The current situation
The current flag of Taiwan is a historical oddity. It is inherited from the Republic of China, which ruled mainland China over seventy years ago but now rules only the island of Taiwan and is known as such. Moreover, it is based on the flag of a single political party, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party). This may have made sense when Taiwan was a one-party state, but not when Taiwan is now a multi-party democracy in which the Kuomintang is just one of many political parties.
The nation has gradually trended towards a de facto, local, independent Taiwanese identity, especially the younger generation for whom this is the only reality they have known. For example, a poll by National Chengchi University shows that the majority of the population now identify as Taiwanese over Chinese, and this is constantly rising.
In light of these developments, some have proposed flags for Taiwan in its own right, rather than Taiwan as the Republic of China. However, those designs have significant flaws and none are especially popular.
Therefore, here is my proposal.
Note: My choice of designs do not reflect my political opinions.
First off, this design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinctive enough to be identified at a distance.
This design is as simple as possible, aiming for the minimalism of the Japanese or Swiss flags, which are iconic, bold and recognised all over the world. It fits in well with the flags in its neighbourhood, since the flags of South Korea and Japan also consist of a central emblem on a white field.
The central emblem is based on symbolism that arose from Taiwan itself, rather than from outside. It is derived from the angular geometric motifs common to Taiwanese Aboriginal art styles, especially on woodwork and textiles. This acknowledges the unique cultural heritage and local identity of Taiwan.
Overall, the rhombus recalls a gemstone, representing the economic, cultural and environmental wealth of Taiwan, as well as its former name “Formosa” which means “beautiful”. It is also a stylised representation of the whole nation itself: A fertile green island in a white sea.
The four sides of the rhombus represent the four main ethnic groups: Aborigines, Hoklo, Hakka and mainlanders. The sides are are of equal length and all connected together to suggest respect and unity.
The four points of the rhombus represent the four historical eras of Taiwan: Aboriginal settlement, European colonialism (Spain and the Netherlands), Asian colonialism (Japan and China) and modern times.
Green represents the lush environment, local identity and mountains. White represents peace, democracy and the sea.
Vector files available on request.