Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag 

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Order of the President of the People’s Republic of China 

No. 59

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag, adopted at the 22nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on October 17, 2020, is hereby promulgated and shall come into force on January 1, 2021.

Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

October 17, 2020

 

Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Amending the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag

(Adopted at the 22nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on October 17, 2020)

At its 22nd meeting, the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress decides to revise the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag as follows:

1. Article 1 is revised to read: “This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution to uphold the dignity of the National Flag, ensure its correct use, enhance citizens’ consciousness of the State, promote patriotism, cultivate and practice core socialist values.”

2. One article is added as Article 3, which reads: “The common sizes of the National Flag are the five sizes specified in the Direction for the Making of the National Flag. The National Flag of other sizes to be used under special circumstances shall be appropriately scaled up or down in proportion to the common sizes.

“The size of the National Flag shall be proportional to the flagpole height, and be commensurate with the purposes of use, surrounding buildings and surrounding environment.”

3. Article 4 is changed to be Article 22, which reads: “The General Office of the State Council shall make overall plans for and coordinate the work concerning the administration of the National Flag nationwide. The local people’s governments at all levels shall make overall plans for and coordinate the work concerning the administration of the National Flag within their respective administrative regions.

“The market regulatory departments of the people’s governments at all levels shall supervise and administer production and sale of the National Flag.

“The departments designated by the people’s governments at the county level shall supervise and administer the raise, display, use and withdrawal of the National Flag within their respective administrative regions.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the competent departments in charge of transportation under the State Council and the relevant departments of the Central Military Commission shall supervise and administer the raise, display, use and withdrawal of the National Flag within their respective jurisdictions.”

4. The Subparagraph (2) of Article 5 is revised to read: “(2) the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the National Supervisory Commission, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate; National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference”.

5. Article 6 is revised to read: “The National Flag shall be raised and displayed during working days at the following premises of institutions:

“(1) all central departments and local committees at all levels of the Communist Party of China;

“(2) all departments of the State Council;

“(3) the standing committees of the local people’s congresses at all levels;

“(4) local people’s governments at all levels;

“(5) local commissions for discipline inspection and local supervisory commissions at all levels of the Communist Party of China;

“(6) local people’s courts at all levels and specialized people’s courts;

“(7) local people’s procuratorates at all levels and specialized people’s procuratorates;

“(8) local committees at all levels of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference;

“(9) all democratic parties and social organizations; or

“(10) the resident organs of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the resident organs of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region.

“Schools shall raise and display the National Flag daily, except during winter vacations, summer vacations and rest days. Kindergartens, when conditions permit, shall raise and display the National Flag by reference to school rules.

“Libraries, museums, cultural centers, art galleries, science and technology museums, memorial halls, exhibition halls, gymnasiums, youth centers and other public cultural and sports facilities shall raise and display the National Flag on open days.”

6. Article 7 is revised to read: “State organs at all levels, all social organizations and public places such as large squares and parks shall raise and display the National Flag on the National Day, the International Labor Day, New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival, National Constitution Day and other important festivals and anniversaries; and the National Flag shall be raised and displayed, when conditions permit, in premises of enterprises and public institutions, villagers’ committees and residents’ committees and residential compounds (buildings and communities).

“In ethnic autonomous areas, the National Flag shall be raised and displayed on the anniversary of the founding of the area and during major traditional festivals of ethnic minorities.

“When a constitutional oath-taking ceremony is held, the National Flag shall be displayed at the venue where the oath is taken.”

7. One article is added as Article 9, which reads: “The State encourages citizens and organizations to use the National Flag and the design thereof to express their patriotic feelings on appropriate occasions.

“When using the design of the National Flag, citizens and organizations shall abide by relevant provisions on internet regulations and may not impair the dignity of the National Flag.

“The official version of the design of the National Flag for online use is provided on the websites of the National People’s Congress and the State Council.”

8. Article 10 is changed to be Article 11, which reads: “Procedures for the raise, display and use of the National Flag by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force shall be prescribed by the Central Military Commission.”

9. Article 11 is changed to be Article 12, and the second paragraph is revised to read: “Procedures for the raise and display of the National Flag by vessels on exit-entry frontier inspection, border management and public security duties shall be prescribed by the department of public security under the State Council.”

10. Article 13 is changed to be Article 14, and the second paragraph is revised to read: “The National Anthem shall be played and sung in the flag-hoisting ceremony. While the National Flag is being hoisted, people present shall face the Flag and stand solemnly to salute it with eyes, or as required, and shall not conduct any act impairing the dignity of the National Flag.”

One paragraph is added as the third paragraph, which reads: “The flag-hoisting ceremony shall be held daily in the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.”

The third paragraph is changed to be the fourth paragraph, which reads: “A school shall hold a flag-hoisting ceremony once a week, except during vacations.”

11. Article 14 is changed to be Article 15, and the second and third paragraphs are revised to read: “Where a national memorial ceremony is held, or when serious natural calamities, public health emergencies or other unfortunate events occur, causing especially serious casualties, the National Flag may be lowered to half-staff nationwide or in certain areas or specific places to express mourning.

“The half-staff of the National Flag in accordance with Subparagraph (3) and (4) in the first and the second paragraph of this Article shall be reported by the relevant departments of the State Council or the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government to the State Council for decision.”

12. One article is added as Article 16, which reads: “When mourning ceremonies for the following persons who have passed away are held, their remains, coffins or urns may be covered with the National Flag:

“(1) the persons specified in Subparagraph (1) to (3) in the first paragraph of Article 15 of this Law;

“(2) martyrs;

“(3) other persons specified by the State.

“The National Flag covering the remains, coffins or urns may not touch the ground, and shall be taken back for safekeeping after the ceremonies.”

13. Article 17 is changed to be Article 19, which reads: “No damaged, defiled, faded or substandard National Flag shall be raised, displayed or used, and no National Flag shall be displayed upside down, inserted upside down, or raised, displayed or used in any other manners that impair the dignity of the National Flag.

“No National Flag shall be discarded at will. The damaged, defiled, faded or substandard National Flag shall be withdrawn and disposed of in accordance with relevant provisions issued by the State. After a large-scale public activity, the organizer of the activity shall withdraw or properly dispose of the National Flag used on site.”

14. Article 18 is changed to be Article 20, which reads: “The National Flag or the design thereof shall not be used as a trademark, for a design whose patent right is granted, or for a commercial advertisement, and shall not be used in private funeral activities or under other inappropriate circumstances.”

15. One article is added as Article 21, which reads: “The National Flag shall be considered as an important element of education in patriotism.

“Primary and secondary schools shall educate students on the history and significance of the National Flag, and to observe the rules on the raise, display and use of the National Flag and the etiquette in a flag-hoisting ceremony.

“News media shall actively publicize the knowledge on the National Flag and guide citizens and organizations to correctly use the National Flag and the design thereof.”

This Decision shall go into effect on January 1, 2021.

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag shall be promulgated anew after relevant revisions are made and the order of articles is adjusted according to this Decision.

 

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag 

(Adopted at the 14th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People’s Congress on June 28, 1990; amended for the first time pursuant to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Amending Some Laws adopted at the 10th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on August 27, 2009; and amended for the second time pursuant to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Amending the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag adopted at the 22rd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on October 17, 2020)

Article 1  This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution to uphold the dignity of the National Flag, ensure its correct use, enhance citizens’ consciousness of the State, promote patriotism, cultivate and practice core socialist values.

Article 2  The National Flag of the People’s Republic of China is the Five-starred Red Flag.

The National Flag of the People’s Republic of China shall be made pursuant to the Directions for the Making of the National Flag promulgated by the Presidium of the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Article 3  The common sizes of the National Flag are the five sizes specified in the Direction for the Making of the National Flag. The National Flag of other sizes to be used under special circumstances shall be appropriately scaled up or down in proportion to the common sizes.

The size of the National Flag shall be proportional to the flagpole height, and be commensurate with the purposes of use, surrounding buildings and surrounding environment.

Article 4  The National Flag of the People’s Republic of China is the symbol and hallmark of the People’s Republic of China.

All citizens and organizations shall respect and protect the National Flag.

Article 5  The National Flag shall be raised and displayed daily at the following places or premises of institutions:

(1) Tian’anmen Square and Xinhuamen in Beijing;

(2) the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the National Supervisory Commission, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate; National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

(3)  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; or

(4) airports, harbors and railway stations of entry or exit and other frontier ports, border and coastal sentry posts.

Article 6  The National Flag shall be raised and displayed during working days at the following premises of institutions:

(1) all central departments and local committees at all levels of the Communist Party of China;

(2) all departments of the State Council;

(3) the standing committees of the local people’s congresses at all levels;

(4) local people’s governments at all levels;

(5) local commissions for discipline inspection and local supervisory commissions at all levels of the Communist Party of China;

(6) local people’s courts at all levels and specialized people’s courts;

(7) local people’s procuratorates at all levels and specialized people’s procuratorates;

(8) local committees at all levels of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference;

(9) all democratic parties and social organizations; or

(10) the resident organs of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the resident organs of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region.

Schools shall raise and display the National Flag daily, except during winter vacations, summer vacations and rest days. Kindergartens, when conditions permit, shall raise and display the National Flag by reference to school rules.

Libraries, museums, cultural centers, art galleries, science and technology museums, memorial halls, exhibition halls, gymnasiums, youth centers and other public cultural and sports facilities shall raise and display the National Flag on open days.

Article 7  State organs at all levels, all social organizations and public places such as large squares and parks shall raise and display the National Flag on the National Day, the International Labor Day, New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival, National Constitution Day and other important festivals and anniversaries; and the National Flag shall be raised and displayed, when conditions permit, in premises of enterprises and public institutions, villagers’ committees and residents’ committees and residential compounds (buildings and communities)

In ethnic autonomous areas, the National Flag shall be raised and displayed on the anniversary of the founding of the area and during major traditional festivals of ethnic minorities.

When a constitutional oath-taking ceremony is held, the National Flag shall be displayed at the venue where the oath is taken.

Article 8  The National Flag may be raised and displayed when important celebration and commemorative activities, large-scale cultural and sports activities and major exhibitions are held.

Article 9  The State encourages citizens and organizations to use the National Flag and the design thereof to express their patriotic feelings on appropriate occasions.

When using the design of the National Flag, citizens and organizations shall abide by relevant provisions on internet regulations and may not impair the dignity of the National Flag.

The official version of the design of the National Flag for online use is provided on the websites of the National People’s Congress and the State Council.

Article 10  Procedures for the raise, display and use of the National Flag in diplomatic activities and by the Chinese embassies and consulates stationed in foreign countries and other diplomatic representative agencies shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Article 11  Procedures for the raise, display and use of the National Flag by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force shall be prescribed by the Central Military Commission.

Article 12  Procedures for the raise and display of the National Flag by civilian vessels or foreign vessels entering Chinese territorial waters shall be prescribed by the competent department in charge of transport under the State Council.

Procedures for the raise and display of the National Flag by vessels on exit-entry frontier inspection, border management and public security duties shall be prescribed by the department of public security under the State Council.

Procedures for the raise and display of the National Flag by vessels of national firefighting rescue teams shall be prescribed by the department of emergency management under the State Council.

Article 13  The National Flag, when raised and displayed according to Article 5, 6 and 7 of this Law, shall be raised in the morning and lowered in the evening.

Where the National Flag shall be raised and displayed under this Law, when the weather is inclement, it is permissible not to raise and display the National Flag.

Article 14  When the National Flag is raised and displayed, a flag-hoisting ceremony may be held.

The National Anthem shall be played and sung in the flag-hoisting ceremony. While the National Flag is being hoisted, people present shall face the Flag and stand solemnly to salute it with eyes, or as required, and shall not conduct any act impairing the dignity of the National Flag.

The flag-hoisting ceremony shall be held daily in the Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.

A school shall hold a flag-hoisting ceremony once a week, except during vacations.

Article 15  The National Flag shall be lowered to half-staff to express mourning when the following persons pass away:

(1) President of the People’s Republic of China, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Central Military Commission;

(2) Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference;

(3) persons who have made outstanding contributions to the People’s Republic of China; or

(4) persons who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of world peace or the progress of mankind.

Where a national memorial ceremony is held, or when serious natural calamities, public health emergencies or other unfortunate events occur, causing especially serious casualties, the National Flag may be lowered to half-staff nationwide or in certain areas or specific places to express mourning.

The half-staff of the National Flag in accordance with Subparagraph (3) and (4) in the first and the second paragraph of this Article shall be reported by the relevant departments of the State Council or the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government to the State Council for decision. Dates and places for the half-staff of the National Flag under this Article shall be decided by the funeral organ established by the State or by the State Council.

Article 16  When mourning ceremonies for the following persons who have passed away are held, their remains, coffins or urns may be covered with the National Flag:

(1) the persons specified in Subparagraph (1) to (3) in the first paragraph of Article 15 of this Law;

(2) martyrs;

(3) other persons specified by the State.

The National Flag covering the remains, coffins or urns may not touch the ground, and shall be taken back for safekeeping after the ceremonies.

Article 17  When the National Flag is raised and displayed, it shall be placed in a prominent position.

The National Flag, when raised or carried in a procession with other flags, shall be in front of the others.

The National Flag, when raised and displayed with other flags, shall be either at the center and above the others, or in a position of prominence.

When the National Flags of two or more nations are raised and displayed in foreign affairs activities, relevant provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the international practice shall be followed.

Article 18  The National Flag, when hoisted or lowered from a vertical staff, shall be hoisted or lowered slowly. When raised, the National Flag shall reach the peak of the staff; when lowered, it may not touch the ground.

The National Flag, when lowered to half-staff, shall be first hoisted to the peak of the staff and then lowered to a point where the distance between the top of the Flag and the peak of the staff is one third of the length of the staff; the Flag, when lowered, shall be again hoisted to the peak before it is lowered.

Article 19  No damaged, defiled, faded or substandard National Flag shall be raised, displayed or used, and no National Flag shall be displayed upside down, inserted upside down, or raised, displayed or used in any other manners that impair the dignity of the National Flag.

No National Flag shall be discarded at will. The damaged, defiled, faded or substandard National Flag shall be withdrawn and disposed of in accordance with relevant provisions issued by the State. After a large-scale public activity, the organizer of the activity shall withdraw or properly dispose of the National Flag used on site.

Article 20  The National Flag or the design thereof shall not be used as a trademark, for a design whose patent right is granted, or for a commercial advertisement, and shall not be used in private funeral activities or under other inappropriate circumstances.

Article 21  The National Flag shall be considered as an important element of education in patriotism.

Primary and secondary schools shall educate students on the history and significance of the National Flag, and to observe the rules on the raise, display and use of the National Flag and the etiquette in a flag-hoisting ceremony.

News media shall actively publicize the knowledge on the National Flag and guide citizens and organizations to correctly use the National Flag and the design thereof.

Article 22  The General Office of the State Council shall make overall plans for and coordinate the work concerning the administration of the National Flag nationwide. The local people’s governments at all levels shall make overall plans for and coordinate the work concerning the administration of the National Flag within their respective administrative regions.

The market regulatory departments of the people’s governments at all levels shall supervise and administer production and sale of the National Flag.

The departments designated by the people’s governments at the county level shall supervise and administer the raise, display, use and withdrawal of the National Flag within their respective administrative regions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the competent departments in charge of transportation under the State Council and the relevant departments of the Central Military Commission shall supervise and administer the raise, display, use and withdrawal of the National Flag within their respective jurisdictions.

Article 23  A party who desecrates the National Flag of the Peoples Republic of China by intentionally burning, damaging, defacing, defiling or trampling upon it in a public place shall be subject to criminal liability in accordance with the law; in less serious cases, the offender shall be detained for a maximum of 15 days by the public security organ.

Article 24  This Law shall be effective as of October 1, 1990.

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