Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flag of South Korea
|Flag of South Korea|
The flag of South Korea is white with a red (top) and blue Yin Yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes, called "Yeok" in Korean) in each corner of the white field. In Korean, the flag is called the Taegeukgi. It was designed in 1882 during the reign of King Gojong by Bak Yeong-hyo , the Korean ambassador to Japan. Gojong proclaimed the Taegeukgi to be the official flag of Korea on 6 March 1883.
The symbolism of the flag comes from the Taoist philosophy of yin yang (pronounced "Eum Yang," in Korean). The flag has three parts: The white background, the red and blue circle in the center and four trigrams, one in each corner of the flag. The white background symbolizes peace. The red and blue circle is called "Taeguk," the origin of all things in the universe; holding the two principles in perfect balance. The blue, ("Eum") represents the negative aspects of Taeguk. The red ("Yang") describes the positive aspects. Together, they represent a continuous movement within infinity, the two merging as one.
The four trigrams are:
- ||| Force (☰; geon (건; 乾) in Korean) = heaven (天);
- |¦| Radiance (☲; ri (리; 離)) = fire (火), sun, and yang;
- ¦|¦ Gorge (☵; gam (감; 坎)) = water (水), moon, and yin;
- ¦¦¦ Field (☷; gon (곤; 坤)) = earth (地).
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