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Military flags of the Peoples Republic of China

Last modified: 2005-04-16 by
Keywords: china | military flag: china | naval ensign: china | star: yellow |
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According to "Zuixin Geguo Guoqi Guohui Junqi Junhui" -National Flags, Emblems, Military Flags and Emblems of The World- published in Beijing March 2004, these flags were promulgated on September 5th 1992.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 17 July 2004

See Also:

The People's Liberation Army

[People's Liberation Army] by Željko Heimer
Proportions: 4:5 [FIS Code]

The flag of the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (the People's Liberation Army) is red with a golden star in the upper hoist, but the star is smaller than on the national flag. Next to the star are three small lines, the Chinese numerals for "8" and "1", which stand for "August 1", to commemorate the establishment of the PLA in 1928, after the Nanchang Uprising (Crampton, The World of Flags, 1990, p.28). W. Smith adds that the star represents the victories of the Army in the fight against foreign imperial forces and unification of the land.
Roy Stilling, 24 June 1996

According to the Great Chinese Encyclopedia, the flag of the People's Liberation Army is in the proportion of 4:5.
Miles George Li, 09 April 1998

This is a 'tri-service' flag, used primarily as a ceremonial colour by regiments and larger units, as well as by defence academies.
Source: PLA Daily
Miles Li, 12 July 2005

Land Forces Flag

[People's Liberation Army Land Flag] by Željko Heimer

The Land Force Flag is similar to the PLA Flag, with the lower 40% being grass green.
Source: PLA Daily
Miles Li, 12 July 2005

Naval Ensign

Album des Pavillion image
[China - Naval Ensign] by Željko Heimer
Proportions: ~2:3 [FIS Code]

Per PLA Daily description
[China - Naval Ensign] by Željko Heimer and Miles Li
Proportions: ~2:3 [FIS Code]
Source: PLA Daily

The Chinese Navy jack is the same as Army flag except that the lower half has three blue and two white horizontal stripes of equal width. The Chinese Naval jack is also the Naval Ensign.
Miles George Li, 03 April 1998

Album des Pavillons, correction 29 specifies that the stripes are blue pantone 287c and white. The rendering by quadrichomie makes it seem dark blue. The proportions appear to be 2:3.
Armand Noel du Payrat, 09 April 1998


Before 1996, the People's Liberation Army flag, rather than the national flag, was the naval jack and ensign.
Miles Li, 8 June 2001


The PLA Navy has never had rank flags, and I believe this will remain the status quo for a long time. Ranks have always been a sensitive issue in the PLA, as it is associated with classes in a supposedly classless society. Between 1955 and 1965 there were Soviet-style ranks in the PLA, but these were abolished during the Cultural Revolution and beyond. It was not until 1988 a somewhat streamlined rank system was adopted to raise morale. Even so, it would still be politically correct for senior officials to have no special privileges (such as the use of rank flags). This is the reason why the PLA Navy apparently has never had rank flags.
Miles Li, 10 June 2001


While in recent years the Naval Ensign has been used as jack as well, it seems that the very latest practice is to fly the Naval Ensign at the stern only, with the jack being the good old PLA Flag, and the masthead flag being the National Flag.
Miles Li, 12 July 2005

Air Force Ensign

[China - Air Force Ensign] by Željko Heimer

There is also a flag for the Chinese air force: similar to that of the People's Liberation Army, but the lower half being air force blue.
Miles George Li, 15 June 1999