Flag of the Republic of Formosa (Yellow-tiger Flag)

Exhibit Area:
Transformations and The New Order > Cession of Taiwan > War of Conquest in Taiwan
Cultural relic
Object description:
In 1895, as a result of the Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government ceded Taiwan to Japan. In an effort to induce intervention from the world powers, member of the Taiwanese gentry and officials conspired to establish The Republic of Taiwan, and announced independence on May 23. On the 25th, member of the gentry delivered the seal and national flag of The Republic of Taiwan – also known as the Yellow-tiger Flag – to the Governor’s Office. Tang Ching-Sung, the former Governor, then became the President. Since the Republic of Taiwan was only a political maneuver to stop the cession of Taiwan to Japan, it dispersed in defeat not long after the Japanese landed in Taiwan.
There are three such national flags in existence; the first was hung at the Governor’s Office, the second one was at the battery, the third was at the customs. Subsequently, one was taken to the Shintenfu at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo , one was soaked by the rain and abandoned, and the third was collected by Ma Shi, a customs official. A tiger was used on the flag because the Qing government already had a dragon flag, and thus Taiwan did not fare to use the same animal in its design.
According to one story the purpose of the tiger flag was thus to distinguish Taiwan from the Qing government, while another story describes Taiwan as the nation of dragons and tigers . It is not known where the two remaining flags are, or whether they even exist.
A famous replica flag, produced by the Japanese artist Takahashi, is now stored in the National Taiwan Museum. It is said to be an extremely accurate replica of the original flag, and the museum recently discovered that it is in fact double-sided, with one side showing the tiger during the day, and the other at night.
The Republic of Taiwan, Shintenfu, National Taiwan Museum

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