The flag of the People's Republic of China, the "Five-stars-red Flag" was designed by Zeng Liansong, an economist and artist from Rui'an, Zhejiang. He designed it in response to a circular distributed by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in July 1949, shortly after they came to power. Out of more than 3,000 entries received for the design competition, Zeng's was chosen after being nominated as one of the 38 finalists. Mao Zedong hoisted the first flag on a pole overlooking Tiananmen Square on the day of its unveiling. China's first national flag originated in 1872. It was yellow with a blue dragon, representing the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty, which ruled China for many years. The revolt of 1911 saw the changing of the flag to five different coloured stripes. Soviet republics were established in the 1920s, each of which was represented by a red flag referring to the Soviet fatherland. The present flag dated from 1949 when the People's Republic was formed.
The current design uses red as its background and gold for its stars. The red background symbolises the blood of heroes who died during the revolution. The golden colour mainly symbolises the history and culture of the Chinese people and was partly inherited from the colours of the flag of the Soviet Union, which was also a combination of red and gold, in which case the gold symbolises the brightness of the communist future.
The larger star symbolises the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the four smaller stars that surround the big star symbolise the four classes of Chinese people that were considered unitable by Mao at that time. Mao's work, On The People's Democratic Dictatorship; these are the Workers, Peasants, Petty Bourgeoisie (i.e. Small Business Class), and National Bourgeoisie (i.e. Chinese non-governmental businessmen). The most popular modern interpretation is that the four stars represent the four occupations most esteemed by the Communist Party of China, which are farmers, workers, teachers, and soldiers. An interpretation of a more historical context is the four stars represent the traditional four categories of the people in the state, which are Workers, Farmers, Intellectuals, and Businessmen.