The flag of Hong Kong features a white, stylized, five-petal Hong Kong orchid tree in the center of a red background. Red is the festive color for the Chinese people and is used to convey a sense of nationalism. It is the same red used in China’s flag and it signifies the reestablished link between post-colonial Hong Kong and China. The flower used is as a harmonizing symbol for this dichotomy.
The design was adopted on April 4, 1990 and it was first officially hoisted on 1 July 1997, in the handover ceremony marking the transfer of sovereignty.
The use of the flag is regulated by laws passed by the 58th executive meeting of the State Council held in Beijing. The flag should be raised at 8 a.m. and lower at 6 p.m.
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It is flown daily from official offices, including the airport. When flown with the national flag, the regional flag must be smaller in size and must be displayed to the left of the national flag. The flag may not be used in trademarks and advertisements.
History of Hong Kong’s flag
Prior to the transfer of sovereignty, Hong Kong’s flag was a colonial Blue Ensign flag. In 1843, a seal representing Hong Kong was added, representing a “local scene” ; later, a full color crown was added. In 1876 the local scene was back on the flag but in 1955 it was revised. But the new badge was similar to the one used before.
In 1959 a Coat of Arms for Hong Kong was granted and it was featured during the same year in the flag.