The yellow flag with a red star in the center is the national flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is one of the most recognizable national flags in the world due to its bold and symbolic colors.
The current flag of Vietnam was officially adopted on November 30, 1955 after the country gained independence from France. However, the origins of the yellow star flag design trace back to Emperor Gia Long in the early 19th century. He adopted a yellow flag with a red flame in the center as a way to show appreciation to the southern revolutionaries who helped him defeat the Tay Son rebels and unify Vietnam.
Over the next century, the basic elements of the yellow background and red star/fire remained present in different Vietnamese flags used, though the specific design changed. When French colonizers took control of Vietnam, a yellow flag with three red stripes replaced the imperial banner.
In 1940 during World War II, the Viet Minh resistance forces led by Ho Chi Minh created their own yellow-starred banner which featured a gold star over a red background. This was inspired by communist symbolism and the national liberation focus of the movement. They made some further modifications in 1945, changing the background to yellow, and this became the foundation for the current national flag.
The flag’s yellow background represents the country’s vitality and prosperity. The red color symbolizes revolution and the blood shed during the nation’s tumultuous struggle for independence. The five-pointed gold star stands for the unity of workers, peasants, intellectuals, traders, and soldiers in building socialism.
Its five points also represent the five main classes in Vietnamese society under communist ideology. The red star itself signifies the goal of creating a socialist state led by the Vietnamese Communist Party. The star’s position in the center demonstrates Vietnam’s autonomy and self-reliance.
Use in Vietnam
The yellow flag with red star is proudly displayed across Vietnam. It can be seen flying high above buildings and homes, pinned on shirts, painted on walls, and integrated into artwork across the country. The national flag takes center stage during Vietnamese public holidays and political events. Its image evokes deep patriotism and national pride.
By law, certain rules govern the proper display and treatment of the Vietnamese flag. It must not touch the ground or be flown upside down. Damaging or desecrating the flag is illegal. The yellow star flag can only be raised on Vietnamese territory, not in other countries regardless of a large Vietnamese presence there. It should be the main flag used at public rallies, above any other flags.
When displayed vertically, the star must be at the top and pointing left. If hung horizontally, the red section must face out from the building or pole. There is even a specific ratio for the flag dimensions of 3:2. The Law on the National Flag prohibits commercial over-use or misrepresentation of the valued national symbol as well.
While the standard national flag contains a single large yellow star, some alternative versions exist:
|Army Flag||Includes red stripes and a smaller yellow star offset from the center|
|State Flag||Has yellow edges on the red band|
|Communist Party Flag||Replaces the star with the party symbol – hammer and sickle|
These modified designs are used by the corresponding state institutions. The army, government, and communist party employ their own adapted flags while maintaining the same base elements. This allows them to exhibit unity with the nation while adding insignia relevant to their specific branch. For diplomatic meetings or multinational gatherings, plain national flags without additional symbols are used to represent Vietnam.
Historical Communist Usage
The flag shares similarities with the red star flags adopted by other communist nations throughout history who aligned ideologically with Marxist-Leninist principles. Countries like the Soviet Union, China, Angola, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and North Korea also incorporated red stars into the flags, representing socialism and communism. Some changed or updated their flags over time, while Vietnam maintained the original yellow star flag since its 1955 adoption after gaining independence.
Among current communist states, Vietnam has one of the most distinct, vibrant, and recognizable national flags. The golden star flag serves as an unequivocal symbol of Vietnam’s national identity and enduring socialist political system. Visitors to the country will see the yellow and red flag prominently displayed as a demonstration of Vietnam’s proud independence and sovereignty.
Vietnam’s national flag containing a yellow background and red star is an important representation of the country’s history, values, and social ideology. The flag’s origins trace back centuries but it was officially codified in 1955 after Vietnam gained independence and established a communist government. The yellow reflects vitality, the red symbolizes revolution, and the gold star signifies unity and socialism.
Strict protocol governs the proper display and treatment of the meaningful flag within Vietnam. It can be seen prominently flown at public gatherings and holidays as a reminder of Vietnam’s hard-fought autonomy. Minor variations of the iconic yellow star flag exist for branches like the military while the simple version represents Vietnam abroad. The flag connects the country to its communist history and ideology shared by other socialist states. Through symbolic colors and communist motifs, the national banner captures the essence of Vietnamese identity and independence.