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Democratic Republic of Taiwan, 1895


Last modified: 2004-11-13 by phil nelson
Keywords: taiwan | china | tiger |
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[Taiwan, 1895]
scan by Phil Nelson from an image from Nozomi Kariyasu

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Democratic Republic of Taiwan, 1895

In 1895 the Japanese defeated the Manchu's in the Sino-Japanese War, and in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, China ceded Taiwan to Japan in perpetuity (not 99 years, like Hong Kong, but forever). The Taiwanese didn't like this idea, and actually declared the formation of the first independent republic in Asia, the Democratic Republic of Taiwan. However, the movement was short-lived: Japanese imperial troops crushed the movement within several months. The flag adopted by the state is black with a yellow tiger. We also call it the yellow tiger flag.
Wen-Jer Wang, 03 July 1996

I checked one of my reference books about the history of "Republic of Taiwan", and here is the brief history of the republic.

After the defeat of Sino-Japan War, Taiwan, along with Peng-hu Archipelago, was seceded to Japan. Upon hearing this, some Ching officials, along with local business, were very angry and decided to set up an independent country, in the hope of attracting assistance from some foreign countries. Unfortunately, it was not well organized and poorly prepared for the upcoming of the Japanese occupying troops, thus, this short-lived "republic" lasted for only 13 days (May 25 to June 7 of 1895).

When they decided to declare independence, a flag of "a yellow tiger on a blue field" was adopted as the national flag of the new country. Images of this flag were printed on stamps, firstly used as normal postage stamps. Later, the stamps were used as a means of attracting finance from the private sectors, function such as modern-time government bonds. Needless to say, they became worthless after the Japanese army occupied Taipei.
Michael Wang, 01 May 1997

In the Karl Farchinger archives there is reported a flag used by the Republic of Formosa under the president Tang, in 1845. The flag is similar to the one used in 1895, but rectangular.
Jaume Ollé, 11 January 1998