In December 1945, a conference was convened in
Moscow to discuss the future of Korea and it was decided that the sovereign
state of Korea would be restored. The de jure sovereignty was deemed
to pass from the Joseon (Yi) Dynasty to the Provisional
Government of the Republic of Korea. A 5-year trusteeship was discussed,
and a joint Soviet-American commission was established. The commission met
intermittently in Seoul but deadlocked over the issue of establishing a
national government. In September 1947, with no solution in sight, the United
States submitted the Korean question to the UN General Assembly.
for a unified, independent Korea quickly evaporated when the proclamation of the
Republic of Korea in the south on 15 August 1948 was quickly followed by the
proclamation of the Korean Democratic People’s Republic in the north on 9
September 1948. On December 12, 1948,
the General Assembly of the United Nations recognised the Republic of Korea
as the sole legal government of Korea which resulted in the Korean War.
Minguk (Republic of Korea)
At the inauguration of the Republic on 15
August 1948 the flag of the empire was displayed.
Ceremonies on the day of
inauguration of the Republic of South Korea, 17.08.1948.
Somewhat later a (new) national emblem was introduced. This consists of a Rose of Sharon charged with the eum-yang emblem.
The Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus-
Malvaceæ) is called mugunghwa in Korean. Its symbolic significance
stems from the Korean word mugung, which means “eternity”. Today it is
the national flower of South Korea.
It was probably chosen because at the Battle of
Noryan (1598) which marked the end of a seven years war against the Japanese,
such a flower was on the canopy of the ship’s commander’s seats.
This can be
seen on a painting of that battle.
Scene of the Battle of
í On this ship the
commander’s seat is canopied with a sun and clouds supported by a hibiscus
flower. His ensign is black and has a red-blue-yellow-white and black
streamer. His umbrella also shows a hibiscus flower.
On the stern is a standard crested with a trident and on the counter are two whirls (gakhil) symbolizing ceaseless change and movement (referring to the name of the ship).
National Emblem on a Korean banknote, 1949
The Mugunghwa charged with a diamond enclosing a eum-yang
Early versions of the emblem are on banknotes issued in 1949 and on the jewel of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa, founded 13 August 1949.
Order of Mugunghwa
from 1949 to 1967. The pendant is described as 87 Í82 mm with the Mugunghwa flower being 58 mm across and the Taeguk symbol
having a diameter of 10 mm. The Order is made of gold with silver being used
to accent the Mugunghwa flowers along the length of the chain. The flowers on
the chain represent each of the provinces and the cities of Seoul and Pusan
which have provincial statue. Minor variations are known to exist.
A new emblem was adopted by the fourth Republic (1972-1981) and is still in use. This consists of the restyled mugungwha and eum-yang symbol (the emblems of the state and the republic of Korea) surrounded by a scroll with the name of the country in Hangul-script.
Æ See illustration in the head of this essay.
In May 1949, one year after the
proclamation of the Republic of Korea, a new seal of state was created. On it was the legend “Seal of the Republic of
Korea” in chinese characters. In 1962 the rules
about the seal were changed and a new seal was made consisting of a square
surface of 7Í7
cm, bearing the name of the country in Korean Jeonseo characters. It was
adopted on 01.01.1963. The handle consisted of a tortoise, symbol of long
life. The seal met with much criticism because its form was condemned
inapropriate to a modern nation. As a result, when the surface of the seal
began to show signs of wear in 1998, the government decreed that a new seal
should be made inscribed
with the name of the country in Korean Hangeul script, and should have
a handle in the form of a phoenix, symbolizing sovereign wisdom.
The new seal was adopted on 1
February 1999 to mark the 50th anniversary of the
founding of the Republic of Korea. Its face is inscribed in Hangeul
script in honour of King Sejong the Great (1418-1450), the inventor of the Hangeul
Prints of the first and second
seal of the Republic of Korea.
Seal of South
Gold, 2150 g.;
10.1 Í 10.1 Í 10 cm.
Inscription in Hangeul.
Face and print
of the 3rd Seal of State, 01.02.1999
The national achievement shows the emblem of the state of Korea, being the hibiscus flower, supported by two phoenixes, being the emblems of the head of state or the president.
The National Achievement is on the presidential seal and -flag.
Emblem of the National
Emblem of the National
Emblem of the Prime
National Intelligence Service 대한민국국가정보원,
National Intellicence Service seal (2016)
Ministry of National
Army Officer’s Cap Badge
Air Force Officer’s Cap
The design of the emblem and seal of the R.O.K. Marine Corps is based on the design of the U.S. Marine Corps emblem and seal.
The present emblem of the Korean National Police Agency was designed at the 60th anniversary of the corps. It consists of an eagle, a balance and the national emblem.
The police badge consists of a disc with the legend POLICE in Hangeul and latin lettering, charged with another disc with the coloured eum-yang emblem, surrounded by five other eum-yang emblems in black and white.
© Hubert de Vries 2012- 02-01; Updated 2018-01-29
 See also: http://www.chinahistoryform.com