Korea National SymbolsKorea National Symbols

Posted at 2007.02.17 11:27 | Posted in About Korea/English

Korea National Symbols


NATIONAL FLAG
Korean flag is called "Taegeukgi" in Korean. Its design symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in Oriental philosophy. The circle in the center of Korean flag is divided into two equal parts. The upper red section represents the proactive cosmic forces of the yang. Conversely, the lower blue section represents the responsive cosmic forces of the yin. The two forces together embody the concepts of continual movement, balance and harmony that characterize the sphere of infinity. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner. Each trigram symbolizes one of the four universal elements: heaven (), earth (), fire(), and water ().
More info on the national flag of Korea
NATIONAL FLOWER
The national flower of Korea is the mugunghwa, rose of sharon. Every year from July to October, a profusion of mugunghwa blossoms graces the entire country. Unlike most flowers, mugunghwa is remarkably tenacious and able to withstand both blight and insects. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, meaning immortality. This word accurately reflects the enduring nature of Korean culture, and the determination and perseverance of the Korean people.
National Anthem
Our national anthem is "Aegukga," which means "Love the Country". In 1896, the Dongnip Sinmun (Independence News) published various versions of lyrics for this song. It is not known exactly what music they were sung to in its early days. Records show that a Western-style military band was formed during the time of the Dae-han Empire (1897-1910) and that the "Dae-han Empire Aegukga" was composed in 1902 and played at important national functions.
The original words of Aegukga appeared in a written form around 1907 to inculcate allegiance to the nation and foster the spirit of independence as the country faced threats of foreign annexation. Over the years, the lyrics have gone through several versions until they were adopted as the national anthem in the present form in 1948.
Before the birth of the Republic in 1948, the words were often sung to the tune of the Scottish folk song, Auld Lang Syne. Maestro Ahn Eak-tay (1905-1965), then living in Spain, felt that it was inappropriate to sing this patriotic song to the tune of another country's folk song. So, he composed new music to go with the lyrics in 1935, and the Korean Provisional Government in exile adopted it as the national anthem. While Koreans outside the country sang the anthem to the new tune, those at home continued to use Auld Lang Syne until Korea was liberated in 1945.
The Republic of Korea Government in 1948 officially adopted the new version as the national anthem and began to use it at all schools and official functions.
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