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Chinese Customs

Taiwan, China

Last modified: 2003-08-09 by phil nelson
Keywords: taiwan | china |
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Chinese Customs Flag

[early Chinese Customs flag]
by Phil Nelson

The first Chinese Customs flag was designed by H.N. Lay when in England to purchasing cruisers for the Chinese Government, 1861-1862. Following an inquiry from UK government, it was decided that the national flag of China would be a triangular one, yellow in color with a blue dragon facing the hoist. In 1862, the Chinese government directed that this emblem be flown in the center of the green flag designed by Lay.

Soon after returning to China the flag fell into disuse until 1867 when the green and yellow flag bearing the St. Andrew's cross as designed by Lay was revived. It was replaced again in 1873 with a dragon ensign, - triangular yellow flag with a red sun (similar to the flag shown at 1872 Imperial Dragon Flag), which in turn was replaced in 1889 by a rectangular version of the dragon flag (similar to the flag at 1890 Imperial Dragon flag).

In December 1912, when the Republic of China came into existence, the green saltire returned as the emblem of Chinese Customs. During the period of 1928-1931, a central device, the Kuomingtang emblem, was added to the flag.

Source: "Dragonflags" No. 1, Canadian Flag Association

Phil Nelson, 25 November 1999

KMT Customs Flag (China) / General Inspector of Customs (Taiwan)

[Chinese Customs Flag]
by Ivan Sache and C.E. Baldwin

According to Album des Pavillons, the custom's flag is still in use, as well as the flag of the General Inspector of Customs, a green field with a yellow saltire and the canton of the national flag in the middle.
Ivan Sache, 25 November 1999

Customs flag of China and Taiwan

[Chinese Customs Flag] by Zeljko Heimer


The national flag with green serated stripes. Construction sheet is similar to the civil ensign.

As in the case of civil ensign, the usage of this flag still has to be confirmed - it was once used, but now it seems that it is altogether replaced by the national flag, and for a long time no one reported it seen in use (as far as I am aware).
Zeljko Heimer, 4 February 2003

The Custom's flag shown in the 1939 Flaggenbuch and dates from the Republic of China (Kuomintang regime). I don't know if it is still in use, and the 1990 Album des Pavillons shows a different flag for the Director General of Customs, which is also shown in Flaggenbuch.
Norman M. Martin, 1998-March-30

A flag similar to this is shown in the 1930 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships as well as being identified by Whitney Smith (1975) as the Merchantile ensign. The flag differs in that it has of the yellow and gold stripes shown instead of the green stripes shown in this flag.
Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins, 1998-March-30

I believe this flag is no longer valid.
Armand Noel du Payrat, 29 November 1999

I received a reply from Republic of China representatives in Tokyo that they have not seen the yellow or green striped flag in Taiwan.
Nozomi Kariyasu

People's Republic of China Customs Flag

] by Oskar Myszor

The customs-flag of China is the state flag with a key and the staff of Mercurius crossed in the lower right corner. The flag was adopted 1949.

Source: Christian Fogd Pedersen - Flaggor i färg, 1973
Marcus Wendel, 15 September 1999

The Chinese Customs no longer uses the special ensign, and flies the usual state flag instead; the 'key and staff' emblem, however, remains the official badge of the Customs.
Miles Li, 14 November 1999