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The Japanese flag is one of the most easily identified of all national flags: a solid circle of vermilion on a plain white background. The sun symbol derives from the importance of the sun as a ruling deity in Japanese mythology, and from the name of Japan itself – Nihon or Nippon – which means "source of the sun". The design of the flag is directly descended from the banners and flags used by Japanese feudal clans.
Although the flag had been used previously by Japanese ships, it was not decreed to be the national flag until 1870. At that time it was officially proclaimed that the flag should be a rectangle in the ratio of 70:100 with the central symbol three-fifths of the width. Known as the Hinomaru or "round of the sun," the flag is traditionally flown from a black-striped bamboo pole capped with a golden ball.
The contents of this site are excerpted from THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF TIME CAPSULE EXPO'70(March 1975). Please note that company and organization names may differ from those of the current ones.
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