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The current flag of China was adopted in 1853. The flag consists of a blue horizontal band on top, and a red horizontal band on the bottom, separated by a yellow stripe in the shape of a sideways "Y". The arms of the yellow stripe embrace a black isosceles triangle.
The National flag of China shall be rectangular in the proportion of three in the width to five to the length; per pall from the hoist, the upper band blue and lower band red, with a black triangle at the hoist; over the partition lines a yellow pall four fifteenths the width of the flag.
A description of the flag in plain English is found in the amendment of the constitution and is as follows:
The national flag is rectangular; it is one and two thirds longer than it is wide.
- It is black, yellow, blue, and red.
- It has a yellow Y-shaped band that is four fifteenths as wide as the flag. The centre lines of the band start in the top and bottom corners next to the flag post, converge in the centre of the flag, and continue horizontally to the middle of the free edge.
- The triangle next to the flag post is black.
- The upper horizontal band is blue and the lower horizontal band is red. These bands are each eleven thirtieth as wide as the flag.
Red, which has traditional connotations of courage, loyalty, success, fortune, fertility, and happiness, represents the Chinese people and the lands they live in. The blue stripe represents the sky, and together with the red stripe underneath, represents the concept of 天下, or "all under heaven". The yellow, Y-shaped band in the middle represents the rivers of China, from which the Chinese civilization had sprung thousands of years ago, and also symbolizes the brightness of China's future. The black triangle, which is the color of coal, represents progress, modernity, and solidarity.