South Korea: Flag & National Symbols                         

  • The South Korean national flag is called Taegukki.


  • The flag is white with a red (top) and blue (bottom) yin-yang symbol in the center.


  • There is a different black “trigram” (kwae) from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field.


  • Each trigram denotes one of the four universal elements, which together express the principle of movement and harmony.


  • White is a traditional Korean color that represents peace and purity.


  • Blue represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin.


  • Red symbolizes the opposite positive forces of the yang.

National Symbols

  • Taegeuk is the yin-yang symbol which represents opposite forces that work together rather than against each other. The forces are interdependent in the natural world (light-dark, fire-water, male-female, etc.). Chinese science, philosophy, medicine and martial arts are based on this duality. The yin-yang is mentioned in the I Ching (Book of Changes).


  • Hibiscus syriacus also known as the "rose of Korea" or "rose of Sharon" is the national flower. In the national anthem, Korea is poetically compared to the flower. The flower's symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung which means "eternity" or "abundance." Hibiscus syriacus leaves cab be brewed into an herbal tea and its flowers can be eaten. The taste of the flower is mild and it should be consumed as soon as it is picked. The hibiscus syriacus is also used to make syrup, jam and stuffed fritters.

  • The national colors of Korea are red, white, blue and black and can be found on the flag.

  • The crane is a symbol of good fortune in South Korea. Red-crowned cranes can be as tall 5 feet (1.5 meters).