a traditional Korean color. It represents peace and purity. The circle in the
middle is derived from the philosophy of yin and yang and represents the balance of the universe. The
blue section represents the negative cosmic forces, and the red section represents the opposing positive
cosmic forces. The trigrams together represent the principle of movement and harmony. Each trigram
(hangul: kwae) represents one of the four classical elements.

The four trigrams are described in this table:

Cardinal
Seasons
Name
directions Four
Nature
in Korean
virtues

Family

Four
elements

geon
( / )

sky
(
/ )

spring
east
( /
( / )
)

humanity
( / )

father
heaven
( / ) ( / )

ri
( / )

sun
(
/ )

autumn
south
( /
( / )
)

justice
( / )

daughter fire
( / ) ( / )

gam
( / )

moon winter
north
(
( /
( / )
/ ) )

intelligence son
water
( / )
( / ) ( / )

gon
( / )

earth
(
/ )

courtesy
( / )

summer
west
( /
( / )
)

mother earth
( / ) ( / )

Meanings

justice
( / )

fruition
( / )

wisdom
( / )

vitality
( /

History
The lack of the national flag only became an issue in 1876, in the Joseon Dynasty. Before 1876,
a national flag did not exist and it was not considered important. The issue began during the
negotiations for the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1876. Although the delegate of the Empire of Japan had
the Japanese national flag, Joseon Dynasty could not hang a corresponding flag. Thus, there were some
proposals to create a flag, but the issue was considered unimportant by the government. At 1880, the
proliferation of foreign negotiations led to a need for the national flag.[6] The most major proposal was
described in the Korea Strategy papers written by the Chinese delegate Huang Zunxian. The proposal
was to incorporate the Flag of the Qing Dynasty for the Joseon Dynasty. In response to the proposal, the
government sent the delegate of Lee Young-Sook to explore the possibility of the issue through the
politician Li Hongzhang. Li Hongzhang agreed with some parts of the proposal, but proposed that some
other factors should be differed. TheQing Dynasty agreed with Hongzhang, but it is unknown how far
the Joseon government explored this proposal.[7]
The issue was then shelved, and reemerged with the ratification of the United States-Korea Treaty of
1882. The controversy arose after the delegate Lee Eung-Jun presented a flag similar to the flag of
Japan to the Chinese officialMa Jianzhong. In response to the discussion, Ma Jianzhong argued against
the proposed idea of using the Flag of the Qing Dynasty and proposed a flag with a white background,
with a half-red and half-black circle in the center, with eight black bars around the flag.[7] On August 22,
1882, Park Yeong-hyo created a scale model of the Taegukgi to the Joseon government.Park Yeonghyo became the first person to use the Taegukgi in the Empire of Japan on 1882.[8] On January 27, 1883,
the Joseon government officially promulgated Taegukgi to be used as the official national flag.[7]
Before the division of Korea, the current South Korean flag was used for the entire country. However,
after the separation, the flags divided into Flag of South Korea and the Flag of North Korea.[9] The
current Korean flag was declared official by the government of South Korea on October 15, 1949.[7]
Dimensions

The width and length is in the ratio of 3 to 2. There are five sections on the flag, the taegeuk and the
four groups of bars. The diameter of the circle is one-fourth of the diagonal. The top of taegeuk should
be red and the bottom of taegeuk should be blue. The groups of bars are put in the four corners of the
flag.
Colors
The colors of Taegukgi are specified on the "Ordinance Act of the Law concerning the National Flag of
the Republic of Korea."( )[10] There were no specification for shade of colors
until 1997, when South Korean government decided to provide standard specification for the flag. In
October 1997, Presidential ordinance on the standard specification of the South Korean flag was
promulgated,[11] and that specification was acceded by the National Flag Law in 2007.
The colors are defined in legislation by the Munsell and CIE color systems:
Scheme

Munsell[12]

CIE (x, y, Y)[12]

Pantone[12]

Hex triplet[12]

White

N 9.5

N/A

N/A

#FFFFFF

Red

6.0R 4.5/14

0.5640, 0.3194, 15.3

186 Coated

#C60C30

Blue

5.0PB 3.0/12

0.1556, 0.1354, 6.5

294 Coated

#003478

Black

N 0.5

N/A

N/A

#000000

Early Taegukgi[edit]

Taegukgi of the Joseon Dynasty (before 1800)

Taegukgi of the Joseon Dynasty, King Jeongjo (ca. 1800)

Flag of the Joseon Dynasty (Qing Empiretributary, March 1883)

Taegukgi by Park Yeong-hyo (September 1882)

Taegukgi (November 1882)

Taegukgi (1910)

Older version of the Taegukgi on a U.S. postage stamp (1944)

Flag from 19451948 this flag is similar to the current flag with the exception of two of the four kwaes
and a smaller version of the Taegeuk.