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Laws on the Chinese flag and emblem

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Flag Law

Below you will find the text of the law on the national flag of The People's Republic of China as translated into English and printed in the book The five-star red flag - The national flag of The People's Republic of China, Beijing: Morning Glory Publishers, 1997.

Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Flag

(Adopted at the t4th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National Peoples Congress on June 28, 1990, promulgated by Order No. 28 of the President of the People's Republic of China on June 28, 1990 and effective as of October 1, 1990)

Article 1 The Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution with a view to defending the dignity of the National Flag, enhancing citizens' consciousness of the State and promoting the spirit of patriotism.

Article 2 The National Flag of the People's Republic of China shall be a red flag with five stars.

The National Flag of the People's Republic of China shall be made according to the Directions for the Making of the National Flag promulgated by the Presidium of the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Article 3 The National Flag of the People's Republic of China is the symbol and hallmark of the People's Republic of China.

All citizens and organizations shall respect and care for the National Flag.

Article 4 The local people's governments at various levels shall exercise supervision over and administration of the display and use of the National Flag within their respective administrative areas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the competent department in charge of communications under the State Council and the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army shall exercise supervision over and administration of the display and use of the National Flag within their respective jurisdiction.

The National Flag shall be made by enterprises designated by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

Article 5 The National Flag shall be displayed daily in the following places or premises of institutions:

(1) Tiananmen Square and Xinhuamen in Beijing;
(2) The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate; The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference;
(3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
(4) Airports, harbours and railway stations of entry or exit and other frontier ports, frontier stations and coastal defence stations.

Article 6 Departments under the State Council, the standing committees of the local people's congresses, the people's governments, the people's courts, the people's procuratorates and the local committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at various levels shall display the National Flag during working days.

Full-time schools shall display the National Flag daily, except during winter vacations, summer vacations and Sundays.

Article 7 State organs at all levels and mass organizations shall display the National Flag on National Day, International Labour Day, New Year's Day and the Spring Festival; the National Flag may be displayed, when conditions permit, in premises of enterprises, institutions, villagers' committees and residents' committees, in urban residential compounds (buildings) and in public places such as squares and parks.

In minority nationality areas where the Spring Festival is not a traditional festival, whether the National Flag is displayed during the Spring Festival shall be prescribed by the authorities practising self-government in the national autonomous areas.

In a national autonomous area, the National Flag may be displayed on the anniversary of the founding of the national autonomous area and during major traditional festivals of the minority nationalities.

Article 8 The National Flag may be displayed when important celebration and commemorative activities, large-scale cultural and sports activities and major exhibitions are held.

Article 9 Measures for the display and use of the National Flag in diplomatic activities and by the Chinese embassies and consulates stationed in foreign countries and other diplomatic representative agencies shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Article 10 The National Flag shall be displayed by military organs at barracks and on military vessels in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Central Military Commission.

Article 11 Measures for the display of the National Flag by civilian vessels or foreign vessels entering Chinese territorial waters shall be prescribed by the competent department in charge of communications under the State Council.

Measures for the display of the National Flag by public security vessels on frontier defence, security or fire control duties shall be prescribed by the departments in charge of public security under the State Council.

Article 12 The National Flag, when displayed under Articles 5, 6 and 7 of this Law, shall be hoisted in the morning and lowered in the evening.

Where the National Flag shall be displayed under this Law, when the weather is inclement, it is permissible that the Flag not be displayed.

Article 13 When the National Flag is displayed, a Flag-hoisting ceremony may be held.

When a Flag-hoisting ceremony is held, persons present shall face the Flag and stand at attention to salute the Flag, and the National Anthem may be played or sung while the National Flag is being hoisted.

A full-time middle school or primary school shall hold a Flag-hoisting ceremony once a week, except during vacations.

Article 14 The National Flag shall be lowered to the half staff as a token of mourning when the following persons pass away:

(1) President of the People's Republic of China, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Central Military Commission;

(2) Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference;

(3) Persons who have made outstanding contributions to the People's Republic of China;

(4) Persons who have made outstanding contributions to world peace or the cause of human progress.

When unfortunate events causing especially serious casualties occur or when serious natural calamities have caused heavy casualties, the National Flag may be flown at half staff as a token of mourning.

The half-staffing of the National Flag in accordance with the provisions of (3) and (4) in the first paragraph and of the second paragraph of this Article shall be decided by the State Council.

Dates and places for the half-staffing of the National Flag under this Article shall be decided by the funeral organ established by the State, or shall be decided by the State Council.

Article 15 When the National Flag is displayed, it shall be placed in a prominent position.

The National Flag, when raised or carried in a procession with another flag or flags, shall be in front of the other flag or flags.

The National Flag, when displayed with another flag or flags, shall be either at the center, above the other flag or flags, or in a position of prominence.

When the National Flags of two or more nations are displayed in foreign affairs activities, relevant provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the international practice shall be followed.

Article 16 The National Flag, when hoisted or lowered from a vertical staff, shall be hoisted or lowered slowly. When hoisted, the National Flag must reach the peak of the staff; when lowered, it may not touch the ground.

The National Flag, when flown at half staff, shall be first hoisted to the peak of the staff and then lowered to a point where the distance between the top of the Flag and the peak of the staff is one third of the length of the staff; the Flag, when lowered, shall be again hoisted to the peak before it is lowered.

Article 17 No damaged, defiled, faded or substandard National Flag shall be displayed.

Article 18 The National Flag and the design thereof shall not be used as a trade mark or for advertising purposes, and shall not be used in private funeral activities.

Article 19 Whoever desecrates the National Flag of the People's Republic of China by publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling upon it shall be investigated for criminal responsibilities according to law; where the offence is relatively minor, he shall be detained for not more than 15 days by the public security organ in reference to the provisions of the Regulations on Administrative Penalties for Public Security.

Article 20 This Law shall enter into force as of October 1, 1990.

Jan Oskar Engene, 10 November 1999


Law on the Emblem

[PRC Emblem] Embassy of the People's Republic of China

This is the text of the law on the national emblem of The People's Republic of China as translated into English and printed in the book The five-star red flag - The national flag of The People's Republic of China, Beijing: Morning Glory Publishers, 1997.

Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Emblem

(Adopted at the 18th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on March 2, 1991, promulgated by Order No. 41 of the President of the People's Republic of China on March 2, 1991, and effective as of October 1, 1991)

Article 1 This Law is enacted, in accordance with the Constitution, with a view to upholding the dignity of the National Emblem and ensuring the correct use of the National Emblem.

Article 2 The National Emblem of the Peoples Republic of China shall comprise the design of Tian'anmen in its centre illuminated by five stars and encircled by ears of grain and a cogwheel.

The National Emblem of the People's Republic of China shall be made in accordance with the Design of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China adopted by the Central People's Government Council in 1950, and the Directions for the Making of the Design of the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China promulgated by the General Office of the Central People's Government Council in the same year.

Article 3 The National Emblem of the People's Republic of China is the symbol and hallmark of the People's Republic of China. All organizations and citizens shall respect and care for the National Emblem.

Article 4 The following organs shall hang the National Emblem:

(1) The standing committees of the people's congresses at or above the county level;
(2) The people's governments at or above the county level;
(3) The Central Military Commission;
(4) The people's courts at various levels and the special people's courts;
(5) The people's procuratorates at various levels and the special peoples procuratorates;
(6) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and
(7) The country's embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions stationed in other countries.

The people's governments of townships, nationality townships and towns may hang the National Emblem, specific measures for which shall be stipulated by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government in light of their actual conditions. The National Emblem shall be hung right in the middle on top of the front gate of the organ concerned.

Article 5 The National Emblem shall be hung in the following places:

(1) The rostrum of Tian'anmen and the Great Hall of the People in Beijing;
(2) The conference halls of the people's congresses at or above the county level and their standing committees;
(3) Courtrooms of the people's courts at various levels and of the special people's courts; and
(4) Appropriate places of ports of exit or entry.

Article 6 The seals of the following organs shall include the design of the National Emblem:

(1) The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress the State Council the Central Military Commission the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate;
(2) The special committees of the National People's Congress and the General Office and the working commissions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress the ministries and commissions under the State Council, departments directly under the State Council the General Office of the State Council and the administrative offices that shall, as prescribed by the State Council use seals including the design of the National Emblem, as well as the General Office of the Central Military Commission and other organs that shall as prescribed by the Central Military Commission, use seals including the design of the National Emblem;
(3) The standing committees of the local people's congresses, the local people's governments, the local people's courts and the local people's procuratorates at or above the county level, as well as the special people's courts and the special people's procuratorates; and
(4) The country's embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions stationed in other countries.

Article 7 There shall be printed on the following documents and publications the design of the National Emblem:

(1) Certificates of honour, letters of appointment and diplomatic documents issued by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the President of the People's Republic of China ,and the State Council;
(2) Envelopes, correspondence paper and invitation cards used in foreign affairs by the President of the People's Republic of China, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the Premier of the State Council, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, the President of the Supreme People's Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate in their respective capacities;
(3) Front covers of bulletins of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress the State Council the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate; and
(4) Front covers of the official editions of laws and regulations published by the State.

Article 8 Measures for the use of the design of the National Emblem in activities of foreign affairs and by the country's embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions stationed in other countries shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submitted to the State Council for approval before implementation.

Article 9 Where the hanging of the National Emblem or the use of the design of the National Emblem is necessitated outside the scope specified in this Law, it shall be prescribed by the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress or the General Office of the State Council, in conjunction with the departments concerned.

Article 10 The National Emblem and the design thereof shall not be used in:

(1) Trademarks or advertisements;
(2) Furnishings or ornaments in everyday life;
(3) Private activities of celebration or condolence; and
(4) Other circumstances where the National Emblem and the design thereof may not be used, as prescribed by the General Office of the State Council.

Article 11 No damaged, defiled, or substandard National Emblem shall be hung.

Article 12 The National Emblem to be hung shall be uniformly made by enterprises designated by the State and the diameters of its usual dimensions shall be as follows:

(1) One hundred centimetres;
(2) Eighty centimetres; and
(3) Sixty centimetres.

The hanging, in special places, of the National Emblem in unusual dimensions shall be subject to the prior approval of the General Office of the State Council.

Article 13 Whoever desecrates the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China by publicly and willfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling, or trampling upon it shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law; if the circumstances are relatively minor, the offender shall, with reference to the provisions of the Regulations on Administrative Penalties for Public Security, be punished by the public security organ with a detention of not more than fifteen days.

Article 14 The people's governments at or above the county level shall exercise supervision and control over the use of the National Emblem.

Article 15 This Law shall enter into force as of October 1, 1991.

Jan Oskar Engene, 11 November 1999

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