Flag of South Vietnam

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The flag has become a symbol for different things: anti-communism, U.S. imperialism, democracy and recollection of the past.

The flag of South Vietnam served as the national flag of the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, the State of Vietnam (known as "South Vietnam" after 1954), and its successor, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) from 1948 to 1975 until the fall of Saigon. The design consists of a yellow background with three red horizontal stripes through the middle. Although South Vietnam ceased to exist in 1975, the flag still finds use among private citizens in other countries and is still shown and used overseas by some Vietnamese emigrés, particularly in North America and Australia. Since June 2002, at least 13 U.S. state governments, seven counties, and 85 cities in 20 states have adopted resolutions recognizing the former flag as "Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag."


  • The fall of Saigon was the turning point of the Vietnam War, which caused over 1 million North Vietnamese deaths, military and civilian, and a quarter-million South Vietnamese casualties. The war killed nearly 50,000 American troops and displaced about half a million people. Many Vietnamese refugees sought asylum in the United States. Today, they invoke the ongoing cultural value of this “fallen” regime by flying the South Vietnam flag at Lunar New Year parades and musical concerts.
South Vietnamese flags at Vietnamese New Year parade in San Jose, California
  • The flag represented South Vietnam for its entire existence, from 1955 to 1975. After the Fall of Saigon, it became a symbol of national pride and identity for members of the Vietnamese diaspora who fled the Communist regime. Today, the flag is common not only in Vietnamese communities in the U.S., but also in Canada, Australia, France and western Germany.
  • I have fond memories with this flag. We hung it in our home when my dad hosted political meetings. My mom placed a miniature version of the American and Vietnamese flags together on a little stand above our giant 1980s stereo system. At a Vietnamese event, that flag was displayed next to Old Glory.
  • All of you here are free to attach your own meanings to the flag. It is your right in a democracy. The city council, however, as the city’s highest elected body, has a duty to not uncritically endorse these projections and interpretations in the name of the entire city without a fuller understanding of the history of the flag. I personally believe that it is a mistake for the city council to endorse the flag of the former South Vietnam, a flag that is highly controversial and painful to many. When it comes to democracy, the former South Vietnamese government was also a dictatorship...
  • Communist authorities view the flag and the people who fly it overseas as linked to campaigns aimed at undermining or even toppling its rule.

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