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Flag of South Korea

The flag of South Korea, or Taegeukgi (also spelled Taegukgi in convention) is derived from the taijitu symbol and has three parts: a white background; a red and blue taegeuk in the centre; and four black trigrams, one in each corner of the flag. The general design of the flag also derives from traditional use of the tricolour symbol (red, blue and yellow) by Koreans starting from the early era of Korean history. The white background symbolises "cleanliness of the people." The Taegeuk represents the origin of all things in the universe; holding the two principles of "Yin", the negative aspect rendered in blue, and "Yang", the positive aspect rendered in red, in perfect balance. Together, they represent a continuous movement within infinity, the two merging as one. The four trigrams are Name inKorean Cardinal directions Four elements

Nature

Seasons

Four virtues

Family

Meanings

geon ( / )

sky ( / )

spring ( east ( /) / )

humanity ( / )

father ( / )

metal ( / )

justice ( / )

ri ( /)

sun ( / )

autumn ( / )

south ( / )

courtesy ( / )

son ( / )

fire ( / )

wisdom ( / )

gam ( / )

moon winter ( ( /) / )

north ( / )

intelligence ( daughter / ) ( /)

water ( / )

vitality ( / )

gon ( / )

earth ( /)

summer ( / )

west ( /)

righteousness ( / )

mother ( earth ( / fertility ( / / ) ) )

Traditionally, the four trigrams are related to the Five Elements of fire, water, earth, wood, andmetal. An analogy could also be drawn with the four western classical elements.

History

The flag was designed by Young-Hyo Park[1] and first adopted as a symbol by the Kingdom of Koreain 1882. During the Japanese rule of Korea (19101945), the flag was banned. The Taegeukgi was used as a symbol of resistance and independence during the Japanese occupation and ownership of it was punishable by execution. After independence, both North and South Korea initially adopted versions of the Taegeukgi, but North Korea later changed its national flag to a more Soviet-inspired design after three years (see article Flag of North Korea).[2] The Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) has officially adopted the Taegeukgi as the national flag since July 12, 1948. After the establishment of the government of the Republic of Korea, "The Rules for the flag of the Republic of Korea" was first enacted. Flag Description and Meaning The National Flag of South Korea represent the ideals of Koreans who have worked for the development and prosperity of the nation. The National flag is made up of three parts which includes a white background with a red and blue taegeuk in the center and four black trigrams, placed in each corner of the flag. The design of the National flag symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang derived from Chinese philosophy. Yin stands for dark and cold, while Yang indicates bright and hot. The flag's white base is the traditional color of the people of Korea and symbolizes light and purity. The red and blue taegeuk circle in the centre of the flag represents the dual forces of yin (blue) and yang (red). The taegeuk symbolizes harmonious existence of complementary opposites where the positive and the negative or the active and the passive form a whole. The four trigrams in each corner of the flag stand for the elements of earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. Together the Taegeukgi symbolizes universal harmony and unity. Flag Protocols As a national symbol of the country, there are certain codes of conduct associated with the flying of the National flag of South Korea. Here are a few protocols on the flying of the National flag. It is mandatory to fly the National flag every day at national and local government offices, public organizations, schools, and military installations. Private residences and other places can display the national flag throughout the year round if the residents so desire. The National flag can be flown 24 hours a day, however if flown at night, it must be illuminated. Schools and military units are required to fly the flag only during daylight. Under possibilities of damage by wind or rain, the National flag should not be flown. On national holidays and normal days, the flag must be flown at full-mast. On days of mourning, the National flag must be flown at half-mast. The design of the national flag can be used on items like office supplies, sports gear and goods, in a respectable way. The design of the National flag must not be used, on disposable consumer goods or in a distorted manner that would show disrespect.