Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The National Banner Song of Taiwan (Alternate Anthem)

Written in the 1930s on mainland China, "The Flag Raising Song" (National Banner Song, National Flag Anthem) isn't per se an anthem of Taiwan at all, but is rather a compromise used by the Taiwanese when represented at international events (such as the Olympic Games) to satisfy concerns from mainland China, as well as being often played during flag raisings. Despite not being the national anthem, it seems to be quite popular in Taiwan, possibly because of the non-political nature of it (as the national anthem was also the party anthem of Kuomintang).

The "National Flag Anthem" (official Republic of China name, also known as the National Banner Song unofficially) of the Republic of China is played during the raising and lowering of the Flag of the Republic of China. This song is also played at international sporting events such as the Olympic Games, where the ROC team plays as "Chinese Taipei." The lyrics were written by Hu Han-min, Tai Chi-tao, Liao Chung-kai and Shao Yuan-chung. The music was composed by Tai Chuan-hsien.

Since 1983, the song was used at Olympic competitions instead of the National Anthem of Taiwan due to pressure from the Chinese Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee. This also changed the symbols used by Taiwan during the Olympics and their name officially changed to "Chinese Taipei." During the 2004 Summer Olympics, Chinese Taipei won its first gold medals, and the Banner Song was played at the ceremonial raising of the flag of the gold medal team. When introduced, the song is officially called the "National Anthem of Chinese Taipei." In schools located in Taipei, every morning the National Banner Song and the National Anthem are sung before classes at an outdoor ceremony. During this time, the National Flag is raised.

The stamp above features the composer of the national banner song, Tai Chuan-Hsien issued by China in 1989.