The flag of Vietnam consists of a red banner, centered by a gold star, inspired by flags of various Communist movements around the world. The flag of Southern Vietnam consisted of a gold-yellow banner with three horizontal red stripes and was sued as the flag of this region from 1948-1975. The current flag was officially adopted by Northern Vietnam on 30 November 1945 but was used previously in 1940 as the symbol of a Vietnamese uprising against French colonial rule. When Vietnam was reunified in 1976, the flag was used for the entire country, permanently replacing the flag of Southern Vietnam.

The red within the flag represents the Communist movement. This colour has been associated with Communism since the 1871 Paris Commune. The red is therefore symbolic of a social revolution, or a national uprising, in Vietnam in which Communism will rise to become the dominant ideology. The colour also has a connotation to the spilt blood of those who struggled in the name of revolution. The five-pointed star on the flag is representative of the five classes of the Vietnamese population: businessmen, farmers, intellectuals, workers, and military personnel.

The design of the original red and gold star flag has been a point of contention for some time in Vietnam. Varying historical accounts of the original design exist but what is irrefutable is the fact that the banner was used for the first time in 1940. The 1992 Constitution of Vietnam states that "the National Flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is rectangular in shape, its width is equal to two-thirds of its length, in the middle of fresh red background is a bright five-pointed golden star".

Previous versions include the flag above of Southern Vietnam, which is now banned, as well as using the French flag while under colonial rule. From 1941 until 1945, the region was under Japanese occupation, and the flag of the Empire of Japan was commonplace in Vietnam. The current flag is prominently displayed in the whole country and remains one of the most recognizable symbols of a nation today.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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