A red circle centred on a white background represents the sun on the Japanese flag.
Therefore the flag is named „Nisshōki“ in the country’s language, which signifies a much as “Sunemblemflag”. However, the Japanese flag is better known under the name „Hinomaru“ (Circle of the sun). The flag was initially introduced on the 5th of August, 1854, even though only 45 years later it was accepted as the national flag of Japan.
Beforehand the flag was in official use only at sea. With the official introduction in 1999, the aspect ratio was changed from 7:10 to 2:3. Its history is long, the symbol of the sun dates back to the Daimyō (rulers) and the Japanese Samurai (soldiers) which are said to have used the flag since 701.
According to a legend, the oldest preserved Japanese flag dates back to the 11th century. It is treasured in the Unpō-ji temple in Kōshū.
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