The Unification Flag is a flag designed to represent all of Korea when North and South Korea participate as one team in sporting events. The background is white. In the centre, there is a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula, including Jeju Island to the southwest and Ulleungdo and the Liancourt Rocks to the east, added in 2006. The flag has no status as an official flag in either country.
The flag was first used in 1991 when the two countries competed as a single team in the 41st World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan and the 8th World Youth Football Championship in Lisbon, Portugal.
The two countries' teams marched together under the flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia; the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea; the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu, South Korea; the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece; the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy; and the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar; however, the two countries competed separately in sporting events.
The flag was not used in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Not only was a unified team shelved, but also Beijing Olympics Organization Committee (BOCOG)'s plan to make the two Korean teams turn up back to back during the opening ceremony was rejected due to opposition by the North Korean delegation at the last moment.
The unification flag is to be used again as the two nations march together at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Other occasions on which the flag was used include the following:
The flag was prominently displayed at the border between the two sides when the South Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun, walked into North Korea on an official visit in 2007.
In 2010, a large group of North Korean citizens and officials waved the flag when saying goodbye to the South Korean Reverend Han Sang-ryol returning to South Korea from North Korea by crossing the DMZ line, but he was immediately arrested upon his return to South Korea.
In 2012, A large group of North Korean citizens and officials waved the flag when saying goodbye to Ro Su-hui, vice-chairman of the Reunification of the Fatherland Union (Pomminryon). This was on the occasion of his return to South Korea from North Korea by crossing the DMZ line. Media reports referred to the flag as the “Korea is one” flag. He was immediately arrested upon his return to South Korea and later jailed.
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