Location: Home ->Getting To Know China-> BASIC FACTS---National Symbols

National Flag

The national flag of China was adopted at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference held in September 1949, shortly before the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The flag of the People's Republic of China is red in color and it has five yellow stars. The color red symbolizes the spirit of the revolution, and the five stars signify the unity of the people of China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. The flag first was raised in Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949, upon the formal announcement that People's Republic of China was founded.

National Emblem

The national emblem design representing the People's Republic of China was unveiled by the Central People's Government on September 20, 1950. It shows Tiananmen under the light of five stars, and it is framed with ears of grain and a cogwheel. Tiananmen is the symbol of modern China because the May 4th Movement of 1919, which marked the beginning of the new-democratic revolution in China, was launched there. It is also the place where the inauguration of the People's Republic of China was held. The cogwheel and the ears of grain represent the working class and the peasantry respectively, and the five stars symbolize the solidarity of the various nationalities of China. The emblem clearly indicates that People's Republic of China is a socialist state led by the working class and based on the alliance of the workers and the peasants unified.

National Anthem

The words for the national anthem were written by Tian Han, and the music was set by Nie Er in 1935. Originally known as the March of the Volunteers, it was the theme song from The Sons and Daughters in Times of Turmoil, a film that depicted how Chinese intellectuals marched bravely to the front in the War of Resistance Against Japan during the Second World War.

Deep, reverberating, militant and inspiring, the emotional song describes the wrath of the Chinese people against imperialist aggression and their determination to protect their motherland against foreign invaders. During the Second World War it was also sung by many other nationalities, those people of other countries that sympathized with the Chinese in their anti-Japanese struggle. In 1949 it was appropriately chosen to be the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.

The lyrics of the national anthem 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 in the most critical time,
Everybody must roar his 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!