The National Flag - Taegeukgi

The National Flag - Taegeukgi


Following the trend for modern states to adopt national flags, the decision to create a national flag for Korea emerged with the ratification of the Korea-United States Treaty of 1882. No accurate records remain of the Korean flag chosen for use at the signing ceremony; however, some argue that the flag was si milar to the ensign flag featured in the Flags of Maritime Nations issued by the U.S. Navy Department’s Bureau of Navigation and found in 2004. In his capacity as Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary under King Gojong, Park Yeong-hyo kept a record of his diplomatic mission to Japan in 1882.

In his capacity as Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary under King Gojong, Park Yeong-hyo kept a record of his diplomatic mission to Japan in 1882. According to his journal, known as Sahwagiryak, in September of that year while aboard the ship to Japan, Park created a four-trigram flag with a taegeuk circle (instead of the flag with eight black bars that had been used prior to 1800). The flag was used from September 25, 1882, according to Park’s report to the government on October 3 of that year. By royal order on March 6, 1883, King Gojong promulgated that Park’s flag with a taegeuk circle in the center and four trigrams around it (the flag named Taegeukgi) be the national flag. However, due to a lack of specific guidelines, the flag design took different forms. On June 29, 1942, the Provisional Government issued a national flag style guide to ensure that subsequent flags would be created in a consistent manner. Despite these efforts, however, ordinary people were unaware of these guidelines.After the establishment of the Republic of Korea on August 15, 1948, the government felt an increasing need to standardize flag construction. Thus in January 1949, it formed the National Flag Correction Committee, which announced the National Flag Construction Guidelines on October 15 of that year. A number of regulations were later implemented, providing for the systematic management of the flag: the Act on the Flag of the Republic of Korea, enacted in January 2007; the Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Flag of the Republic of Korea, in July 2007; and the Regulations on the Hoisting, Management, and Promotion of the National Flag in September 2009 (by instructions from the Prime Minister).

Symbolism of the flag

The Taegeukgi consists of a white background, a red and blue taegeuk circle in the center, and four black trigrams (collectively called geongongamri), one in each corner of the flag. The white background represents brightness, purity, and peace, qualities that are highly valued by the people. The taegeuk, which has long been a commonly used motif, denotes the harmony between the negative cosmic forces (yin : blue portion) and the positive cosmic forces (yang : red portion), depicting the truth of nature that all things are created and evolve through the interaction of yin and yang. The four black trigrams are specific representations of the movement and harmony of these forces. In detail, the geon symbolizes the sky, the gon the earth, the gam water, and the ri fire. Together, they create harmony around the taegeuk mark. In short, the Taegeukgi flag embodies the vision of the Korean people who, like the universe, seek continuous creation and enrichment. By upholding the spirit and significance of the Taegeukgi, the people seek to realize unity and unification and contribute to the happiness and peace of humanity.

Construction of the Flag of Korea

Construction of the Flag of Korea

  1. ① Diameter of circle x 3
  2. ② Diameter of circle x 2
  3. ③ Diameter of circle x 1/2
  4. ④ Length of flag x 1/2
  5. ⑤ Right angle (90 degrees)
  6. ⑥ Diameter of Circle x 1/24
  7. ⑦ Diameter of circle x 1/4
  8. ⑧ Diameter of circle x 1/3
  9. ⑨ Diameter of circle x 1/12

Pledge of allegiance to the flag (revised on July 27, 2007)

I, standing before the noble Taegeukgi, solemnly pledge allegiance to the Republic of Korea, to its glory, liberty and justice.



Motive Of ODA

The primary purpose of ODA is to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. From the perspectives of the donor countries, however, their objectives in providing ODA are not all the same since their national agendas and objectives as well as their historical and cultural relationships with developing countries vary. There are largely three types of motives behind the provision of ODA: political and diplomatic motives, economic motives, and humanitarian motives. In recent years, the rising interdependence among countries fueled by globalization has been highlighted as one of the most important motives for ODA as well.

Political and Diplomatic Motives

ODA is affected by a myriad of factors, including defense alliances, political ideologies, historical relationships, security agendas and foreign policies. During the time of the Cold War, the west and the east were aggressive in using foreign aid as a strategic tool for spreading their respective ideologies. European countries provided development assistance to their former colonies as both compensation to and means of maintaining their influences over them. In recent years, donor countries have leveraged ODA to enhance their relationships with emerging economies and build their soft power to heighten their presences on the global stage. Since the drivers of ODA vary depending upon the donor countries’ foreign policy objectives and strategies, their partner countries as well as the types of their assistance and the targeted sectors tend to differ from one another.

Economic Motives

Economic motives are associated with the notion that ODA can lay foundations for economic take·offs in developing countries, and may in turn contribute to expansions of market opportunities for companies in the donor countries that are looking to establish footholds in overseas markets. Since Southeast Asian countries are the destinations for a large of share of Korea’s exports, the economic aspect of ODA has gained more attention here. However, the donors’ explicit and exclusive pursuit of economic gains is not desirable in ODA, which should be used as a means of promoting shared growth between the donor and the developing countries.

Humanitarian Motives

Humanitarian motives originate the global moral obligation to end absolute poverty so as to help realize the universal values of mankind (e.g. human rights). The humanitarian viewpoint focuses on the fact that poverty remains prevalent despite the striking development that the world has achieved since the end of World War II. Specifically, it regards helping people in developing countries to secure basic livelihoods to lead fulfilling lives as a moral obligation to meet universal values. This view proliferated and gained prominence in the field of development cooperation after the “Pearson Report” in 1969, which propagated the term “world community.”

Interdependent Global Community Motives

In an age of hyper-connectedness, in which people and information are allowed to flow freely into and out of countries, what happens in one country is no longer confined to within its borders but can have effects that are quickly transmitted to neighboring countries and beyond. Just as environmental degradation, climate change and epidemics of disease are affecting the international community, poverty and political instability can fuel global upheavals by giving rise to terrorism or refugee crises that pose grave security threats to the world as a whole. In this changing global environment, donor countries have begun to recognize developing countries not as the recipients of their aid, but as essential economic and political partners that are inextricably linked to their own long-term prosperity and survival.
Each nation has their own ODA objectives and delivery frameworks based upon their historical, political, social and economic backgrounds. In combination of diverse motivations and purposes as explained above, these factors affect the provision of ODA across the globe. Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) has recommended to the international community that it engage in development cooperation on the basis of the principles of humanitarianism and the interdependence of the world's countries, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).