National Flag

The red flag with golden star has become familiar with all Vietnamese people but many do not know that the first time the flag appeared was 60 years ago. According to the official page of Communist Party of Vietnam, the man who designed the flag was a soldier attending an uprising against French on November 23rd, 1940. He was Nguyễn Hữu Tiến, a former teacher born on March 5th, 1901 in Yên Bắc village, Duy Tiên district, Hà Nam province.

In 1927, Nguyễn Hữu Tiến joined Revolutionary Youth League. In 1931, he was arrested and imprisoned in Côn Đảo prison by the French. 4 years later, accompanied by some other prisoners, he managed to escape successfully to mainland and continued supporting the revolution from Cần Thơ. After that, he was assigned to the task of propagating and document printing for the revolution.

During that time, he was asked to design a national flag to use in fights. He drew the flag with red background and a five-point golden star, symbolizing the red blood and yellow skin of Vietnamese people, as well as representing 5 different classes in society: the scholars, the farmers, the workers, the businessmen and the soldiers.

His idea was illustrated in a poem he once wrote

To the people with red blood and yellow skin
Go fighting under the holy national flag
Dyed with blood shed for our nation
Golden star, skin of our people
Stand up now follow our calls
To all different classes
Unite all as the five-point golden star.

The design was chosen and appeared for the first time during the Nam Kỳ uprising on November 23rd, 1940 and then was seen in many other places in the Việt Minh movement (1941 - 1945). In 1945, President Hồ Chí Minh signed a decree defining the flag with red background and a five-point golden star in the centre to be the national flag of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. On September 2nd, 1945, the flag officially appeared in the Independence Declaring day. On March 2nd, 1946, the first National Assembly specified: the five-point yellow star is placed in the middle of a red rectangle of which height is two third of width. Also in the meeting, President Hồ Chí Minh said: "The flag has absorbed our citizens' blood from 1940. This same flag has gone with the Government from Asia to Europe and has appeared all over the country. Therefore, except 25 million Vietnamese people, nobody has the right to change the national flag and national anthem."

What about Nguyễn Hữu Tiến? The man who designed the national flag was again arrested and then executed on August 28th, 1941 in Hóc Môn with his fellow comrades including Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Võ Văn Tần, Hà Huy Tập…