The Korean Flag and Um Yang Philosophy
TAE KEUK KI, the Korean Flag.
The Korean Flag symbolises much of the thought, philosophy and mysticism of the Korean Culture and the Orient.
The Tae Keuk symbol in the centre of the flag is a circle divided equally and in perfect balance. The circle itself represents the absolute or the essential unity of all beings.
The upper red section is called YANG and the lower blue section is called UM and is the ancient symbol of the creation of the universe. Yang is associated with Expansion and Separation and Um is associated with Contraction and Assimilation. It can also be compared to day and night, light and dark, construction and destruction, masculine and feminine, active and passive, hot and cold and so on. These opposites continually balance and compliment each other.
The three bars at each corner also represent the theme of opposition and balance. The three unbroken lines in the upper left hand corner stand for heaven; the opposite three broken bars in the lower right hand corner represent the earth. The bar in the lower left hand corner symbolise fire; the opposite bars in the upper right hand corner symbolise water.
Martial artists have interpreted this philosophy by using non-violence against violence, soft against hard, circle against straight line and so on.
The Tae Keuk symbol also features at the centre of the Heart of England badge and as with the Korean Flag represents a world in balance. Within the Um Yang symbol is the silhouette of an Oak tree which represents strength and longevity. Many of the belt descriptions talk of the plants growth which ultimately develops into a towering tree and the Oak trees growth from acorn to mature veteran tree can be considered symbolic of the students progress from White belt to Black belt. The Oak tree symbol is also significant in that it represents the Oak tree which stands at the centre of Morton Village in Derbyshire, the Head Quarters of Heart of England-ITF Taekwon-do. Heart of England-ITF was founded on 4th July 2009.
The International Taekwon-Do Federation Logo
The Name of the organisation “International Taekwon-Do Federation” is inscribed around the globe to imply that the ITF is a world-wide organisation and that Taekwon-Do is a martial art practiced world wide. In the centre of the globe is a fist, engraved in bold relief. On both sides of the fist, written in Korean, are “Tae & Kwon” to emphasise that Taekwon-Do is the best of all martial arts. The blue background symbolises righteous and pure spirit to be nurtured by Taekwon-Do practitioners. There is a wavy line passing through the centre of the symbol which connects the two halves of the earth and symbolises uniting all people and cultures through Taekwon-do. The ITF was founded on 22 Mar 1966
Return to top of page - Return to Contents