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Nanjing Puppet State

Nánjīng, 南京

Last modified: 2014-04-14 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: nanjing | world war ii | japanese puppet state | sun | china |
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Republic of China
[Japanese KMT Flag]
image by Miles Li, 21 March 2014

Outdoor state flag
[Japanese KMT Flag]
image by Miles Li, 21 August 2006


See also:


Nanjing Nationalist Government (1940-1945)

南京國民政府
Reformed Government of the Republic of China (1938-1940) 中華民國維新政府

On December, 1937, when the Japanese took Nanjing, Wang Jingwei fled with the Nationalist government. The following year, he began secret contacts with the Japanese and in December, 1938, left Chongquing for Hanoi where he issued a now famous telegram supporting the Japanese proposal for an armistice in China (Dec. 29, 1938) for which he was expelled from the Chongquing government on January 1, 1939. Meeting both publicly and privately with the Japanese government and various puppet governments in China, Wang organized his own Nationalist government which was formally established in Nanjing on March 30, 1940.

Wang attempted to establish the legitimacy of his government as the successor of Sun Yat-sen. As a confidant to Sun, he transcribed Sun's will, or the Zongli's Testament and was a high level official in the Nationalist government.

After getting the approval of the Japanese to establish a Nationalist government in Nanjing with himself as leader, Wang called a Sixth Guomindang Representative Congress to establish the government, the conference hall flanked by the "blue-sky white-sun red-earth" national flag as well as the "blue-sky white-sun" Nationalist Party flag, which flanked a large portrait of Sun Yat-Sen. And on March 19, 1940, just before the session of the Central Political Conference which finalized the government preparation process, he visited Sun's tomb in Nanjing's Purple Mountain.

In order to discredit the legitimacy of the Chongquing government, Wang needed to adopt the flag of the Nationalist government of China. This would, he hoped, establish Wang as the rightful successor to Sun, bringing the government back home to Nanjing. This point he stressed with the Japanese in the early stages of setting up the government. When it was reported to him that his two aids had agreed with the Japanese to use both the "blue-sky white-sun" flag with the "five-bar" flag, he asserted his case to use the national flag, feeling that by changing the flag he would be seen as an illegitimate ruler.

The next proposal from the Japanese was to use the national flag with a triangular yellow pennant with the slogan "Heping, fangong, jianguo" attached to the flag. Wang refused this compromise as he again felt that it raise issues that could undermine his government. Additionally, he had consulted the Italian ambassador in Nanjing who advised him that the pennant would discredit any claim to be the Kuomintang government. The final compromise between Wang and the Japanese allowed him to use the "blue-sky white-sun" flag in major government facilities, but when flown outdoors pennants had to be attached to the flag.

abstracted from: "Slogans, Symbols, and Legitimacy: The Case of Wang Jingwei's Nanjing Regime", Andrew Cheung, Indiana University, http://www.easc.indiana,edu/Pages/Easc/working_papers/NOFRAME_6A_SLOGA.htm

Phil Nelson, 15 August 1999


The pennant was hoisted above the current Taiwanese flag to constitute the state flag of the KMT Republic of China, 1940-1943, according to Smith. This may explain why the flag and the pennant were not shown in the 1939 edition of Flaggenbuch [neu39] but added in the corrections.

Smith wrote 'On 1 April 1940, the Japanese-sponsored governments of Peiping and Nanking united their territories and hoisted the flag of their new Nationalist Government of the Republic of China. Its ruling party adopted the name, symbols, and much of the program of the original KMT whose own government still existed at Chungking. Even the state flag differed from that of its rival only in being surmounted by a yellow pennant bearing the inscription 'Peace, Anti-Communism, National Construction'. After February 1943, the pennant was omitted and for two years the Chinese masses were confronted by the counterclaims of two governments sharing a common name and flag, each insisting it alone was the voice of China. The chief beneficiary of the confusion proved to be the Communist Party of China.'
Ivan Sache, 20 September 2001


[Nanjing puppet state flag]
image by Miru Takano

[Nanjing puppet state flag]
image by Miru Takano

[Nanjing puppet state flag]
image by Miru Takano

Peace, Anti-Communism
and National Construction
Peace and Anti-Communism Peace and National Construction

The White Sun in Blue Sky over Red Land flag with a small yellow pennant with a motto of "Peace, Anti-Communism and National Construction" in black were used as naval ensign which was adopted on Feb 24th 1941 by official gazette No 928. As some warlords were using White Sun in Blue Sky over Red Land flag the Nanjin National government (Wang Ching-Wei's government 1940-1945) used yellow pennant attached to national flag to distinguish their flags. There were three versions of the pennant:

Peace, Anti-Communism and National Construction
peace and anti-communism
Peace and National Construction

Any motto used among the three was a regional choice.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 30 September 2001

The pennants shown in Flaggenbuch addendum has the same script as above, but a different shape. It is a rectangle triangle, with the right angle at lower hoist. Ratio is 1:6 (not explicitly specified, so probably not official). Smith shows the same kind of pennant, but his source might be Flaggenbuch [neu39].
Ivan Sache, 20 and 24 September 2001


After 3rd February 1943, the additional outdoors pennants for Wang Jingwei's Nanjing state flag was officially removed by the direct order from Wang Jingwei.
Wilson Lin, 29 December 2002


Following the creation of a Chinese central government in Nanking, 30 March 1940, under Japanese control, a national flag was adopted by the pro-Japanese government of China. It consisted of the five stripes (red over yellow over blue over white over black) with a flame in the centre with the words "Peace, Reconstruction, Anticommunism" (in Chinese characters).
Jaume Ollé, 6 July 1996


This is the flag of the second pro-Japanese government of Nanking which was raised in 1941 or 1942 after the first one fell. The Japanese deliberately chose to confuse minds about the true authority with this Chinese looking flag.
Philippe Bondurand, 6 December 1997


War Ensign

[Republic of China Naval Ensign]
image by Miles Li, 22 March 2014

The flag was Chinese naval ensign adopted on May 1st 1942 by official gazette No 2629 in commemoration of the second anniversary relocation of the capital on March 30th 1940.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 30 September 2001