Flag of Vietnam


Vietnam has a complicated history; in the twentieth century alone it experienced several wars, armed conflicts and changes of political regime. This long struggle for independence is reflected in its flag with symbols typical of most countries with a socialist regime.

This is what the flag of Vietnam looks like:

Флаг Вьетнама
Flag of Vietnam

History of Origins

The first flag (in the modern sense of the word) appeared in Vietnam in the early 19th century thanks to Emperor Nguyen Gia Long, who united the northern, southern and central parts of the state. The flag was a yellow cloth with a red circle in the middle.

Флаг Вьетнама
Vietnam’s first flag

By the middle of the 19th century, the flag had changed: the colors remained the same, but the circle was replaced by three horizontal stripes – a reference to one of the eight trigrams of the “Book of Changes”, the basis of Taoism. In addition, it is believed that the three red stripes symbolized South, North and Central Vietnam, united in a single empire.

Первый флаг династии Нгуенов, 1890—1920, а также флаг Южного Вьетнама, 1948—1975
First flag of the Nguyen dynasty, 1890-1920, and the flag of South Vietnam, 1948-1975

At the end of the nineteenth century, Vietnam was under the protectorate of France. The southern region was entirely under the control of the French, while in the northern and central regions there were two parallel governments. Thus, until the beginning of the 20th century, there were three flags in Vietnam at the same time: the French, the Vietnamese (imperial) and the flag of the French protectorate.

Второй флаг династии Нгуенов, 1920—1945
Second flag of the Nguyen dynasty, 1920-1945

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the flag changed again, and from 1920 to 1945 it had one wide red stripe instead of three narrow ones. During World War II, Vietnam was briefly occupied by Japanese troops, who drove the French out of the country. As a result, from March to August 1945, the flag again acquired three stripes, the center one of which was “torn” in the middle.

Флаг Вьетнамской империи при японской оккупации, 9 марта 1945 — 22 августа 1945.
Flag of the Vietnamese Empire under Japanese occupation, March 9, 1945 – August 22, 1945.

After the end of World War II, the French tried to return to Vietnam, but met with active resistance from the military-political organization Vietminh, created back in 1939 to fight for the independence of the state. It was then that the modern version of the Vietnamese flag first appeared – a red cloth with a yellow five-pointed star. Shortly thereafter, the country was divided into two parts: southern and northern.

Флаг Вьетнама
Flag of the DRV and North Vietnam in 1945-1955

Until unification in 1976, South Vietnam used the traditional yellow flag with three red stripes. After the end of the Vietnam War, 1969 to 1976, the provisional revolutionary government used a red and blue flag with a yellow star. In North Vietnam all that time there was a red “communist” flag with a yellow star. It subsequently became the common symbol of Vietnam and underwent only one change – in 1955 the star was slightly smaller and its rays became sharper (similar to the one adopted in the Soviet Union).

Флаг Вьетнама
Flag of the pro-communist government of the Republic of South Vietnam 1969-1976


The modern flag is a red cloth of rectangular shape. The traditional aspect ratio is 3 to 2. In the center of the flag is one big five-pointed star of bright yellow color.

Флаг Вьетнама
The modern flag of Vietnam


Throughout history, only two colors have been used in the Vietnamese flag: red and yellow. The only exception is the banner of the provisional revolutionary government of the Republic of South Vietnam – they added a wide blue stripe to the communist banner of North Vietnam.

The modern flag is made in the traditional color scheme.

Meaning of the colors of the flag

Vietnam is one of the few states that still adhere to the socialist model, as a consequence, its banner reflects the corresponding symbolism. Red is the color of the revolution and the blood shed in the struggle for freedom and independence, yellow symbolizes the Vietnamese people themselves (in some sources one finds a direct reference to the color of the skin).

The star signifies the victory of the socialist party and the unity of the five major classes: peasants, workers, intellectuals, military and youth.

General information about Vietnam

Official language Vietnamese
Capital Hanoi
Territory 331,210 km2
Population 92,477,857 people
Currency dong
Phone Code +84

Map of Vietnam

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