Flag of Vietnam
|Name||Cờ đỏ sao vàng (“Red flag with yellow star”)|
|Use||Civil and state flag star|
|Adopted||September 5, 1945|
|Design||A large yellow star centered on a red field.|
|Designed by||Nguyễn Hữu Tiến (or Lê Quang Sô)|
|Variant flag of Vietnam|
|Name||Flag of the People’s Army of Vietnam|
|Design||A yellow star centered on a red field, and yellow words “Quyết Thắng” on the upper left corner|
|Designed by||Design is a variant of the flag ofVietnam|
The flag of Vietnam, also known as the “red flag with yellow star” (cờ đỏ sao vàng), was designed in 1940 and used during an uprising against French rule in Cochinchina that year. The flag was used by the Việt Minh, a communist-led organization created in 1941 to oppose Japanese occupation. At the end of World War II, Việt Minh leader Hồ Chí Minh proclaimed Vietnam independent and signed a decree on September 5, 1945 adopting the Việt Minh flag as the flag of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The DRV became the government of North Vietnam in 1954 following the Geneva Accords. The flag was modified on November 30, 1955 to make the edges of the star sharper. The red background was inspired by the flag of the communist party, which in turn honors the red flag of the Paris Commune of 1871. It symbolizes revolution and blood. The five-pointed yellow star represents the unity of workers, peasants, intellectuals, youths and soldiers in building socialism. Until Saigon was captured in 1975, South Vietnam used a yellow flag with three red stripes. The red flag of North Vietnam became the flag of a united Vietnam when the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was formed in 1976.
“The National Flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is rectangular in shape, its width is equal to two thirds of its length, in the middle of fresh red background is a bright five-pointed golden star,” according to the 1992 constitution.
The flag has a red background with a five-pointed yellow star in the center. It was first used in the “Southern Uprising” (Nam Kỳ Khởi nghĩa) of November 23, 1940 against French rule in Cochinchina. Writer Sơn Tùng, whose research was published in the official press in 1981, found that the flag was designed by Nguyễn Hữu Tiến, a leader of the uprising who was born in the northern village of Lũng Xuyên. Hồ is said to have reproduced the flag based on sketchy radio reports of the uprising. Tiến, who was arrested by the French in advance of the failed uprising and executed Aug. 28, 1941, was unknown to the Vietnamese public before Tùng’s research was published. The red background represents blood while the yellow foreground represents “the color of our race’s skin,” according to a poem Tiến wrote. The five points of the star represent intellectuals, peasants, workers, traders and soldiers. Tiến’s poem reads in part:
Flag of the Chinese communist army, version used in 1927-1933. Communist-oriented flags share a red background.
- … All those of red blood and yellow skin
- Together we fight under the nation’s sacred flag
- The flag is soaked with our crimson blood, shed for the nation
- The yellow star is the colour of our race’s skin
- Stand up, quickly! The nation’s soul is calling for us
- Intellectuals, peasants, workers, traders and armymen
- United as a five-pointed yellow star…
In April 2001, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture reported that there was no documentation to support the claim that Tiến designed the flag. In 2005, Lê Minh Đức, an official of Tiền Giang province, suggested that the flag was designed by another cadre, Lê Quang Sô, a native of Mỹ Tho Province in the Mekong delta. Đức’s theory is based on statements by Sô’s son as well as Sô’s 1968 memoir. According to Đức, yellow was chosen to represent Vietnam while the red background was inspired by the flag of the Communist Party and represents revolution. Such red backgrounds are characteristic of the flags of Communist nations and honor the Red Flag flown by the Paris Commune of 1871. Sô experimented with stars in various positions and sizes before choosing a large star in the center for aesthetic reasons. In April 1940, the flag was approved by Phan Văn Khỏe, the Communist party chief of Mỹ Tho. It was subsequently approved by the national party in July. The official press has not commented on Đức’s version of events, but has published material reiterating the view that Tiến designed the flag.
The flag was displayed at a conference on May 19, 1941 at which the Việt Minh was founded. The Việt Minh proclaimed its flag a “national flag” on August 16, 1945 at a meeting held in the village of Tân Trào in the North. When the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II, the Việt Minh entered Hanoi and proclaimed the “Democratic Republic of Vietnam” on September 2. On September 5, DRV President Hồ signed a decree adopting the Vietminh flag. French troops returned in October and restored colonial rule in the South. The National Assembly voted unanimously to adopt the flag on March 2, 1946. Following the Geneva Accord between Việt Minhand France in 1954, the DRV became the government of North Vietnam. On November 30, 1955, the flag’s design was modified slightly to make the star smaller and its edges straighter. This followed a similar modification of the Flag of the Soviet Union. The flag was adopted in the South after the North Vietnamese army overran Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, on April 30, 1975. North and South were unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976.
Traditional images show the Trưng sisters wearing yellow turbans during their revolt against China in AD 40. These were unwrapped and waved to signal the beginning of fight. A yellow banner with a red circle in the center was adopted as a standard by Emperor Gia Long (r. 1802–1820). This standard was used by supporters of the anti-French Cần Vương, or “Save the king”, movement in 1885, effectively making it Vietnam’s first national flag. Emperor Thành Thái‘s flag, adopted in 1890, had a yellow background and three red stripes (cờ vàng ba sọc đỏ). The three stripes represented the Quẻ Càn, or Qian trigram, one of eight trigrams used in the I-Ching, a Taoist scripture. Quẻ Càn is the divination sign for heaven. Later, the stripes were reinterpreted to represent the northern, central and southern regions of Vietnam.
The three red stripes in the former flag of South Vietnam (1948-1975) represent the three regions of Vietnam, while the colors are associated with the expression, “red blood and yellow skin”.
The French, who gradually gained control of Vietnam in the late 19th century, flew the Tricolour, the French national flag. As the colony of Cochinchina(1864–1945), the South was under exclusive French authority. In contrast, North and Central Vietnam were protectorates with parallel systems of Vietnamese and French administration. Several flags were flown in these regions: the French flag, the Vietnamese imperial flag, and a “protectorate flag.” From 1920 to 1945, the Vietnamese imperial flag had a yellow background with a single, broad red stripe.
Japan occupied Vietnam in 1941-1945. In March 1945, the Japanese deposed the French colonial authorities and proclaimed an Empire of Vietnam withBảo Đại as emperor. The Quẻ Ly Flag, also a red trigram on a yellow background, was adopted in June. Among other things, Quẻ Ly symbolizes the direction south. Bảo Đại abdicated in August when Japan surrendered. The French returned in October 1945, but were challenged by the Vietminh, especially in the North. The French proclaimed Cochinchina a republic in June 1946. This puppet state adopted a Quẻ Càn flag with blue stripes on a yellow background.
In May 1948, the name of the Cochinchina government was changed to “Provisional Central Government of Vietnam” in preparation for a merger with the North outlined in the Hạ Long Bay agreements between France and Bảo Đại. Artist Lê Văn Đệ (1906–1966) met Bảo Đại in Hong Kong in 1948 and proposed that the Quẻ Càn flag of Emperor Thành Thái be restored. On 2 June 1948, Chief of State Nguyễn Văn Xuân, signed an ordinance to adopt this flag: “The national emblem is a flag of yellow background, the height of which is equal to two-thirds of its width. In the middle of the flag and along its entire width, there are three horizontal red bands. Each band has a height equal to one-fifteenth of the width. These three red bands are separated from one another by a space of the band’s height.” This flag was used in the South until 1975. It continues to be used by overseas Vietnamese as the “Heritage and Freedom Flag“, but is de factobanned in Vietnam.
|1863–1885||Flag of emperors Gia Long and Tự Đức||The Long tinh or Dragon Spirit Flag. This was originally the personal banner of Emperor Gia Long (r. 1802–1820). It was used as a national flag beginning in 1863.Influences: Yellow is the color of an emperor. [“Emperor” is hoàng đế (皇帝). Hoàng(黃) is Sino-Vietnamese for “yellow”.] The color red is connected to “south”.|
|1885–1890||Flag of Emperor Đồng Khánh||Đại Nam Kỳ (National Flag of the Great South). Đại Nam (Chinese: 大南; literally “great south”) was the official name of Vietnam at this time. “大” is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise, while “南” is rotated 90 degree clockwise.|
|1890–1920||Flag of Emperor Thành Thái||A yellow field with three red stripes. The stripes represent the Quẻ Càn, or Qiantrigram, also interpreted as representing the three regions of Vietnam (North, Central, and South). Influences:|
|1920–1945||Flag of emperors Khải Định and Bảo Đại||A yellow field with a single red stripe. Referred to as the Long tinh or Dragon Spirit Flag. Influences:|
|1923 – March 1945||The “protectorate flag” of French Indochina||French flag canton on a yellow field. Influences:|
|May 8 – August 30, 1945||Flag of the Empire of Vietnam (Japanese puppet state)||A yellow field with three red stripes. The stripes represent the Quẻ Ly, or Li trigram.Influences:|
|1946–1948||Flag of the Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina (Nam Kỳ Cộng hòa quốc)||A yellow field with three blue strips. Cochinchina is a precursor of South Vietnam.Influences:|
|June 2, 1948 – April 30, 1975||Flag of South Vietnam||A yellow field, with three red stripes. Identical to Thành Thái’s flag:|
|August 18, 1945 – November 30, 1955||Flag of North Vietnam||A red field with a large yellow star. Earlier used as the flag of the Việt Minh (1941–1945). Influences: Red flag, .|
|November 30, 1955 – present||Flag of North Vietnam (1955–76) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976–present)||A red field with a large yellow star. Influences: Previous Flag of North Vietnam with the star sharpened following a similar modification of the Flag of the Soviet Union.|
|1960–1975||Flag of the Vietcong, or Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam||A yellow star on a red and blue background. This was briefly the legal flag of South Vietnam after Saigon fell on April 30, 1975. Influences: . N.B.: and .|
- ^ Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Article 141.
- ^ a b c d e f g h “VN Embassy : Flag Designer Urban Myths Squelched“, Embassy of the Socialist Republic in Vietnam in the United States of America.
- ^ Sơn Tùng’s writing was published in installments in the newspaper Sài Gòn Giải Phóng and later as book entitled Nguyễn Hữu Tiến (1981).
- ^ a b c d e f g “Nguyễn Hữu Tiến hay Lê Quang Sô?“, Tuổi Trẻ, Nov. 23, 2006
- ^ “Story of the Red Flag“, Revolution, 05-19-2006. Retrieved 12-02-2007.
- ^ Van Tan, “The Insurrection of the Two Trung Sisters“
- ^ a b c d Khải Chính Phạm Kim Thư, “The National Flag of Free Vietnam“
- ^ a b Nguyễn Đình Sài, “The National Flag of Viet Nam: Its Origin and Legitimacy“
- ^ a b Dang, Thanh Thuy Vo (2008). Anticommunism as cultural praxis: South Vietnam, War, and Refugee Memories in the Vietnamese American Community. San Diego, California. Retrieved 2011-03-28. “The three stripes represent the three distinct regions of Vietnam, connecting the geographically separated ‘yellow-skinned’ Vietnamese by the same red blood. The yellow flag originated during the rule of Vietnam’s Emperor Thành Thái (1890) of the Nguyễn dynasty.”
- ^ Compare to .
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Flags of Vietnam|