The Flags of Korea
South Korean Flag
South Korea's modern flag displays two sets of symbols that interlace the nation's cultural heritage and transcendental traditions.
The red, blue, black, and white modern flag of South Korea displays two graphic forms, the taeguk in the center and a tri-gram in each of the four corners of the flag.
For example, the background color of the flag is white. The color white was the predominant color of
for both men and women, although very colorful clothing was, and still is, worn at holiday celebrations and formal ceremonies, such as marriages and official events. A popular tourist attraction is the daily, noontime parade of the colorfully dressed palace guard at Gyung-Bok Gung (gyuhng-boke palace)
in the Gwang-hwa-mun (gwahng-hwah-moon)
ward in Seoul.
These symbols have roots in ancient Chinese culture and are related to each other. All tri-grams are composed of masculine and feminine elements that can also express yes and no in different contexts. The Yin–Yang (taegeuk) in the center of the flag symbolizes the harmony of opposites.
The symbol in the middle of the figure above left is an earlier representation of the balance, or harmony, of opposites from ancient Taoist teachings in China. The interplay of colors, black and white, indicates opposites. The curved black-and-white boundary suggests harmony, rather than confrontation.
North Korean Flag
Looking at the flag of North Korea immediately reveals a drastic difference in symbols between the flags of the North and of the South. The South’s flag is replete with cultural symbols having ancient Chinese origins, while the North’s flag displays symbols that are more general in their meaning:
The red stripe represents revolutionary tradition;
the white bands stand for purity, strength, and dignity;
the two blue stripes represent sovereignty, peace, and friendship;
a prominent red star on a white field, represents Socialism.
Is that Corea or Korea?
According to some sources
, Portuguese sailors referred to Korea as "Couray" and by the Italians as "Cauli", since the late 16th century. In the mid 17th century, Dutch traders recorded the name "Corea".
The leap from C
could have occurred because the sound of Hangeul (Korean writing) letter(kee-yuhk)
, or is somewhere between English G
; however, when
is the first letter of a Korean word, the sound often resembles English K
; thus, confusion emerges in the use of different spellings of the same sound value. Another consideration reveals that the sound of kee-yuhk
Does not exist in English. Corea may be a preferred spelling for Latin languages, i.e.
Portuguese or Italian, while Korea may be a preferred spelling for Germanic languages, i.e.
English and Dutch.