South Vietnam Flag
History of the South Vietnam Flag
The South Vietnam flag features a yellow field with three horizontal red lines in the center. There are varied interpretations of what the flag is supposed to represent. The three red horizontal lines are thought by some, to represent the blood that was lost during the struggle for independence. The red lines also represent the symbol for "South" in Daoist trigrams (a group of symbols used to represent something). Another interpretation is that the red lines represent the North, Central, and South Vietnam. The color yellow is a traditional Vietnam color. The South Vietnam flag was officially adopted on 14thJune, 1949 when it was the "State of Vietnam" (when both the North and South were controlled by the French) and still used from 1955 when it became the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) until its collapse in 1975. The state of South Vietnam no longer exists; however, the flag is still used among private citizens in other countries and is often referred to as the "Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag."
South Vietnam was the Southern half of what is now referred to as the "Socialist Republic of Vietnam" and it shared borders with North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The capital city of South Vietnam was called Saigon.
In 1859, the French arrived in Vietnam and occupied the city of Saigon, and by 1885, the whole of Vietnam was colonized by the French as well as the bordering countries Laos and Cambodia. It was known as the "French Indochina." In 1945, at the end of WWII, when the Germans had defeated the French, they gave their allies, Japan, control of Vietnam. In 1945, leader Ho Chi Minh (who initially began the independence movement to gain independence from the French Empire), opposed Japan with the support of the Americans. In 1945, the Japanese were driven out of Vietnam and the French, once again, took control. Ho Chi Minh's army (who were known as the Viet Minh) fought for eight years until 1954, when the French were defeated. Following the French's defeat, the 1954 Geneva Conference (a conference of world leaders) decided to divide Vietnam into two separate states with the intentions of uniting them again. North Vietnam was known as the "Communist Democratic of Vietnam" and its capital city was Hanoi and South Vietnam was known as the "Non-communist Republic of Vietnam" and its capital was Saigon.
In South Vietnam, the government was replaced by armed forces and there were people in the South who wanted the South and North to be united. These people were known as the Viet Cong, and they fought against the army of the South, with the support of the Viet Minh (Ho Chi Minh's troops in North Vietnam).
In 1965, the Americans sent troops to South Vietnam to help them to fight against the Viet Cong and Viet Minh, as well as troops from Australia and New Zealand. This war is referred to as the "Vietnam War" even though the Vietnamese people refer to it as the "American War." The war continued for another ten years, despite the Americans dropping bombs and spraying poisonous chemicals to destroy whatever gave shelter and food to the Viet Cong army. In 1972, the Australian army were taken out of Vietnam and in 1974, a ceasefire was signed and all the American fighters were taken out. In 1975, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam and in April, 1975, South Vietnam surrendered and as a result of this blood war, the South and North joined and became known as the "Socialist Republic of Vietnam."