National Flag (Taegeukgi)
The national flag of Republic of Korea is composed of a red and blue taegeuk pattern in the center and four black trigrams at each corner, against a white background. The white background symbolizes brightness, purity, and peace loving ethnic characteristics. The taegeuk pattern symbolizes yin and yang (i.e. the idea that all things in the universe are created and evolve through the interaction of yin and yang). The four trigrams indicate the changes in and development of yin and yang by means of their combination (“” represents yin while “” represents yang; [geongwae] heaven;[gongwae] earth;[gamgwae] water; [igwae] fire. The four trigrams surrounding the taegeuk represent unity. The national flag, including the taegeuk pattern, which our ancestors liked to use in their lives, expresses the ideal of the Korean nation’s pursuit of creativity and prosperity.
National Flower (Mugunghwa)
The Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) is thought to be deeply associated with what are regarded as the most typical Korean characteristics: a sincere heart, inwardness, and tenacity. Around the late 9th century, the Chinese referred to Korea as “the country of mugunghwa.” The Korean word mugunghwa literally means a “never-withering flower.” The country’s national anthem includes the line: “Three thousand ri of splendid rivers and mountains covered with mugunghwa blossoms.” The emblem of the government and the National Assembly contains the shape of a mugunghwa.
National Anthem (Aegukga)
The country’s national anthem was composed in 1935 by Mr. Ahn Eak-tai, who added a melody to lyrics written in the early 1900s. It was officially adopted with the establishment of the government of the Republic of Korea in August 1948. Prior to that, the country sang the same lyrics to the melody of Auld Lang Syne as the national anthem.