|Flag Name(s)||Taegeukgi, aegukgi, (Korean: 태극기) [Flag Of South Korea]|
|Color and Design|
A white field with a red and blue taegeuk in the center that is surrounded by four varying groups of short black bars toward each corner.
|Meaning & Symbolism||The flag's white field is a traditional color in Korean culture. White was common in the daily attire of 19th-century Koreans, and it still appears in contemporary versions of traditional Korean garments such as the hanbok. The white color represents peace and purity. The Taegeuk circle in the flag's center symbolizes balance in the universe. The red half represents positive cosmic forces, and the blue half represents the opposing negative cosmic forces. Together, the four trigrams represent movement and harmony as fundamental principles.|
|Description and Brief History|
The flag of South Korea (also known as the Taegeukgi) has three elements: a white rectangular background, a red and blue Taegeuk in its center, and four black trigrams, one in each corner. Flags similar to the current Taegeukgi were used as the national flag of Korea by the Joseon dynasty, the Korean Empire, and the Korean government-in-exile during Japanese rule. South Korea adopted the Taegukgi as its national flag when it gained independence from Japan on 15 August 1948.
The first proposals for a Korean flag emerged near the end of the 19th century in response to diplomatic negotiations between Korea and Japan. The Japanese delegate brought the national flag of Japan to the meetings, but Korea did not have a national flag of its own to display in the same way. The number of proposals and the need for a flag increased over time as the nation of Korean entered into more negotiations with nations that used national flags. The Korean government finally adopted the earliest form of the Taegukgi in 1883 following the ratification of the United States-Korea Treaty of 1882. The flag of Japan began to fly over Korea in 1910, and it remained until the end of the second world war, which also saw the division of the unified Korean nation into the two countries of the modern world. The old flag was used as the model of the South Korea flag. It underwent minor changes in 1945, 1948, 1949, and 1997, and that sequence of changes finally brought about the flag that represents the nation today.
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