The Flag

Image
Taegukki, the Korean national flag, is very philosophical in meaning. The flag symbolizes peace, unity, creation, brightness, and infinity. The origin comes from the oriental philosophy, called Yin-Yang in Chinese and Eum-Yan in Korean, and summarizes the thought of I Ching (Yeok in Korean).

Depicted in the center of the flag is the Taegeuk, a circle divided equally and locked in perfect balance. The upper red section is the Yan, and the lower blue section is the Eum. The two opposites express the dualism of the universe, good and evil, night and day, hot and cold, male and female, dark and light, being and not being, and so on.

The central thought in the Taegeuk indicates that while there is a constant movement within the sphere of infinity, there are also balance and harmony. The word "Taegeuk" is comprised of two Chinese characters, "Tae" meaning joyfulness and "Geuk" meaning eternity. It is the philosophical idea from which views on life and the universe are derived. It has no form, no ending, no beginning. Nevertheless, everything is embodied in and has for its origin Taegeuk.

From the Taegeuk eight major concepts are derived, each of which is represented by a trigram called "Palgwe". Four of these trigrams are depicted on the flag arranged with its complimentary across from it. The three unbroken bars in the upper left stand for heaven (Keon), the three broken bars in the lower right stand for earth (Gon). In the upper right are two broken and one unbroken bars, this stands for water (Gam), and in the lower left are two unbroken and one broken bars standing for fire (Ri). These four palgwe, along with Tae (joyfulness) & Gan (mountain) and Jin (thunder) & Seon (wind) are the basis of the Taegeuk forms.
Back...