Flag History

History of the Flag

The Korean flag symbolizes much of the thought and philosophy of the Orient. The symbol, and sometimes the flag itself, is called T’ae Kuk.

Depicted on the flag is a circle divided equally and locked in perfect balance. The red section represents the Yang (plus) and the blue section the Um (minus), an ancient symbol of the universe which originated in China. These two opposites express the dualism of the cosmos: fire and water, day and night, dark and light, construction and destruction, masculine and feminine, active and passive, heat and cold, plus and minus, and so on.

The central thought in the T’ae Kuk indicates that while there is a constant movement within the sphere of infinity, there is also balance and harmony.

Three bars at each corner also carry the ideas of opposition and balance. The three unbroken bars stand for heaven; the opposite three broken bars represent the earth; the two bars with a broken bar in between symbolize fire; the opposite is the symbol of water.