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Independent State of Okinawa

Last modified: 2004-10-23 by phil nelson
Keywords: independent state of okinawa | japan | stripes | star |
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[flag of the Independent State of Okinawa]
by Antonio Martins

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Independent State of Okinawa

Under the U.S. military's control in 1950 Okinawa had tried to become an independent state from Japan and Mr. Shikiya, Governor of Okinawa presented a national flag of Independent State of Okinawa on Jan 25th 1950 which is a horizontal tricolor (blue/white/red) with a white five pointed star in upper hoist. The flag is very similar to Karen, Myanmar but the overall flag proportion was 2:3. The blue stands for peace, white for freedom, red for enthusiasm and star for hope. The U.S. first supported the idea and independentists but due to change of policy they rejected officially the flag on Mar 1st 1950. The flag was short-lived.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 10 June 2000

This blue-white-red arrangement, by the way, must have been the motive for the "flag war" reported on the Okinawa page, with pro-Okinawa independentists supporting these three colors for the prefecture flag and the pro-Japanese insisting in the current red and white flag.
Antonio Martins, 11 June 2000

The tricolor flag was proposed 22 years before the flag war but I agree with his opinion that the flag must have been the motive for the flag war.

In fact in 1800's Ryukyu kingdom had used the tricolor plus yellow (total of four colors) for their flag which is nothing to do with Japanese national/traditionally favourite color.

As long as the 1950 tricolor flag is concerned, I think the design was inspired by the U.S. stars and stripes because with U.S. government's support, Okinawa tried to become either an independent state or U.S. state prior to Hawaii at that time.

Both ideas were seriously considered in Okinawa before Korean civil war occurred.

Vexillologically the tricolor flag is quite different from traditional Japanese flag design concepts. There is no emblem in the center in a single color background.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 12 June 2000