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Chinese subdivisions - in sport events

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: chinese subdivisions | sporting flags |
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Provincial Flags

My Japanese friend in Shanghai sent me Chinese motion picture named like Youtube which is prohibited there which shows Closing (or Opening ?) ceremony of the 8th National Traditional Games of Ethnic Minoriteis of the People's Reopublic of China Sep10-Sep19 2007 in Guangzhou. Inner Mongolia flys blue flag, Muslem flys green with its name in Chinese. It seems they are specially allowed by government to use flags for the Games which is held every 4 years.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 04 September 2010

Are these really profince flags, or minorities's flag which happend to match some "nominal" autonomous provinces? I mean, can we expect flags for "regular" Han-majority province flags? Or only for Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang/Uyguria, and Tibet? And what about nominal minority lower level divisions, especially in the cases when their ethnic group has not a higher level of nominal subdivision? Or, differently put, would the, say, Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture be flying the same flag as Inner Mongolia? In this case they would be ethnic flags (like those used in Yugoslavia), not local flags of whichever level.
António Martins- Tuválkin, 04 September 2010

I tried to read each placard displaying name of delegates:
1 Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region blue flag with white letters
2 Ningxie Hui Autonomous Region green flag with white letters
3 Tibet Autonomous Region yellow flag with white letters
4 Xinjiang Uyghur Aotonomous Region blue flag with white letters
5 Yunnan Province red flag with white letters
6 Qinghai Province light blue flag with white letters
7 Guizhou Province blue flag with white letters
8 Shandong Province red flag with yellow letters
9 Guangxi Province red flag with yellow letters
10 Shanghai City yellow flag with red letters
11 Tianjin City red flag with white letters
12 Sichuan Province red flag with yellow letters
13 Liaoning Province blue flag with white letters
14 Beijing City red flag with yellow letters
15 Gansu Province blue flag with yellow letters
16 Taiwan (people in native ethnic costume) blue flag with white letters
17 Jiangxi Province red flag with white letters
18 Jiangsu Province yellow flag with red letters
19 Jilin Province (looks Korean costume) white flag with red letters
20 Anhui Province red flag with yellow letters

Before 20 delegates around 40 horsemen marched flying flags with ethnic design. The master of ceremony explains ethnic group of each delegates but I cannot understand Chinese speaking.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 05 September 2010

At this point, wouldn't it more prudent to classify them merely as athletic team flags? So far that's the only context in which we've seen them used, and given the Chinese authories' aversion to giving any legitimacy to hints of separatism, I'd be a bit surprised if they were allowed in other contexts.
Ned Smith, 06 September 2010

Chinese subdivisions use flags to distinguish their own delegations on sporting events. This topic was reported some years ago, but I was answered that flags on images I provided only some cities names were placed. During the opening ceremony of last Chinese National Games, most of delegations marched under a unique flag. Here are some pictures taken during last Chinese National Games:
Please note that there are a group of flags, which are seem to be flags of delegations from provinces and other participants. You can also see flags Hong Kong and Macao in midst of them. Participants fly red, yellow, white and light blue flags with Chinese inscriptions, but there are a striped flag as well. I think that inscriptions are name of that province or other entities.

I have also found images of some delegations taken during marching into the stadium:
Beijing (red flag with yellow inscription):
Tibet (yellow flag with red inscription):
Hong Kong:
Yunnan (red flag with yellow inscription):
Hubei (members of delegation fly a blue flag in their hands):
Qinghai (light blue flag with white inscription):
Flag bearer of Hunan (red flag with yellow inscription):
Shanghai (yellow flag with red inscription):
Zhejiang (red flag with yellow letters):
Hunnan (red flag with yellow letters):
Guangdong (white flag with red letters):
Shandong (red flag with yellow characters):
Liaoning (red, yellow, and blue diagonally striped flag with balck letters):

Similar (or same) flags were also using during the previuos Games held in Jinan in 2009:
Zoltan Horvath, 20 December 2013

These flags (except those of Hong Kong and Macao SARs of course) simply have the names of the Provinces on 'bedsheets'. So these are hardly official flags.
Miles Li, 21 December 2013

There is a video stream of opening ceremony of the 12th Chinese National Games held in Shenyang at
You can see flag of delegations (or flags used by provinces on these sport events) between 1:34 and 1:43, then between 2:17 and 2:20, after that again between 2:40 and 2:46.
Zoltan Horvath, 21 December 2013

As far as I see yellow letters on red field provincial flags seem to be much more than 8th National Traditional games of Ethnic Minority of PRC.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 22 December 2013

Just checked for Guangdong, the flag bears the traditional chinese characters 廣東省 (Guǎngdōng Shěng - province of Guangdong) in a stylised form.The simplified spelling would be: 广东省
Very interesting snapshots.
JF Blanc, 28 December 2013

I find these flags fascinating. And qiute in the "tradition" of both the communist flags design (remember old flags of USSR subdivisions and other around the world patterned accrodingly) and Chinese flags (off hand remembering designs from the "Atlas of Flags in China").

It should be interesting to learn if the colour combinations used by individual provinces/cities have some consistency over various events/over time. If so (and even if not), even if these are not official (as suggested), they are well worthy of research and noting, even as unofficial and "de facto" designs used "when necessary"...
So, yes, please, continue monitoring their use and if possible please, let us know if they were used prior to a few years ago when we noted them first.
This is, IMHO, an interesting chapter of the Chinese vexillology (although far from the only one that we would like to hear, I am sure) and I do hope that the Chinese vexillological research may increase in future to tell us more about it. IIRC; the last ICV in Rotterdam had a few Chinese delegates, with the potential of establishing an association there. Is anyone in contact with those guys?
Željko Heimer, 29 December 2013