National Symbols of Korea

About Korea | Visit Korea - Korea Tourism Organization

May 17, 2019

About Korea - National Symbols
By Korea Tourism Organization

The National Symbols of Korea are official and unofficial icons, flags, representations or cultural expressions which have been accepted to represent South Korea


The main symbols of Korea include the National Flag (Taegukgi), the National Anthem (Aegukga) and the National Flower (Mugunghwa)



National Flag (Taegeukki)

The design of the Taegeukgi was finalized in 1949. The circle in the center is divided equally, and in perfect balance. It symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang, where the upper red responds to the positive cosmic forces of the yang, and the lower blue represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin.

The background of the flag is white, representing peace and purity valued by the people of Korea.

Finally, the trigrams surrounding the center each have its own meanings. The upper left represents ‘heaven’, the lower left represents ‘fire’, the upper right represents ‘water’ and finally the lower right represents ‘earth’.
National Anthem (Aeguk-ga)


The National Anthem or the Aegukga was re-arranged and finalized by Maestro Ahn Eak Tai (1906-1965) after undergoing several changes.
The term Aegukga literally translates to ‘a song expressing love towards the country’, and it was meant to foster patriotism and raise awareness for the nation’s independence. While it does not necessarily translate directly to the National Anthem, Koreans term the Aegukga and accept it as the Anthem.

The National Anthem, usually only the first verse, is mainly sung at official or national events.
National Flower (Mugunghwa)

The Mugunghwa, also known as the Korean Rose, is the national flower of South Korea, which appears in national emblems. The flowers bloom from July to October every year to gracefully decorate the entire nation.

The flower’s symbolic meaning stems from the word ‘Mugung’ which means eternity.


Finally, other unofficial emblems or expressions include:

  • The National Bird: Korean Magpie
  • The National Animal: Siberian Tiger
  • The National Instrument: Gayageum,
  • The National Sport: Taekwondo.

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Visit Korea - Korea Tourism Organization

Korea Tourism Organization - Visit Korea

Visit Korea - Korea Tourism Organization

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