The blue Sky, the white Sun and the red Earth
The flag of the Republic of China, commonly called “The blue Sky, the white Sun and the red Earth”, contains a twelve-branched white star in a dark blue canton on a red background.
The flag was at the origin that of the Chinese nationalist and Republican Party (Kuo-Min-Tang) founded in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen. Suppressed in 1913, the party was reformed in 1920 and reorganized in 1923 with the assistance of the Komintern, the directing centre of the International communist movement. An agreement was made to accept individual affiliations of communists.
The party gained in popularity in 1926 with the rising of Chiang Kai-shek who purged it from its communist members. It governed in 1928 and the party flag became national. The nationalist forces fought the communists during a civil war interrupted by the Japanese's invasion in 1937. After the Second World War, the civil war restarted and the forces of the Kuomintang were definitively defeated in 1949. They had to retreat to Taiwan Island (Formosa) where, since 1950, the same flag remains the emblem of the Republic of China.
However, the official flag of Taiwan is not recognized by the People's Republic of China which regards Taiwan as one of its provinces. It is seldom deployed abroad in order not to further worsen the relationships between both countries. At the time of international manifestations, in particular sport ones, the flag of the Olympic committee of Taipei is used instead of. Even inside the country, the national flag raises frictions between the nationalist factions and those favorable to the reunification. Modifications of the flag have been proposed, but hardly met success.
Among the various explanations related to the star and colours of the flag, one of them is worth to be mentioned. According to it, the flag represents “the three principles of the people”: white star (livelihood), blue colour (democracy) and red (nationalism). The other interpretations are as various as surprising, but none of them echoes the very ancient Chinese tradition.
However, the twelve-branched white star cannot fail mentioning the sun surrounded by the twelve constellation belt. As for the colours, the dark blue, the white and the red are not precisely defined and their intensity can vary from one flag to another, despite some recommendations.