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Getting to know the National Flag, National Emblem, National Anthem, Regional Flag and Regional Emblem

 

 

 

1. Brief descriptions of the National Flag

2. Brief descriptions of the National Emblem

3. Brief descriptions of the National Anthem

4. Brief descriptions of the Regional Flag of Hong Kong SAR

5. Brief descriptions of the Regional Emblem of Hong Kong SAR

6. Display of the Flags and Emblems

7. Learning and teaching resources

 

 

1. Brief descriptions of the National Flag

  • The Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference decided to set up a first-round selection committee on the designs of the national flag and national emblem on 16 June 1949 and invited submission of designs through such newspapers as the People’s Daily between 14 July and 15 August of the same year.  Subsequently, the first-round selection committee selected 38 designs from a total of 3 012 received and turned them into print for discussion at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in September 1949.  A resolution adopting the “Five-star Red Flag” as the national flag was passed on 27 September 1949.

The National flag

china

The National Flag of the People's Republic of  China


 

 

Specifications for the National Flag

 

 

 

  1. To determine the position of the five stars, the face of the flag shall be first folded both ways to form four equal rectangles; then the rectangle on the upper left shall be vertically divided into 10 equal sections and horizontally divided into 15.
  2. The central point of the big five-pointed star shall be at a point in the rectangle where the 5th line from above (or the 5th line from below), and the 5th line from the left (or the 10th line from the right) meet. The method of drawing shall be: taking this point as the centre and the length of three such equals as the radius to make a circle.  On the circumference of this circle, five points with equal distances from each other shall be determined, one of the points must be in the right above position of the circle.  Then connect each of the five points with every other point to form a straight line respectively.  The outline formed by these five straight lines shall be the required big five-pointed star.  An angle of the five-pointed star shall point in the right above direction.
  3. The centres of the four small five-pointed stars shall be as follows: the first shall be at a point, in the rectangle, where the 2nd line from above (or the 8th line from below), and the 10th line from the left (or the 5th line from the right) meet; the second shall be at a point where the 4th line from above (or the 6th line from below), and the 12th line from the left (or the 3rd line from the right) meet; the third shall be at a point where the 7th line from above (or the 3rd line from below), and the 12th line from the left (or the 3rd line from the right) meet; the fourth shall be at a point where the 9th line from above (or the 1st line from below), and the 10th line from the left (or the 5th line from the right) meet.  The method for drawing shall be: taking each of the above four points as the centre and the length of one such equal as the radius to make four circles.  On each circle, five points with equal distances from each other shall be determined. One of such points must be on the line linking the centre of the circle with the centre of the big five-pointed star.  Then the same methods used in forming the big five-pointed star shall be used to form the small five-pointed stars.  The four small five-pointed stars shall respectively have an angle pointing right at the centre of the big five-pointed star.

  

 

Standard sizes of the National Flag

 

The measurement in common use for the national flag, from which people from various circles may choose at their discretion shall be as follows: 

Length (cm)

Height (cm)

288

192

240

160

192

128

144

96

96

64


If national flags of nonstandard sizes are required in special circumstances, they are to be of a scaled-up or a scaled-down size.  The size of the national flag must be proportional to the staff, and be commensurate with the purpose of use, the surrounding buildings and the surrounding environment. 


Download area for the National Flag


For other details of the specifications for the national flag, please refer to Schedule 1 of the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance (on the website of Hong Kong e-Legislation).
 

Reference:

  1. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China
  2. The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance
  3. The State Council, the People’s Republic of China – National Flag
  4. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat

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2. Brief descriptions of the National Emblem

 

  • On 18 June 1950, the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference passed the Design and Description of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.  On 20 September of the same year, Chairman MAO Zedong of the Central People's Government made official the national emblem of the People's Republic of China.

The National Emblem

*

The National Emblem of the People's Republic of China

 

 


 

Specifications for the National Emblem

 

 

 


 

Standard sizes of the National Emblem

 

The diameters of the usual dimensions of the national emblem for display or use are as follows:

(1) 100 cm
(2) 80 cm
(3) 60 cm

If national emblems of nonstandard sizes are required in special circumstances, they are to be of a scaled-up or a scaled-down size, and be commensurate with the purpose of use, the buildings where they are hung and the surrounding environment.

Download Area for the National Emblem



For other details of the specifications for the national emblem, please refer to Schedule 2 of the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance (on the website of Hong Kong e-Legislation).

 

 

Reference:

  1. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China
  2. The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance
  3. The Central People's Government, the People's Republic of China – National Emblem
  4. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat

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3. Brief descriptions of the National Anthem 

 

History of the National Anthem

 

“March of the Volunteers” is the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China.  It was originally the theme song of Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm (1935), a movie about fighting against Japan Aggression and saving the country.  The song was written by the noted poet Tian Han with music by the famous composer Nie Er (see note).  The original story of Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm was created by Tian.  It depicts the heroic stories of young people marching to the front line to defend their country against Japanese occupation in the early 1930s.

 

The 1930s, which unveiled the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in the history of modern China, threw the entire Chinese nation into a life-and-death situation.  On 18 September 1931, induced by the Japanese militarism, the Japanese Imperial Army launched an outrageous attack and occupied northeast China.  This attack, which is later called the “Mukden Incident” provoked the strong resistance of the Chinese people.  There were different sorts of campaigns against Japanese Aggression everywhere to call upon people to save the country.  Tian Han and Nie Er's "March of the Volunteers" was one of the songs to propagate the message of anti-aggression.  With its strong regular rhythm and uplifting tune, the song captures the fearless and tenacious fighting spirit of the Chinese nation.

 

“March of the Volunteers” circulated extensively throughout the country after the movie Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm premiered in May 1935.  On 27 September 1949, the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference decided: Before the national anthem of the People's Republic of China was formally formulated, "The March of Volunteers" composed by Tian Han and Nie Er was adopted as the provisional national anthem.  On 1 October 1949, the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China was established.  At Tiananmen Square in Beijing, with the rise of the “Five-star Red Flag”, "March of the Volunteers" resonated for the first time at Tiananmen Square.

 

On 14 March 2004, the Tenth National People's Congress passed the "Constitution (Amendment)" and added a paragraph to Article 136 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, stipulating that "March of the Volunteers” shall be the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.

 

On 1 September 2017, the Twenty-ninth Session of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress passed the “National Anthem Law of the People's Republic of China”, which took effect in the country from 1 October 2017.  On 4 November 2017, the Thirtieth Session of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress agreed to add the "National Anthem Law of the People's Republic of China" to Annex III to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.  In parallel, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced that, pursuant to Article 18 of the Basic Law, the "National Anthem Law of the People's Republic of China" would be implemented in the HKSAR by way of local legislation consistent with the constitutional and legal regime of the HKSAR.  On 4 June 2020, the National Anthem Bill was passed at Third Reading by the Legislative Council.  On 11 June 2020, the Chief Executive signed the National Anthem Ordinance in accordance with Article 48(1)(3) of the Basic Law.  The National Anthem Ordinance came into immediate effect on the next day, 12 June after it was being gazetted.

 

 

Note:
Music: Nie Er (1912-1935), formerly known as Nie Shouxin, was born in Kunming, Yunnan.  As a teenager, he already showed a keen interest in music.  He moved to Shanghai and wrote "March of the Volunteers".

 

Lyrics: Tian Han (1898-1968), also named Shouchang, was born in Changsha, Hunan.  He was a pioneer in modern drama and opera reform movement of China.  He once studied in Japan.

 

 

Lyrics of the National Anthem (Chinese only, with English translation) 

 

Official Chinese LyricsEnglish Translation*
中華人民共和國國歌
《義勇軍進行曲》
National Anthem of the People’s Republic of China
March of the Volunteers
田漢作詞
聶耳作曲
Lyrics By Tien Han
Composed by Nie Er
起來!
不願做奴隸的人們!
把我們的血肉,
築成我們新的長城!
中華民族到了最危險的時候,
每個人被迫着發出最後的吼聲。
起來!
起來!
起來!
我們萬眾一心,
冒着敵人的炮火,
前進!
冒着敵人的炮火,
前進!
前進!
前進!進!
Arise,
We who refuse to be slaves!
With our very flesh and blood,
Let us build our new Great Wall!
The peoples of China are at their most critical time,
Everybody must roar defiance.
Arise,
Arise,
Arise,
Millions of hearts with one mind,
Brave the enemy’s gunfire,
March On!
Brave the enemy’s gunfire,
March On!
March On!
March On, On!


*Source: http://english.www.gov.cn/audio

 

 

 

Musical features 

 

 “March of the Volunteers” is a march.  The trumpet introduction imitates the sound of the bugle giving a strong sense of rhythm.  Its musical features include:

 

Standard and etiquette for playing and singing the National Anthem

 

Section 3 of the National Anthem Ordinance stipulates that the national anthem must be played and sung in a way that is in keeping with its dignity.  While the national anthem is being played and sung, the etiquette to be followed by the persons who take part in or attend the occasion is—

 

(a) to stand solemnly and deport themselves with dignity; and

(b) to not behave in a way disrespectful to the national anthem.

 

Standard score and official recording

 

Under section 5 of the National Anthem Ordinance, a reference to the national anthem being played and sung is a reference to the national anthem being played on musical instruments in accordance with the standard score, or an official recording of the national anthem being played, for the singing of the national anthem. The standard score and official recording of the national anthem are as follows: 

 

Standard score

 

 

Official recording

 

Stave Notation of the National Anthem (Schedule 1 of the National Anthem Ordinance)

 

Numbered Musical Notation of the National Anthem (Schedule 2 of the National Anthem Ordinance)

 

Reference:

1. The State Council, the People’s Republic of China – National Anthem

2. Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, – National Anthem

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4. Brief descriptions of the Regional Flag of the Hong Kong SAR  

  • “Regional flag” means the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region endorsed at the Fourth Plenum of the Preparatory Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 10 August 1996.

The Regional Flag

hk

The Regional Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 

  


 

 

 

Specifications for the Regional Flag of the Hong Kong SAR

 

 

 

 

Standard sizes of the Regional Flag of the Hong Kong SAR

 

There are eight different standard sizes of the regional flag.  Their measurements are as follows:

 

 

Length (cm)

Height (cm)

Number 1

288

192

Number 2

240

160

Number 3

192

128

Number 4

144

96

Number 5

96

64

Car Flag

30

20

Flag for Signing Ceremony

21

14

Desk Flag

15

10

 

If regional flags of non-standard sizes are required to meet special needs, they shall be of a scaled-up or a scaled-down size.

 

Download area for the Regional Flag of the Hong Kong SAR

 

For other details of the specifications for the regional flag, please refer to Schedule 1 of the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance (on the website of Hong Kong e-Legislation). 
 

Reference:

  1. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
  2. The Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance
  3. Explanations on the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Draft) and Its Related Documents (Addressing the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress” on 28 March 1990)
  4. “Decision of the National People's Congress on the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Adopted at the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress on 4 April 1990)
  5. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat

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5. Brief descriptions of the Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong SAR 

 


Specifications for the Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong SAR

 

 

 

Standard Sizes of the Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong SAR

 

There are three standard sizes of the regional emblem. Their measurements are as follows:

Size 1

100 cm in diameter

Size 2

80 cm in diameter

Size 3

60 cm in diameter

 

If regional emblems of non-standard sizes are required to meet special needs, they shall be of a scaled-up or a scaled-down size.

 

Download area for the Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong SAR

 

For other details of the specifications for the regional emblem, please refer to Schedule 2 of the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance (on the website of Hong Kong e-Legislation).

 

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6. Display of the Flags and Emblems

 



Condition of the Flags

 



Raising and lowering of the Flags

 



Severe weather conditions

 



Priority of the National Flag

 

 


Flying the National Flag and Regional Flag at the same time

 

 

Recovery and disposal of the Flags and Emblems

 

 


Display of the Flags and Emblems at Government offices and premises

 


Note For heritage conservation reason, the national emblem displayed at the former Central Government Offices has been preserved in-situ after the venue was renamed as the Justice Place.


Oath-taking ceremonies

 


According to the website of the Protocol Division, Government Secretariat, certain uses of the flags and emblems are prohibited:

 

 

Applying for using the Flags and Emblems

 

A person shall not use the national flag, national emblem, regional flag or regional emblem or their designs in connection with any trade, calling or profession, or the logo, seal or badge of any non-governmental organisation, except with prior approval.  Prior application to the Administration Wing on the use of the national flag, national emblem, regional flag or regional emblem or their designs should be made in writing to the following address:

  Administration Wing, Chief Secretary for Administration's Office
  25/F, Central Government Offices
  2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong
  [Attn.: Executive Officer(General)2]
  Tel no.: 2525 5477
  Fax no.: 2804 6552
  Email: flags&emblems@cso.gov.hk

 

 

Points to note on display of the national flag and conduct of national flag raising ceremony in schools

 

To promote national education and help students develop a sense of belonging to the country, an affection for the Chinese people and enhance their sense of national identity, starting from January 1, 2022, all primary and secondary schools (including special schools) must display the national flag on each school day, as well as the New Year’s Day (January 1), the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (July 1) and the National Day (October 1). Schools should display the regional flag alongside the national flag if there are adequate flagpoles. Schools are also required to conduct a national flag raising ceremony weekly and on the above days or the preceding/following school day. The national anthem should be played and sung in a national flag raising ceremony. Schools are strongly advised to conduct a national flag raising ceremony on important days and special occasions (such as graduation ceremony, swimming gala/sports day).

As far as conditions permit, kindergartens should, having considered factors such as availability of space, facilities and environment, follow the requirements for primary and secondary schools on displaying the national flag and regional flag, and conducting a national flag raising ceremony so that students can learn about the national flag and national anthem of their own country from an early age. International schools and other private primary, secondary schools and kindergartens offering solely non-local curricula are also encouraged to refer to the requirements for primary and secondary schools, and arrange for displaying the national flag and conducting a national flag raising ceremony based on the actual school circumstances, in order to enable students of different ethnicities or nationalities to learn about the culture and history of the country where they live.

(For details, please refer to the Education Bureau Circular No. 11/2021: National Flag, National Emblem, National Anthem and Regional Flag)

 

Reference:

  1. Education Bureau Circular No. 11/2021: National Flag, National Emblem, National Anthem and Regional Flag
  2. The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance
  3. The National Anthem Ordinance
  4. The Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance
  5. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat

 

Back to the Top

 

7. Learning and teaching resources 


i. Infographics Series: National Flag, National Emblem, Nation Anthem

    

 

ii. “Getting to Know the National Flag, the National Emblem, the National Anthem and the Regional Flag”Online Video Series:


iii. Learning and Teaching of the National Anthem: Supplement to Arts Education Key Learning Area Music Curriculum Guide (Primary 1 to Secondary 3) (pdf)

 

iv. Examples of Learning Strategies/ Activities for the Learning and Teaching of the National Anthem (Kindergarten Education, General Studies for Primary Schools, Moral, Civic and National Education, Music, Chinese History, Liberal Studies / Citizenship and Social Development) (pdf)

 

v. National Anthem – Official recording
     Audio track - Choir    Audio track – Instrumental

vi. Introduction to flag raising ceremony


vii. School examples of flag raising ceremonies


viii. Others


Useful links:

 

National Flag

 

i. The Central People's Government, the People's Republic of China – National Flag
    (http://big5.gov.cn/gate/big5/www.gov.cn/guoqing/2005-05/24/content_2615209.htm)

 

ii. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China
    (https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/constitution/index.html)

 

iii. The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance
     (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/A401!en?INDEX_CS=N)

 

iv. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat – Flags, Emblems and Anthem
     (https://www.protocol.gov.hk/en/flags.html)

 

 

National Emblem

 

i. The Central People's Government, the People's Republic of China – National Emblem
    (http://big5.www.gov.cn/gate/big5/www.gov.cn/guoqing/guohui/index.htm)

 

ii. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China
    (https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/constitution/index.html)

 

iii. The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance
    (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/A401!en?INDEX_CS=N)

 

iv. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat – Flags, Emblems and Anthem
   (https://www.protocol.gov.hk/en/flags.html)



National Anthem

 

i. The Central People's Government, the People's Republic of China – National Anthem
    (http://english.gov.cn/audio)

 

ii. National Anthem Ordinance
    (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/A405!en-zh-Hant-HK.pdf?FROMCAPINDEX=Y)

 

iii. The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau – National Anthem
    (https://www.cmab.gov.hk/en/issues/national_anthem.htm)

 

 

Regional Flag

 

i. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
    (https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/index.html)

 

ii.The Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance
    (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/A602!en?INDEX_CS=N)

 

iii. The Protocol Division, Government Secretariat – Flags, Emblems and Anthem
    (https://www.protocol.gov.hk/en/flags.html)

 

Flag raising and flag lowering ceremonies

 

i. Short videos for download:

    Preparation of the flag

 

ii. The Association of Hong Kong Flag-guards
    (http://www.ahkf.org.hk/)

 

iii. Hong Kong Army Cadets Association
    (http://www.hongkongarmycadets.org/)


Others

 

i. Education Bureau – National Education One-stop Portal
   (https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/neosp)

 

ii. Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau – The Basic Law website
    (https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/index/index.html)

 

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