Today, we’re publishing our 4th installment of Flags of the World. To date, we’ve covered the Australian flag, Welsh flag, and South African flag, respectively. Today we add one of (if not the) most recognizable flag in the world: the Japanese flag. Stoic, simple, and iconic, the Japanese flag was an easy pick for our Flags of the World series.
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Let’s talk about the Japanese flag!
Creation and Origin
The Japanese flag is known as the Hinomaru. The red sun-disc design has been used in Japan for over a century, but was officially adopted as the national flag in 1999.
The sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology. In traditional Japanese mythology, the reigning emperor is supposed to be the direct descendant of the sun. The use of a sun depiction in the Japanese flag dates back to 701. Since then, it has appeared in various iterations. There is controversy surrounding the flag’s perception. Some, both Westerners and native Japanese, believe the flag represents strength and unity. Others believe it is a symbol of hyper-nationalism and imperialism.
The Japanese flag is as simple as it is iconic, and the two go hand in hand. The flag sports a white rectangle with a red sun-disc (or circle) centered in the middle. Earlier versions of the flag, still used in some instances today, showcased a red sun-disc with red beams outstretching passed the edges of the flag.
The red disc must be 3/5ths of the hoist length, and some versions of the flag feature the sun disc being slightly off center, just 1/100th of the flag width toward the hoist.
The Japanese flag is an iconic and infamous world flag. Both straightforward and eye-catching, the Japanese flag is unforgettable.
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