The current design
The current flag of Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region of China) consists of a bauhinia flower and five stars on a red field. Although this design was created by a local and contains a native flower, it was adopted under strict oversight by the Chinese government. The dominance of the colour red and the five stars, all borrowed from the Chinese flag, are a result of this. The relationship between Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China has come under growing scrutiny, so many Hongkongers feel that their flag reminds them more of China’s power than Hong Kong’s identity and no longer represents them. Therefore, here is my proposal.
First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance. It also resembles the current flag to aid recognition and suggest continuity.
This design combines symbolism from three strands of Hong Kong identity. It contains features from the colonial flag, features from the current SAR flag and stylised umbrellas from local symbolism.
Firstly, the blue field and white disc are inspired by Hong Kong’s identity as a former British colony. These elements are directly borrowed from the colonial flag which is still flown in times of nostalgia. The blue represents the Pacific Ocean and its maritime trade that made Hong Kong prosperous. The white disc represents Hong Kong’s nickname, “the pearl of the orient”, reflecting its riches and allure. The arrangement of the white inside the blue suggests an island geography.
Secondly, the red is inspired by Hong Kong’s Chinese identity. The colour red is the most positive and common colour in Chinese culture. It represents many good traits like courage, honour and fortune. Traditionally, red is also associated with south, which references Hong Kong’s location in southern China.
Thirdly, the central emblem is inspired by Hong Kong’s local symbolism. It retains the native bauhinia flower from the current flag, but modified so that each petal is a stylised umbrella. The umbrella is a common symbol of Hong Kong’s homegrown democracy movements as well as the courage, resilience and justice displayed by the citizens. Here, the umbrellas are going in different directions but united at the centre, representing how Hong Kong has many different people but are all united in spirit.
Thanks to my cultural advisor and fact checker Wing Sum Ma.
Vector files available on request.