|Name||Yellow Dragon Flag (黃龍旗)|
|Use||State and war flag, state and naval ensign|
|Design||Blue dragon on plain yellow, with a red pearl at the upper left corner.|
Variant flag of national flag Great Qing
|Name||Later version of Yellow Dragon Flag|
|Use||National flag and ensign|
The flag of the Qing dynasty was an emblem adopted in the late 19th century featuring the Azure Dragon on a plain yellow field with the red flaming pearl of the three-legged crow in the upper left corner. It became the first national flag of China and is usually referred to as the "Yellow Dragon Flag" (traditional Chinese :黃龍旗; simplified Chinese :黄龙旗; pinyin :huánglóngqí).
Ruling China from 1644 until the overthrow of the monarchy during the Xinhai Revolution, the Qing dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China's history. Between 1862 and 1912, the dynasty represented itself with the dragon flag.
Throughout the history of China's imperial dynasties, yellow was considered the royal color of successive Chinese emperors. The legendary first emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor (traditional Chinese :黃帝; simplified Chinese :黄帝; pinyin :huángdì). Members of the imperial family of China at that time were the only ones allowed to display the color yellow in buildings and on garments. The Emperor of China usually used a Chinese dragon as a symbol of the imperial power and strength. Generally, a five-clawed dragon was used by emperors only.
In Chinese culture, a flaming pearl is shown on top of the dragon's head. The pearl is associated with wealth, good luck, and prosperity.
The design of the flag was largely based on the Plain Yellow Banner, the one of three "upper" banner armies among the Eight Banners under the direct command of the emperor himself, and one of the four "right wing" banners.
The Eight Banners were administrative/military divisions under the Qing dynasty into which all Manchu households were placed. In war, the Eight Banners functioned as armies, but the banner system was also the basic organizational framework of all of Manchu society.
The Arrow Incident of 1856 occurred as a result of Chinese civilian vessels flying foreign flags as the Qing dynasty had no official flag at the time.In 1862, sailors from the Chinese and British navies clashed at Wuhan on the Yangtze River. In response to the British navy's claim of being unable to distinguish between Chinese governmental or navy ships and civilian vessels, Yixin (Prince Gong) urged Zeng Guofan to create a governmental flag for the Qing, and suggested use of a yellow dragon flag, which was also used as one of the Eight Banners of the Manchu as well as in the Chinese army. After due consideration, Zeng Guofan concluded that a square flag bore too close a resemblance to the Plain Yellow Banner of the Eight Banners with the potential to be viewed as an endorsement of the Eight Banners hierarchy, he instead removed one corner to create a triangular flag.
The triangular version of the yellow dragon flag was restricted to naval and governmental use only, no civilian ships were permitted to fly the yellow pennant, and it never formally became the national flag.However, on some diplomatic occasions and at international exhibitions, this flag was used to represent China.
In September 1881, when the two cruisers Chaoyong and Yangwei ordered from Birkenhead, England were sent to China, Li Hongzhang realized a triangular ensign was unique among naval flags of other countries. As a result, he petitioned the imperial court for permission and subsequently altered the triangular naval flag into a rectangular one.
Seeing Western countries flying national flags on official occasions, Li Hongzhang also asked Empress Dowager Cixi to select a national flag for the Qing dynasty. Among the proposals for use of the Ba gua flag, the Yellow dragon flag and the Qilin flag, Cixi selected the Yellow dragon design. In 1888, the imperial court promulgated the naval flag as the Qing national flag.
The notion of yellow as representative of Manchu ethnicity was used in the flags of the Five Races Under One Union flag of the Republic of China, and on the flag of the Empire of China, respectively, although in 1912 the former was challenged by Sun Yat-sen, who thought it inappropriate to use the traditional imperial color to represent Manchu ethnicity.Also, mustard yellow was used in the flag of Manchukuo in deference to the Qing dynasty, on whose flag it was based.
The blue dragon was featured in the Twelve Symbols national emblem, which was the state emblem of China from 1913 to 1928.
When the Qing dynasty purchased warships from the United Kingdom in 1862, Horatio Nelson Lay designed several naval flags based on the custom flag he designed.These proposals were not recognized by the Qing dynasty government.
The Beiyang Fleet was created in 1874, and several rank flags were introduced based on the traditional five color officials' flags of the old Chinese navy.
The Beiyang Fleet became the national navy by Regulations of the Beiyang Fleet in 1888. However, rank flags were not updated until 1890, when William Metcalfe Lang and Liu Buchan disputed about their rank flags in an incident. Therefore, the British Royal Navy advisers proposed five new rank flags to replace the simple two rank flags system.
However these proposals were not adopted by the Qing dynasty.New rank flags were introduced later in 1890.
After the total defeat of the Beiyang Navy in First Sino-Japanese War in 1894, the new imperial navy was reorganized following the establishment of the department of the navy in 1909. Imperial Chinese Navy adopted the national flag in the canton of naval flags in 1909.
Flag of Chinese Eastern Railway adopted a combination of Qing dynasty and Russian flags. The flag was not updated until 1915.
The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria derives its name. They are sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu hats. The Later Jin (1616–1636) and Qing dynasty (1636–1912) were established and ruled by Manchus, who are descended from the Jurchen people who earlier established the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in China.
The Eight Banners were administrative and military divisions under the Later Jin and the Qing dynasty of China into which all Manchu households were placed. In war, the Eight Banners functioned as armies, but the banner system was also the basic organizational framework of all of Manchu society. Created in the early 17th century by Nurhaci, the banner armies played an instrumental role in his unification of the fragmented Jurchen people and in the Qing dynasty's conquest of the Ming dynasty.
Hong Taiji, sometimes written as Huang Taiji and formerly referred to as Abahai in Western literature, was the second khan of the Later Jin and the founding emperor of the Qing dynasty. He was responsible for consolidating the empire that his father Nurhaci had founded and laid the groundwork for the conquest of the Ming dynasty, although he died before this was accomplished. He was also responsible for changing the name of the Jurchen ethnicity to "Manchu" in 1635, and changing the name of his dynasty from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" in 1636. The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.
The Bordered Yellow Banner was one of the Eight Banners of Manchu military and society during the Later Jin and Qing dynasty of China. The Bordered Yellow Banner was one of three "upper" banner armies under the direct command of the emperor himself, and one of the four "left wing" banners. The Plain Yellow Banner and the Bordered Yellow Banner were split from each other in 1615, when the troops of the original four banner armies were divided into eight by adding a bordered variant to each banner's design. The yellow banners were originally commanded personally by Nurhaci. After Nurhaci's death, his son Hong Taiji became khan, and took control of both yellow banners. Later, the Shunzhi Emperor took over the Plain White Banner after the death of his regent, Dorgon, to whom it previously belonged. From that point forward, the emperor directly controlled three "upper" banners, as opposed to the other five "lower" banners. Because of the direct control of the three upper banners, there was no appointed banner commanders as opposed to the other five. The emperor's personal guards and guards of Forbidden City were also only selected from the upper three banners.
Five Races Under One Union was one of the major principles upon which the Republic of China was founded in 1911 at the time of the Xinhai Revolution. Its central tenet was the harmonious existence under one nation of what were considered the five major ethnic groups in China: the Han, the Manchus, the Mongols, the Tibetans, and the Uyghurs.
Shuai Jiao is the term pertaining to the ancient jacket wrestling wushu style of Beijing, Tianjin and Baoding of Hebei Province in the North China Plain which was codified by Shan Pu Ying of the Nei Wu Fu. In modern usage it is also the general Mandarin Chinese term for any form of wrestling, both inside and outside China. As a generic name, it may be used to cover various styles of wrestling practised in China in the form of a martial arts system or a sport. The art was introduced to Southern China in the Republican era after 1911.
The Beiyang Fleet was one of the four modernized Chinese navies in the late Qing dynasty. Among the four, the Beiyang Fleet was particularly sponsored by Li Hongzhang, one of the most trusted vassals of Empress Dowager Cixi and the principal patron of the "self-strengthening movement" in northern China in his capacity as the Viceroy of Zhili and the Minister of Beiyang Commerce (北洋通商大臣). Due to Li's influence in the imperial court, the Beiyang Fleet garnered much greater resources than the other Chinese fleets and soon became the dominant navy in Asia before the onset of First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 — it was the largest fleet in Asia and the 8th in the world during the late 1880s in terms of tonnage.
Ronglu, courtesy name Zhonghua, was a Manchu political and military leader of the late Qing dynasty. He was born in the Guwalgiya clan, which was under the Plain White Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners. Deeply favoured by Empress Dowager Cixi, he served in a number of important civil and military positions in the Qing government, including the Zongli Yamen, Grand Council, Grand Secretary, Viceroy of Zhili, Beiyang Trade Minister, Secretary of Defence, Nine Gates Infantry Commander, and Wuwei Corps Commander. He was also the maternal grandfather of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and the Qing dynasty.
The Plain Yellow Banner was one of the Eight Banners of Manchu military and society during the Later Jin and Qing dynasty of China. The Plain Yellow Banner was one of three "upper" banner armies under the direct command of the emperor himself, and one of the four "right wing" banners. The Plain Yellow Banner was the original banner commanded personally by Nurhaci. The Plain Yellow Banner and the Bordered Yellow Banner were split from each other in 1615, when the troops of the original four banner armies were divided into eight by adding a bordered variant to each banner's design. After Nurhaci's death, his son Hong Taiji became khan, and took control of both yellow banners. Later, the Shunzhi Emperor took over the Plain White Banner after the death of his regent, Dorgon, to whom it previously belonged. From that point forward, the emperor directly controlled three "upper" banners, as opposed to the other five "lower" banners.
The Qing dynasty (1636–1912) of China developed a complicated peerage system for royal and noble ranks.
Zaize, born Zaijiao, courtesy name Yinping, was a Manchu noble of the Qing dynasty. He is best known for supporting reforms and advocating the adoption of a constitutional monarchy system in the final years of the Qing dynasty.
The Imperial Chinese Navy was the modern navy of the Qing Empire established in 1875. An Imperial naval force in China first came into existence from 1132 during the Song Dynasty and existed in some form until the end of the Qing period in 1912. However, the "Imperial Chinese Navy" usually only refers to the Qing navy which existed between 1875 and 1912.
The Imperial Household Department was an institution of the Qing dynasty of China. Its primary purpose was to manage the internal affairs of the Qing imperial family and the activities of the inner palace, but it also played an important role in Qing relations with Tibet and Mongolia, engaged in trading activities, managed textile factories in the Jiangnan region, and even published books.
Booi Aha is a Manchu word literally meaning "household person", referring to hereditarily servile people in 17th-century Qing China. It is often directly translated as "bondservant", although sometimes also rendered as "slave" ("nucai").
The Qing dynasty (1636–1912) was established by conquest and maintained by armed force. The founding emperors personally organized and led the armies, and the continued cultural and political legitimacy of the dynasty depended on the ability to defend the country from invasion and expand its territory. Therefore, military institutions, leadership, and finance were fundamental to the dynasty's initial success and ultimate decay. The early military system centered on the Eight Banners, a hybrid institution that also played social, economic, and political roles. The Banner system was developed on an informal basis as early as 1601, and formally established in 1615 by Jurchen leader Nurhaci (1559–1626), the retrospectively recognized founder of the Qing. His son Hong Taiji (1592–1643), who renamed the Jurchens "Manchus," created eight Mongol banners to mirror the Manchu ones and eight "Han-martial" banners manned by Chinese who surrendered to the Qing before the full-fledged conquest of China proper began in 1644. After 1644, the Ming Chinese troops that surrendered to the Qing were integrated into the Green Standard Army, a corps that eventually outnumbered the Banners by three to one.
The Twelve Symbols national emblem was the state emblem of the Empire of China and the Republic of China from 1913 to 1928. It was based on the ancient Chinese symbols of the Twelve Ornaments.
Cigu Niru was a type of military unit of the Qing dynasty China. It was one of the Nirus of the Qing army. The Cigu Niru consisted of Han Chinese soldiers who joined the Manchu army in the early stage of its rise to power.
Oros Niru was a Manchu military unit of Qing dynasty China. It consisted of Russian Cossacks that were captured during the border conflicts between the Russian empire and Qing China. Formally, this niru was known as the 17th niru of the 4th jalan of the Manju Gusa ejen of Bordered Yellow Banner(鑲黃旗滿洲都統第四參領第十七佐領).
Yanja (颜扎氏) was one of the Manchu clans belonging to the Plain Yellow Banner.
Media related to Flags of the Qing Dynasty at Wikimedia Commons