REPUBLIC OF CHINA
 

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NAVAL ENSIGNS & FLAGS    1912-49
 

Notes
 

With the abdication of the last emperor and the proclamation of a republic in 1912, a new national flag was adopted by China. Known as the Five-Color Flag, its stripes stood for China proper (red), Manchuria (yellow), Mongolia (blue), Tibet (white) and the Muslims of China (black). As its war flag, the Republic adopted the flag raised by Army rebels in 1911: a red field for China with a black star and eighteen gold balls, one for each province of the nation. A white flag with the war flag in the canton served briefly as the naval ensign but in 1913 a new naval ensign, red with the White Sun in Blue Sky Flag of the Nationalist Party (KMT) in the canton, was adopted. The Five-Color Flag served as the naval jack. A commissioning pennant, based on the design of the ensign, was adopted at the same time.  A range of rank flags and command pennants, based on the KMT flag, was also introduced. 

In 1925, General Chiang Kai-shek assumed leadership of the KMT and established a new national administration at Canton. By 1928 he had united much of China under his government, and to symbolize this success the Five-Color Flag was abolished. The 1912 naval ensign became China's national flag, and the White Sun in Blue Sky Flag was adopted as the naval jack. Some of the rank flags were changed also. These flags disappeared from mainland China after the Communist victory in 1949.

Flag Proportions: Most Republic of China flags had 2:3 proportions. An exception was the Five-Color Flag, which had 4:5 proportions.

Note on Dates: The Republic of China continued in existence on the island of Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War and still claims to be the legitimate government of China. I have chosen to indicate 1949 as the terminal date for the flags shown on this page, and to present the flags of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on a separate page.

Note on the Illustrations: For clarity, the naval rank flags as they existed from 1913-28 and from 1928-49 are presented as two complete sets, even though some of the flags were not changed in 1928.
 



 

NAVAL ENSIGN    1912-13


 

NATIONAL FLAG & NAVAL JACK     1912-28

 

NAVAL ENSIGN    1913-28
NATIONAL FLAG & NAVAL ENSIGN 1928-49

 

NAVAL JACK    1928-49
 

 

COMMISSIONING PENNANT

 

RANK FLAGS & PENNANTS    1912-28

 

ADMIRAL

 

VICE-ADMIRAL

 

REAR-ADMIRAL

 

COMMODORE

 

SENIOR OFFICER

 

RANK FLAGS & PENNANTS    1928-49

 

ADMIRAL

VICE-ADMIRAL

REAR-ADMIRAL

 

COMMODORE
 

 

SENIOR OFFICER
 



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