Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Unimportant But Interesting Topic: The Standard of Taiwan?

Being a casual painter myself, I am always fascinated by arts and symbols. And a few months ago I start to wonder what would a true Taiwanese national flag looks like. Yea, I know, it's not that important, but I do have some thoughts on the different flags in Taiwan now. Here it is:

The ROC National Flag
Well...this is a ROC flag, not really a Taiwan flag. But right now even a lot of TI supporters are waving this around even protects it with their bodies, since it's currently the only symbol that identify Taiwan (ROC) exist as a nation, even though a lot of TI supporters don't like flag. It sounds really contradictory and ironic, but that's the way things are. The pan blue supporters of course love this flag to death but you really come the government they supported only show this flag in Taiwan and when there are no Chinese around? But politics aside, there are something fundamentally wrong with the flag in my opinion:
  • The upper left symbol of white sun and blue sky is basically KMT's party symbol...that is just wrong...I you see the US put an elephant or a donkey on their national flag?
  • Visually speaking...the blue and red contrast is just too strong. My Computer Graphics prof once told us scientifically speaking because blue and red are the extreme opposite of optic spectrum which our visual sensory, eyes, can pick out, looking at blue and red side by side for too long can give some people headache. Looking at national flags around the world, it's rare you see big block of blue right beside big block or red...the US one for example it's not red all the way, but red and white strips, with a blue block. Netherlands and France for example, has white block between the red and blue block. UK's Union Jack has white between blue and red area as well. The only other one I can think of that has big blue beside big red is Russian flag, but even that one probably has a equivalent white block on top to balance it out.
Plus Taiwan obviously cannot use this flag anymore if Taiwan becomes a new republic etc.

DPP Type of Flag

A lot of Taiwanese seem to like the idea of just putting a green Taiwan right on the national flag. While it looks nice and is certainly a possibility, I don't particularly like this idea, and here is why:
  • Same reason as point 1 in ROC flag section. DPP and other Taiwanese organization already used the same type of symbol in their party flag. Just using the same idea is probably the same as KMT putting their party symbol on national flag. If the future Republic of Taiwan has another political party in the future (and most likely so if ROT hopes to be a democratic nation), they might complain why do we put DPP symbol on national flag?
  • Rarely do we see people just stuck their national territory map right on their national flag. Even the US flag, for example, abstract their territory into stars (or a snake in the early days?). If Taiwan wants to some how represent it's territory on the flag, it might be better to use some sort of symbols.
  • Too hard to draw by hands. Well, perhaps in this computer age, it's not a big deal...but it might still be worth while to keep flag's pattern simple...
The Four Hearted Flag
Hmm...this one for some reason I just don't like the visual symbols of it. This is more of an intuitive visual preference though, and some people might like it a lot, but I don't...I mean seriously...flower, consisted by four hearts...come on...the national symbol of Taiwan is similar to Valentine's day's symbols? That to me just sounds a bit wrong. Couldn't they use symbols other than flowers and hearts to represent the 4 groups of Taiwan in harmony? Funny I first notice this flag on the US TV show The West Wing, but even at the first glance, I just think that it cannot really represent Taiwan...But it's nice to see it on TV though, because it's probably the only recent flag that's designed specifically for "Republic of Taiwan." Hm...and now I look at it looks like a symbol from the game Ma-Jian.

The Old Taiwan Republic Flag
Ah, this one looks very different from the other flags. Definitely I like the tiger a little bit more than the flowers but what does tigers got to do with Taiwan? Does Taiwan even have tigers? It would make a bit more sense if they use some animal that Taiwan actually has like Formosa Black Bear or Cloud Panther. It's probably a flag designed in a rush that just use some art pattern from Ching Dynasity.

Overall I realize currently there is no symbol or flag that can really represent Taiwan. They have some temporary ones that's good enough for now I guess. But I wonder, what will a real Republic of Taiwan flag looks like? Whatever it is (maybe even on the ones above), I hope it has the following features:
  • Easy and immediate identification with Taiwanese: in another word, it symbolize the essence of Taiwan, and when a Taiwanese sees it, he/she should feel good and proud about it.
  • Stands out and Easy to Remember by Foreigner: it should be original so people outside Taiwan won't confuse it with another country's flag and it should be easy to remember so when next people see it they know what it represent.
Humm...but even that sounds like a tough

Flag reference:

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