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You are here: China Window > China Briefing > China Political System > National Flag, National Emblem and National Anthem
 
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National Flag, National Emblem and National Anthem

 

The national flag of the PRC is a red rectangle emblazoned with five stars.

The red of the flag symbolizes revolution; the stars are yellow so that they will stand out brightly against the red ground. The larger star represents the CPC and the four smaller ones, the Chinese people. This expresses the great unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC.

The national emblem of the PRC features Tiananmen Gate beneath the five shining stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a cogwheel at the bottom. The ears of grain, stars, Tiananmen and cogwheel are gold; the field within the circle is red, as are the ribbons festooning the bottom of the circle. These two colors traditionally represent auspiciousness and happiness.

Tiananmen symbolizes the unyielding spirit of the Chinese people in their fight against imperialism and feudalism; the cogwheel and ears of grain represent the working class and the peasantry, respectively; the five stars, as above, stand for the great unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC.

The national anthem was written in 1935, with lyrics by the noted poet Tian Han and music by the famous composer Nie Er. The lyrics are as follows:

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves;

With our very flesh and blood

Let us build our new Great Wall!

The peoples of China are at their most critical time,

Everybody must roar defiance.

Arise! Arise! Arise!

Millions of hearts with one mind,

Brave the enemy's gunfire,

March on!

Brave the enemy's gunfire,

March on! March on! March on, on!

This song, originally named March of the Volunteers, was the theme song of the film, Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm. The film tells the story of those who went to the front to fight the Japanese invaders in northeast China in the 1930s, when the fate of the nation was hanging in the balance.

Moving and powerful, the March of the Volunteers gave voice to the Chinese people's determination to sacrifice themselves for national liberation, expressing China's admirable tradition of courage, resolution and unity in fighting foreign aggression. It was for this reason that the CPPCC on September 27, 1949 decided to adopt the song as the provisional national anthem of the PRC, and the NPC on December 4, 1982 officially decided to adopt the song as the national anthem of the PRC.

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