This is a list of flags used by South Korea, North Korea, and their predecessor states.

Korean reunification flag

Flag Date Use Description
1991–present Korean Unification Flag Used to represent the whole of Korea when North and South participate together in international sporting events.[1]

National

Main articles: Flag of North Korea and Flag of South Korea

Flag Date Use Description
Present national flags of North and South Korea
1948–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Ramhongsaek Konghwagukki) Red field with a blue bar on the top and bottom and a star in the center known as the red flag. Current, post-1992 version shown.
1948–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Republic of Korea (Taegeukgi) White field with a red and blue taegeuk in the center and four black trigrams, one in each corner of the flag. Modified several times since its original adoption in 1948. Current, post-2011 version shown.
Historical versions
Extant 1392 Information on reverse side is not available The Royal flag of the Goryeo dynasty[2] Also known as the "Bong-gi", which means "The Phoenix Flag".
Extant 1392 Information on reverse side is not available The Royal banner of the Goryeo dynasty. Also known as the "Haema-gi", which means "The Seahorse Flag".
Extant 1392 Information on reverse side is not available The Royal banner of the Goryeo dynasty. Also known as the "Sang-gi", which means "The Elephant Flag".
Extant 1856 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Flag of the Joseon dynasty[3][4]
Extant 1876 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag The Personal standard of the King of Joseon[3][4]
1882–1907 Information on reverse side is not available Royal standard of the Joseon dynasty[4]
1897–1910 Information on reverse side is not available Imperial standard of the Korean Empire
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag *Flag of the Korean Empire

The third version from the top is depicted in the 1882 U.S. Navy book Flags of Maritime Nations. Lowest is the version found in the 1944 United States postage stamp series.

The former Korean imperial flag had a different taegeuk from that in the current South Korean flag. Note that the 1882 U.S. Navy depiction may be left-right reversed. The arrangement of the trigrams was not officially fixed until an ordinance of 1948, when the South Korean government was established.
1919–1948 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag The flag of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea In exile in Shanghai and Chungking located in China
1945–1946 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Flag of the People's Republic of Korea Used by the People's Committees throughout postwar Korea
1946–1948 Flag of the Provisional People's Committee for North Korea A white rectangular background, a red and blue taegeuk in the center that symbolizes a balance, and four black trigrams, on each corner of the flag.
1948–1992 Flag of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Red field with a blue bar on the top and bottom and a star in the center known as the red flag
15 August 1948 – 14 October 1949 Civil and state flag and ensign of the First Republic of South Korea. This flag was designed by the first National Assembly.
15 October 1949 – 20 February 1984 Civil and state flag and ensign of the First, Second, Third, Fourth and the Fifth Republic of South Korea. This flag was designed by the Ministry of Education and Culture in October 1949. The exact colors were not specified.[5]
21 February 1984 – 14 October 1997 Civil and state flag and ensign of the Fifth and Sixth Republic of South Korea. In February 1984, with the enactment of regulations on the South Korean flag, the South Korean government re-designated the colors. The exact color was not specified.
15 October 1997 – 29 May 2011 Civil and state flag and ensign of the Sixth Republic of South Korea. In October 1997, the South Korean government officially specified the exact colors to be used on the flag via presidential decree.

Political flags

Flag Date Party
1935–1947 Korean National Revolutionary Party
1926–? Down-with-Imperialism Union
1909–1940s Korean National Association
1913–current Young Korean Academy [ko]

North Korean government

Flag Date Use Description
Standard of the chairman of the State Affairs Commission
2018–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the chairman of the State Affairs Commission Emblem of the chairman of the State Affairs Commission on a dark red field.
Political organizations
1949–present Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea Combination of a hammer (workers), a writing brush (intellectuals) and a Korean sickle (peasants), crossed over a red field.
1946–present Flag of the Socialist Patriotic Youth League Emblem of Youth League on a red flag, with "Youth" (청년) on the emblem.
1945–present Flag of the Socialist Women's Union of Korea Flag with the name of the organization: "Women's League" (녀성동맹).
1955–present Flag of the Korean Youth League in Japan [ja] Tricolor flag with the League's logo.

South Korean government

Flag Date Use Description
Presidential standard
1967–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagPresidential Standard Two Phoenix taking golden Hibiscus syriacus under their wings.
Standard of the prime minister
1988–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagStandard of the prime minister Golden Hibiscus syriacus inlaid in symbolic Hibiscus syriacus insignia
Flag of the National Government
1988–2016 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the National Government Symbolic Hibiscus syriacus insignia, inlaid with the word 정부, or Government.
2016–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the National Government Taeguk with the words "Republic of Korea Government" below.
2005–present Flag of the South Korean national police agency.
2005–present Flag of the South Korean coast guard Insignia of the South Korean coast guard, with the words 해양경찰청 ("Maritime Police Agency")
Flag of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces
1949–2016 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean provinces Symbolic Hibiscus syriacus insignia, covered by a blue arrow.
2016–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces Taeguk with the words "Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces" below.
Political flags
?–present Flag of the People Power Party
?–present Flag of the Justice Party

Military

Main articles: Korean People's Army and Republic of Korea Armed Forces

Korea

Flag Date Use Description
4th century Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagMilitary Flag of Goguryeo A banner with a simple red field.
Mid 5th Century Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagMilitary Flag of Goguryeo A black 4-pointed banner with 3 white stripes.
Late 5th Century Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagMilitary Flag of Goguryeo A red swallowtail banner with a yellow stripe.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagMilitary Flag of Baekje A banner with a simple yellow field.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagMilitary Flag of Silla A banner with a blue field with a white crescent moon in the center.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagWar flag Shows a version of the Lo shu magic square.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagblacksmith flag As one of the military flags of the Joseon Dynasty, it is called Sujagi (帥字旗) or Sugi (帥旗). During the Joseon Dynasty, it was hung as a mark of the general in the military camp. As for the shape, the word for "command" (帥) is engraved in black letters on the pressed color, and some have a dream (decoration of the flag) around the flag.

North Korea

Flag Date Use Description
1996–2002 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army
2002–2022 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army The Supreme Commander Star on a red flag. Sometimes used as a war flag during military exercises.
1948 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Korean People's Army Initially designed in 1948 with the Emblem of North Korea in 1948. The slogan reads: "For the unification and independence of the motherland and the people" (조국의 통립과 인민을 위하여). Used only as ceremonial unit color for historical units beginning 2013.
1948–1961 Used only as ceremonial unit color especially for Guards units beginning 2013.
1961–1992[6] Latest version shown; emblem adopted in 1992.[6] The slogan reads: "For the unification and independence of the motherland, and the freedom and happiness of the people" (조국의 통일, 독립과 인민의 자유와 행복을 위하여).
1992–1993 Emblem of DPRK updated to the one featuring the Paektu Mountain.
1948–1993 With a red star with golden border and bearing a hammer and two sickles.
1948–1961 Guards badge with Korean letters reading "[Unit number] / 2nd (as in ceremonies) Infantry Division" (제2부병사단). Used only as ceremonial unit color for Guards units beginning 2013.
1993–2023 Flag of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army Seen used during the October 1995 parade, observed very rarely.
FlagoftheKPA_onthestyleofDasREDeemr.png
2023–present Identical to the new flag of the ground forces except without the blue and white stripes. The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)", with the date of the founding of the KPA as 2 February 1948 in the canton.
Back_side_Flag_of_the_KPA.png
Party symbol placed within a design containing the façade of the WPK headquarters in Pyongyang.[7]
1996–2002 Flag of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army
2002–2020[8] The Supreme Commander Star on a red flag. Sometimes used as a war flag during military exercises.
1993–2023[9] Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Army Ground Force Emblem of KPA with slogan: "For the unification and independence of the motherland, and the freedom and happiness of the people" (조국의 통일, 독립과 인민의 자유와 행복을 위하여).[6]

The 4.25 commemorates the foundation of People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army on April 25, 1932.[6]

Also used since 2020 by the Special Operations and Strategic Forces as branch and unit colours.

Reverse side of the flag of the Korean People's Army Ground Force. With Korean letters reading "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army [unit name] / No.425 unit (in ceremonies)" (조선로동당의 혁명적무장력인 조선인민군 제425 군부대).

The number 425 commemorates the foundation of People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army on April 25, 1932.

1997–2011 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Army Ground Force Flag with modified slogan when Kim Jong Il was in power. The slogan: "Let us defend the headquarters of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!" (위대한 김정일동지를 수반으로 하는 혁명의 수뇌부를 목숨으로 사수하자!).[6] The name of Kim Jong Il is slightly enlarged.
Korean People’s Army Ground Force Flag 2023–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Army Ground Force Identical to the former flag except the emblem of the KPA is defaced with the emblem of the DPRK emblazoned on largened red star. The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)", with the date of founding of the particular unit placed in the canton. This flag is used by units of the Ground Forces to serve as a unit flag. The date of foundation on the canton differs among KPAGF units of regiment/brigade level and above, independent battalions and educational institutions.
Korean People’s Army Ground Force Flag Reverse side of the flag of the Korean People's Army Ground Force. Identical to the former flag except the party symbol is placed within a design containing the facade of the WPK headquarters in Pyongyang.[7]
1993–2023[9] Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Navy Emblem of KPA with anchor.
Reverse side of the flag of the flag of Korean People's Navy. With Korean letters reading "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army [unit name] / No.415 unit (in ceremonies)" (조선로동당의 혁명적무장력인 조선인민군 제415 군부대).

The number 415 commemorates the birthday of Kim Il-Sung on April 15.

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag 1997–2011 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Navy Flag with modified slogan when Kim Jong Il was in power. The slogan: "Let us defend the headquarters of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!" (위대한 김정일동지를 수반으로 하는 혁명의 수뇌부를 목숨으로 사수하자!).[6] The name of Kim Jong Il is slightly enlarged.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag 2023–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the People's Navy Identical to the former flag except the emblem of the KPA is defaced with the emblem of the DPRK emblazoned on largened red star, surrounded by a laurel wreath, and surmounted by an anchor and steering wheel. The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)", with the date of founding of the particular unit placed in the canton. The representative flag of the whole branch displays the date 28 August 1949.
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Reverse side of the flag of the flag of Korean People's Navy. Identical to the former flag except the party symbol is placed within a design containing the façade of the WPK headquarters in Pyongyang.[7]
1990s–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagNaval ensign of North Korea Red flag with Paektu Mountain in rays in a disc with national color outlines and a red star.
1990s–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagNaval Ensign of North Korea for Guards Units
1990s–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagNaval Jack of North Korea
1993–2023,[9] (insignia updated in 2012) Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force Emblem of KPA with wings.
1993–2023 Reverse side of the flag of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force. With Korean letters reading "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army [unit name] / No.216 unit (in ceremonies)" (조선로동당의 혁명적무장력인 조선인민군 제216 군부대).

The number 216 commemorates the birthday of Kim Jong-Il on February 16.

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag 1993–2012 (modified slogan 1997–2011) Flag of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force Flag with modified slogan when Kim Jong Il was in power. The slogan: "Let us defend the headquarters of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!" (위대한 김정일동지를 수반으로 하는 혁명의 수뇌부를 목숨으로 사수하자!).[6] The name of Kim Jong Il is slightly enlarged. Wings and a star above the KPA emblem.
2023–present Flag of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force Identical to the former flag except the emblem of the KPAAF is defaced with the emblem of the DPRK emblazoned on largened red star with additional stars at the top. Lower stripes are arranged as chevrons, and with six trailing jet fighters emerging behind the emblem. The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)", with the date of founding of the particular unit placed in the canton. The representative flag of the whole branch displays the date 29 November 1945.
Reverse side of the flag of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force. Identical to the former flag except the party symbol is placed within a design containing the façade of the WPK headquarters in Pyongyang.[7]
2018–2020 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Strategic Force Emblem of KPA on an upper half globe
?–present

(First appearance in 2018)

Reverse side of the flag of the flag of the Korean People's Army Strategic Force. With Korean letters reading "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army [unit name] / No.108 unit (in ceremonies)" (조선로동당의 혁명적무장력인 조선인민군 제108 군부대).

The number 108 commemorates the birthday of Kim Jong-Un on January 8.

2023–present Flag of the Missile General Bureau The Flag of the Missile General Bureau is seen with its Emblem in a large form with the founding date of 2016.4.30, The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)"
Identical to the Backside flags of the KPA except the party symbol is placed within a design containing the façade of the WPK headquarters in Pyongyang.
2018–2020 Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Special Operation Force Emblem of KPA with the Big Dipper.
?–present

(First appearance in 2018)

Reverse side of the flag of the flag of the Korean People's Army Special Operation Force. With Korean letters reading "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army [unit name]". / No.506 unit (in ceremonies)" (조선로동당의 혁명적무장력인 조선인민군 제506 군부대).

The number 506 commemorates the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea on May 6, 2016.

2007–2018 Flag of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards Slogan used until 2012, since then the flag shares the same motto as the rest of the KPA.
Reverse side of the flag of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards With Korean letters reading "Worker-Peasant Red Guards".

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
2023–Present Flag of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards The slogan reads "For the endless prosperity of the fatherland and the health of the people! (조국의 무궁한 번영과 인민의 안녕을 위하여)"

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
With Korean letters reading "Worker-Peasant Red Guards".

South Korea

Flag Date Use Description
1948–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Armed Forces Insignia of the armed forces on a red field.
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Minister of National Defense
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Vice Minister of National Defense
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1946–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Army Insignia of the army on a field parted per fess; above is white, below is blue.
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Chief of Staff of the Army
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Daejang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Jungjang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Sojang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Junjang
1955–present Naval ensign, navy flag, and naval jack Taegeuk on crossed anchors in a white canton on a blue field
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Chief of Naval Operations
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Daejang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Jungjang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Sojang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Junjang
1952–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Marine Corps The similarity with the flag of the United States Marine Corps shows the strong influence of the United States since the creation of South Korean armed forces.
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Commandant of the Marine Corps
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Jungjang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Sojang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Junjang
1952–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Air Force It is also used as the flag of the Air Force
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Daejang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Jungjang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Sojang
?–present Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagFlag of the Junjang
1968–present Flag of the Republic of Korea Reserve Forces

See also

References

  1. ^ Myers, Brian Reynolds (7 February 2018). "On the February 8 Parade and the Olympics". Sthele Press. Retrieved 9 February 2018. By forbearing to march behind the yin-yang flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the South Korean athletes are making a bigger sacrifice than the North Koreans... [T]he peninsula flag means two very different things to the two Koreas. In the South it symbolizes a desire for peaceful co-existence, or at most for a unification of equal partners in the reassuringly remote future. In wall posters above the DMZ it has always symbolized the southern masses' yearning for "autonomous unification", meaning absorption by the North. It's worrying to think how inner-track propaganda is certain to misrepresent the South Koreans' eschewal of their state flag for this of all symbols — and at this of all events.
  2. ^ 봉기(鳳旗) (in Korean). War Memorial of Korea. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "History of the South Korean flag". www.crwflags.com.
  4. ^ a b c Kariyasu, Nozomi (July 2009). The History of Taegeuk Flags [of South Korea] (PDF). 23rd International Congress of Vexillology. Yokohama, Japan: International Federation of Vexillological Associations.
  5. ^ "Ministry of Education Notice No. 2". Official Gazette. 15 October 1949. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Tertitskiy, Fyodor (10 April 2018). "What North Korea's army flags can teach us about its recent history". NK News. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "New Flags of the KPA".
  8. ^ "North Korea completes erasure of Kim Jong Un's 'supreme commander' symbol". NK News. 2022-02-17. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  9. ^ a b c "Colors of KPA Redesigned". KCNA. 13 February 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.