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Symbols of China

Last updated by elysees at 2015/9/18

National Flag

The national flag of China is red and rectangular. The proportion between its length and height is 3:2. There are five yellow stars on the upper-left. The larger one is encircled by the other four smaller ones on its right.

Chinese National Flag

The red color of the national flag signifies revolution and the yellow color of the five stars symbolizes golden brilliant rays radiating from the vast red land as well as the skin color of the Chinese people. The design of four smaller stars surrounding a bigger one indicates the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). 

The larger yellow star on the flag represents the Communist Party of China, and the four smaller stars stand for our four social classes: the worker, the farmer, the petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie. The five stars spreading evenly on the flag represent the unity of Chinese people. Each smaller star has one of its angles pointing to the center of the larger star, revealing the trust of the Chinese people in the Communist Party of China.

National Anthem

The national anthem of China is the March of the Volunteers.

The March of the Volunteers was composed after the September 18th Incident in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria. It reflected the strong belief and confidence of the Chinese people in defeating their Japanese invaders. The anthem was written in 1935 with lyrics by poet Tian Han and later paired with music by composer Nie Er. It was the theme song of Brave Volunteers and was widely known.

The March of the Volunteers was chosen as the provisional national anthem of the new China on September 27, 1949, at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference ("CPPCC"). The lyrics were written by the poet Tian Han and later paired with music by the composer Nie Er. Later it was officially adopted as the national anthem of the PRC.

National Emblem

The March of the Volunteers is reputed to be the clarion of the liberation war of the Chinese nation. Since it was written in 1935 when the nation was in great peril, it has been widely sung by the Chinese people and played a very important role in arousing patriotism, expressing the morale of the Chinese people in revolution, and serves to remind them about the possibility of danger even in times of peace and safety.

Chairmen Mao once mentioned the necessity of making the March of the Volunteers the national anthem of China. He expressed that we should never forget the shameful history of being enslaved, but should remind ourselves from time to time of the possibility of turmoil when we are in peace.

National Emblem

The national emblem of China is comprised of the Tiananmen Gatetower which is under five stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a gear wheel below.

The combination of red and gold demonstrates the richness and grandeur of the People's Republic of China.

Tian'anmen Square

Tian'anmen Square

The contents of the national emblem involves national flag, Tiananmen Square, a gear wheel, and ears of grain. In fact it has deep and rich connotations. The New Democratic Revolution began in 1919 and achieved great success in 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded. Tiananmen Square was the place of the May Fourth Movement, and the venue of the grand ceremony celebrating the founding of P.R.C.

It is appropriate to make the image of Tiananmen Square the symbol of the new Chinese nation. The gear wheel and ears of grain on the emblem signify respectively the class of workers and farmers. The five stars on the national flag are again put on the emblem because they represent the unity of the Chinese nation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and demonstrate that the People's Republic of China is a socialist state led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.

National Flower

The Tree Peony is regarded as the national flower of China.

The elegance and fragrance of the tree peony has been a favorite in Chinese culture throughout history. Early in the Southern and Northern Dynasties there were records of tree peony planting. The technology of planting was largely developed later in Tang Dynasty when the tree peony was reputed as "the king of flowers".

Chinese National Flower

It is said that at one time during the Qing Dynasty, a brother of the the emperor went to Jile Temple to admire the tree peony, and then wrote inscriptions "National Flower Temple" on the  plaque of the temple. Therefore it was from early Qing Dynasty that the tree peony won the title "National Flower".

Tree peony of China is famous at home and abroad. In Origin of the Species by Darwin, the planting of tree peony in China was quoted as an example to prove "the Theory of Natural Selection and Artificial Selection". Tree peony is widely favored by people all over the world. In the eighth century, tree peony of China was introduced to Japan, in 1330 to France, in 1656 to Holland, and in 1820 to the United States. By now tree peony is planted and cultivated in more than 20 countries world wide.

It is said that in the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Wu Zetian once got drunk in on a winter day and ordered all flowers in the palace to bloom at once. The tree peony refused and was soon driven out of the imperial palace to Luoyang in today's Henan Province. From then on the tree peony was reputed as the "Best Flower under Heaven."  Tree peonies are upright, tall and handsome, with bright and showy flowers. The characters of tree peonies are quite similar to that of the Chinese people. In the Ming Dynasty, Caozhou County in Shandong Province once won the title "Hometown of the Tree peony."

Treasure of China—Giant Panda

Giant Pandas

The Giant Panda is one of the most precious animals in the world. In China they live in areas of rolling hills or mountain ranges in Sichuan, Gansu, and Shanxi Province. They are small in number and therefore designated as an endangered species and under first-level protection. The Giant Panda in China is considered a National Treasure.