The Navy Flag : the symbol of Republic of Korea Navy
The Navy Flag represents and symbolizes Republic of Korea Navy(ROK Navy). This passage aims to discuss on the process of establishment for the flag, symbols inside it, and the historical meanings behind the Navy Flag, the representation of ROK Navy.
The official and historical documentation of the Navy Flag can be found in the text "Republic of Korea Naval History" published in 1961 by ROK Navy Headquarters. The text writes that the Navy Flag was first announced in June 15, 1946, when the Joseon Coast Guard was established. The original Navy Flag had the same design as the present one, exhibiting the Taegeuk symbol and the crossed anchors on the deep blue background. However, the anchors do not appear on the Navy's pictorial album published at that time. The analysis on the flag revealed although it is true that the flag was established at the time of the Joseon Coast Guard, the flag only had the Taegeuk symbol on its background, missing the crossed anchors. It was not until the official launch of ROK Navy, August 15, 1948, that the Navy Flag had the crossed anchors on its background as it is today.
The deep blue background, the crossed anchors, and the Taegeuk symbol, each one symbolizes the Korean seas surrounding the country, the naval solidarity, and Republic of Korea itself. It is certain that Admiral Son Won-il and Jung Geung-mo were the central figures in the making of the Navy Flag. Admiral Kim Young-chul, Admiral Kim Il-byung, and Jang Ho-geun are also likely to be involved in the process according to records, although further examination needs to be undertaken.
Of all the patterns in the Navy Flag, Taegeuk is a unique pattern symbolizing Republic of Korea. However, the crossed anchors derive from the cap badges used by the United States Navy officers. The ROK Navy chose to adopt such pattern in times of the long-lasting close ties with the United States Navy. Thus, in terms of the history of patterns, the Navy Flag patterns include Taegeuk, the symbol of Republic of Korea and the crossed anchors from US Navy.
After its establishment, the Navy Flag became the prototype model for the flags of the Navy units. It also influenced the badge of 30 year service for Navy officers and chief petty officers. The Navy Flag, which consists of Taegeuk and the crossed anchors, is also used in the insignias of naval officers.