Vietnam Flag: The History And Meaning

The history and meaning of the Vietnamese flag are not known to everyone. If you are looking to learn about this flag, the article of Explore One Vietnam is what you need.

Vietnam Flag

1. History of the Flag of Vietnam

Early Flags: Before the 19th century, Vietnam did not have a unified national flag. Instead, various dynasties and regions used their own banners and symbols to represent their authority and identity.

Flag of the Tay Son Dynasty (1778–1802): The Tay Son Dynasty was a period of rebellion and resistance against the ruling Le Dynasty. During this time, the Tay Son rebels used a flag with three horizontal stripes of red, blue, and yellow.

Flag of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1885): The Nguyen Dynasty, which unified Vietnam under Emperor Gia Long, introduced a new flag known as the “Yellow Flag with Three Stripes” (Cờ Tam Sọc Vàng). It had three horizontal stripes: red on top and bottom, with a narrow yellow stripe in the center.

French Colonial Period (1887–1945): Vietnam became a French protectorate in 1887, and during this time, the French authorities introduced the “Cochinchina Flag,” which was a vertical tricolor of blue, white, and red. This flag was used in Cochinchina, one of the three regions of Vietnam under French rule. In other parts of Vietnam, the French used the “Annam Protectorate Flag,” which was a yellow flag with three red stripes.

Birth of the Modern Vietnamese Flag: After World War II, the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, declared independence from France and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945. They adopted a simple red flag with a five-pointed yellow star in the center. This design represented the communist ideology of the ruling party and the unity of the people under its leadership.

Division of Vietnam (1954–1975): The Geneva Accords in 1954 temporarily divided Vietnam into two parts at the 17th parallel: the communist-led Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North and the anti-communist Republic of Vietnam in the South. The North continued to use the red flag with a yellow star, while the South adopted a new flag with a yellow field and three horizontal red stripes.

Reunification of Vietnam (1976): After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, North Vietnam successfully reunified with South Vietnam, and the current design of the Vietnamese flag, with a red field and a single yellow star, was officially adopted as the national flag of a unified Vietnam

2. The Meaning of the Vietnamese Flag

Red Color: The red color in the flag symbolizes the revolutionary struggle of the Vietnamese people. It represents the bloodshed, sacrifices, and determination of the Vietnamese in their fight for independence, freedom, and the establishment of a sovereign nation.

Gold/Yellow Star: The central gold or yellow star is a representation of unity among the Vietnamese people. The five points of the star originally represented the five main social classes in Vietnamese society: intellectuals, peasants, workers, traders, and soldiers.

3. Vietnam Flag in Daily Life

Government Buildings: The Vietnamese flag is prominently displayed on government buildings, including city halls, provincial offices, and national government institutions. It serves as a symbol of the state and represents the sovereignty of the country.

Schools and Educational Institutions: Schools across Vietnam raise the national flag during morning assemblies and special events. It is a common practice for students and teachers to salute the flag while singing the national anthem.

National Holidays and Celebrations: On important national holidays like National Day (September 2), and Reunification Day (April 30), the Vietnamese flag is extensively displayed in public spaces and private households. People may also wear clothing featuring the flag’s colors or designs to show their national pride.

Military and Official Ceremonies: The flag plays a central role in military and official ceremonies, where it is raised and lowered with due respect. The flag is an integral part of events like military parades, state funerals, and award ceremonies.

Cultural and Sporting Events: During cultural festivals and sporting events, the Vietnamese flag is used to decorate stages, venues, and spectator areas. It is also carried by athletes during international competitions, representing the nation on a global stage.

Transportation: The Vietnamese flag is often displayed on vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and boats, by citizens who wish to express their national pride while on the move.

Remembrance and Respect: The flag is a symbol of remembrance and respect for the sacrifices made by those who fought for the country’s independence and reunification. It serves as a constant reminder of Vietnam’s history and its journey towards becoming a united nation.

4. Some Beautiful Images of the Vietnamese Flag

Vietnam Flag

Vietnam Flag

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can better understand the origin and historical significance of the Vietnamese flag. If you are backpacking in Vietnam and want to buy a T-shirt shaped like a red flag with the yellow symbol as a Vietnamese souvenir, you should visit Ben Thanh Market to find what you need or buy it on Amazon.