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Chinese Flag Variants (unofficial)

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: china | flag variants (unofficial) | stars | skull and crossbones | dollar sign |
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Flags with upright stars

[Flag of China] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 December 2016

The incorrect version with upright stars as reported in use during the 2016 Olympic Games — and possibly in many other occasions, as it is an “easy” error.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 December 2016

Two (fictional) Chinese flags

[China-Honk Kong dollar flag] image by Antonio Martins

I remember there was a (black and white) comic book published soon after Tienanmen showed two flags. One was a 'proposed' Hong Kong SAR flag, which was the same as the PRC flag. excepted that, while the big star was retained to show Chinese leadership, the four small stars were replaced by dollar signs, to show that "Regardless of class, if you have money, you're fine".

[China-Tienanmen flag] image by António Martins

The other flag, for the PRC, had the five stars replaced by skulls and crossbones.
Miles Li, 22 October 2002

Tiananmen Square black flag

[China-Tienanmen black flag] image by Antonio Martins

Do you remember after the so-called "People's Liberation Army" of China attacked pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square back on June 4, 1989, that some protestors carried a flag that looked like the Red Chinese flag, except that the flag was black, the stars were red and there were streaks of blood smeared from them?
Danien Timothy Dey, 21 October 2002 

I do not remember seeing this flag in connection with Tiananmen Square. But I do remember seeing a flag of this description, black with red stars, but without the streaks of blood, flying in the Chinatown section of New York City about a month after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Devereaux Cannon, 22 October 2002

The same flag was used in Hong Kong during the protests which followed the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests. The flag was clearly made in a hurry, without regard to correct orientation and position of the stars.
Hong Kong Free Press website:
Tomislav Todorovic, 19 September 2019

A tourists variant

[China tourist variant flag] image by Antonio Martins

Two photos of a motorcyclist making a tour through half of Asia shows him with flags of Pakistan and China (weird variant!) at the Kunjarab pass, the border between Pakistan and China.
Marcus Schmöger, 27 July 2002

Olympic pennant variant

[China Olympic pennant variant] image by Zach Harden

'Chinese' European flag

['Chinese' European flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 19 November 2009

I don't know if these people want the EU to become more like China or less like it... However, I agree that it's a cool flag, strictly designwise.
I should have checked the next photo on that series. I think those are people demonstrating against the increasing government watch over the Internet and saying Sweden and the EU is becoming more and more like communist dictatorships, which they don't like.
Elias Granqvist, 28 October 2009

At, a better view (and a pretty face profile, too!). It is indeed the flag of China (PRC) with red replaced by medium blue. What is the story behind this flag?
António Martins- Tuválkin, 30 October 2009

['Chinese' European flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 December 2009

The Dec 03 2009 edition of the Economist has a story on Chinese environmental policy, illustrated with a green Chinese flag
Eugene Ipavec, 12 December 2009

Five-starred Chinese flag

[Five-starred Chinese flag] image by Ivan Sache, 02 January 2012

As reported by AFP, 22 December 2011, the Chinese Vice President, Xi Jinping, has been welcomed on 21 December 2011 in Vietnam by a crowd waving wrong Chinese flags, with five small stars instead of four. In October, the Vietnamese TV (VTV) already shown a drawing of the wrong flag to illustrate the visit of the Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, to China.
In the context of the rather cold relations between the two countries, which both claim sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands, the event was not commented by official media, either in VietNam or China. In contrast, Vietnamese websites in exile have bitterly criticized the goof, considering that some have attempted "to make of VietNam the fifth star of China" or "to transform the Vietnamese Communist Party into a second-rank Chinese citizen".
Source: AFP, 22 December 2011, with a color photo of the event
Ivan Sache, 02 January 2012

[Five-starred Chinese flag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 02 January 2012
Zejlko's image (with lower star copied)

Poor little children; so young and innocent, yet already in the news for doing something terribly wrong. Will this traumatise them for the rest of their lives about waving flags with stars?
Demonstrates that the smaller stars are not in a circle centred on the centre of the large star.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 02 January 2012

Chinese flag with six-pointed stars

[Chinese flag with six-pointed stars] image by Tomislav Todorović, 08 November 2014

Photo of a Chinese flag being burned at a pro-Tibetan demonstration in India is published at a Vietnamese website. (Image)
All stars on this flag are six-pointed and small stars have the same orientation as the large one. It is not clear if they were made as such because of ignorance or some other reason. Whatever was the reason, it probably did not matter much once the flag was finished, because it was meant to be destroyed anyway.
(Image is partly derived from the SVG image from Wikipedia.)
Tomislav Todorović, 08 November 2014

Incorrect Chinese national flag with extra small star

[Incorrect Chinese national flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 09 May 2016

In a state visit by PRC officials to Vietnam in late 2011, handwaving paper flaglets were issued to cheering crowds as usual - but its design included an arc of five, not four, smaller stars around the big one, which was deemed officially as a "lỗi kỹ thuật" (technical mistake), but a very unfortunate one:
One of the several possible meanings for the stars of the Chinese national flag is that the big star stands for the Han citizenry and the smaller ones for the main ethnical minorities: Manchurians, Mongolians, Tibetans, and Uyghurs. Having cheering crowds of Vietnamese children waving Chinese flags with an additional star at a visiting leader of the Middle Empire reeks of rank (or fresh?) integrationism, which is a policy topic not too far fetched. See BBC article
Some photos of the event:
António Martins-Tuválkin, 09 May 2016