National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China

proposal was deemed
National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China

This article pertains to the Emblem of the People’s Republic of China. To view the National Emblem of the Republic of China, please refer to a different source.

According to the China Yearbook 2004, the flag’s red color represents revolution while the yellow color of the stars represents the brilliant rays emanating from the vast red land. The four smaller stars surrounding a larger one in the design symbolize the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

As per the Description of the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China, the red circle’s outer border displays sheaves of wheat and the inner ones of rice, which collectively signify agricultural workers. Positioned at the center of the bottom part of the border is a cog-wheel that represents industrial workers. These components together symbolize the Chinese people’s revolutionary struggles since the May Fourth Movement and the coalition of the proletariat that successfully established the People’s Republic of China.

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The national emblem is an important symbol of a country, representing its values, history, and identity. While modern national emblems are often designed based on European heraldry, the concept of emblem design has a long history in human society. Even before the artistic concept of European heraldry, totem worship with similar concepts was explored in social practices.

For example, in the Qing Dynasty, the “dragon” totem in the “Yellow Dragon flag” was widely used as a substantive national emblem in official government designs such as silver coins and passports, even though there was no legal national emblem at the time. Similarly, in ancient China, the national seal was the certificate of the emperors of the orthodox dynasties in previous dynasties. Its symbolic power and stamping effect were similar to that of the modern national emblem.

During the early days of the People’s Republic of China, there was also a design of the national seal with the nature of the national emblem. The traditional seal design was initially used as an official duty, but later, it was officially changed to the European round seal design. This shows that the development of national emblem design is not limited to one specific culture or concept but rather evolves over time to represent the changing values and identities of a country.

In conclusion, the national emblem is a crucial symbol of a country that reflects its history and identity. While modern national emblems may be influenced by European heraldry, the concept of emblem design has a long history that dates back to ancient times. The evolution of national emblem design shows how it represents the changing values and identities of a country.

Beiyang period

dynasty, symbolizing brightness

During the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the Empire of China did not have an official state emblem, but its flag featured the azure dragon on a plain yellow field with a red sun of the three-legged crow in the upper left corner, which became known as the Yellow Dragon Flag. However, after the end of Manchu rule, new national symbols were deemed necessary to represent the changed circumstances. As a result, renowned writers Lu Xun, Qian Daosun, and Xu Shoushang from the Ministry of Education were tasked with designing a new national emblem.

The emblem was presented on August 28, 1912, and was adopted as the national emblem in February 1913. Even during President-Emperor Yuan Shikai’s short imperial reign from 1915 to 1916, the emblem continued to be used. This emblem was based on the ancient symbols of the Twelve Ornaments, which are first mentioned in the Book of Documents by Emperor Shun, one of the legendary Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, who lived sometime between 2294 and 2184 BC according to oral tradition. The emperor wished for the symbols to be used on official robes of the state, and the new national emblem of China was inspired by these ancient symbols.

Nationalist period

In 1928, the Beiyang government was overthrown by General Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang party during the Northern Expedition, which led to the establishment of a one-party state known as the Nanjing decade. Consequently, the state emblem was replaced with the Kuomintang’s Blue Sky with a White Sun party symbol, which remains the flag of the Republic of China to this day. During this period, the KMT flag was given equal prominence to the ROC flag and was often displayed alongside it on walls, with a portrait of National Father Sun Yat-sen in the center. However, after the Constitution of the Republic of China was promulgated, the party flag was removed from such displays, and the national flag was moved to the center. Since the ROC government moved to Taiwan, and especially after the end of martial law, the Kuomintang flag has lost some of its prominence, but it can still be seen on KMT party buildings and at political rallies and other meetings of the KMT and the pan-blue coalition.

is an important symbol

Communist period

The emblem of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is a symbol of the organization’s mission and values. It was designed by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, which presented their first round proposal to the CPPCC.

The emblem features a large, golden star surrounded by four smaller stars, which symbolize the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The stars are set against a blue background, which represents the sky and the sea, and embodies the idea of peace and tranquility.

In addition to the stars, the emblem also includes a circle of wheat ears, which symbolize the rural population, and a circle of cogwheels, which symbolize the urban workers. These two elements together represent the unity of the working class and the peasantry, which is a central principle of Marxist ideology.

The design of the emblem is both aesthetically pleasing and symbolic of the CPPCC’s mission to promote democracy and consultation among the Chinese people. It is an important symbol of the organization’s role in Chinese politics and society.

Overall, the emblem of the CPPCC is a powerful symbol of unity, solidarity, and social progress in China. Its design reflects the organization’s commitment to democratic consultation and socialist values, and it serves as a reminder of the important role that the CPPCC plays in shaping the future of China.

  • The designers from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang Ding, Zhang Guangyu, Zhou Lingzhao and Zhong Ling, handed out their proposals with 5 variations on September 25, 1949. The symbolism of their first design was: The red star symbolizes Communism and the CCP. The cog and wheat/rice symbolizes unification of industrial workers and peasants. The rising earth with China in red symbolizes the socialist revolution in China and the world revolution ideal on Asian counties. 31 rays behind the earth symbolizes the 31 provincial administrative divisions at that time. The name of the People’s Republic of China is written on the red ribbon below. [7] The design was based on their design of the emblem of CPPCC, and was influenced by Socialist heraldry of the Eastern Bloc.
  • The designers from the Department of Architecture at Tsinghua University, Liang Sicheng, Lin Huiyin, Mo Zongjiang, Zhu Changzhong, Li Zongjin and Gao Zhuang, handed their proposal on October 30, 1949. According to their proposal, the design was a mixture of traditional Chinese culture and MaoistNew Democratic Revolution ideals. The design imitated the style of mirrors in Han dynasty, symbolizing brightness. The disc was made of jade, a symbol of peace and unity. Decorative carvings on the disc was in Tang dynasty style. The stars from national flag and a cog were placed in the center of the disc, surrounded by wheats, symbolizing unity of working class and socialism. The red ribbon tied a smaller jade ring, symbolising the unification of Chinese people. [8]
  • The other proposal by Zhang Ding, Zhang Guangyu, Zhou Lingzhao, was a perspective depiction of Tian’anmen gate.

an official state emblem, but

On June 10, 1950, the first CPPCC committee members deliberated on three proposals. The China Central Academy of Fine Arts’ proposal was deemed too colorful to be considered as a trademark, while the Tsinghua University’s proposal was viewed as bourgeois because of its use of traditional symbols. The committee suggested that the new emblem include the Tian’anmen Gate, which symbolizes the Chinese revolution and served as the site of the May Fourth Movement and the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. [9]

After the first round of proposals were discussed, the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Tsinghua University worked on a second round of proposals. The second proposal from Tsinghua University included a standardized design of the Tian’anmen Gate on the emblem, with red and yellow as the main colours. This proposal was ultimately selected and further simplified by Gao Zhuang. On 20 September 1950, the design was officially adopted as the national emblem by the Central People’s Government.

    Second round proposals of the national emblem

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