The white background color of the flag represents the land, the purity of the Korean people, and their peace-loving spirit. Korean people have preferred to wear white clothing; hence, Korea has been called the "white-clad" nation. The eum-yang circle represents the people; the red upper half (yang) represents male and the blue lower half (eum) represents female. Yellow (gold)
During the Joseon Dynasty, official buildings were painted in specific color schemes to denote the social position of the occupant or his office. One color scheme was reserved for the royal class of society "Yang Bang." Unlike western royalty, which is primarily determined by birth, Joseon society permitted a lower class person to advance in class through a series of civil servant exams. This insured that the brightest would be the leaders, regardless of their birth status. When the colors of the Korean flag were chosen, the color scheme of the Yang Bang was used, symbolizing the elevation of all Korean people to the level of the royal class. This concept of a democratic society where all were equal was an idea the Japanese opposed, which increased their opposition to the flag during their occupation of Korea.
Standard color shades of the flag are follows: in the CIE System, the x, y, and Y coordinates for the red are x=0.5640, y=0.3194, Y=15.3; for the blue, x=0.1556, y=0.1354, Y=6.5. Alternatively, in the Munsell System of Color Notation, the red corresponds to 6.0R 4.5/14, and the blue to 5.0PB 3.0/12. In the Pantone Matching System, 186C red and 294C blue are recommended.
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