The red color of the flag is the symbol of the revolution, signifying that the political power of the People's Republic of China was achieved through bloodshed and lives laid down by countless revolutionary martyrs. In the upper-left corner of the flag there are five-pointed yellow stars, of which the big one represents the Communist Party of China and the four small ones the people of all ethnic groups of the country. One point of the big star points right up the flag and of the four small ones each has a point pointing towards the centre of the big star. This shows that the Chinese Communist Party is the force at the core of the leadership of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups who unite closely as one round the Party. The color of the stars in yellow means the great cause of socialism has a bright future.
The design went through several changes and was finally approved by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on September 27, 1949 at their First Plenary Session. The original design plans contained several alterations in comparison with the modern-day flag.
Three of the original flag candidates showed the large golden star (with no additional stars anywhere else) along with one, two, or three yellow bars (horizontal) at the bottom of the flag, representing the Yangtze, Huang He (Yellow River) and the Zhujiang River (Pearl River). They were not chosen by the officials, however, because the very presence of these bars appeared to suggest the idea of a tearing or splitting of the nation.
The flag was unveiled on 1 October, 1949 on the offical day marking the beginning of the People's Republic of China. It was one of the first steps of the Chinese Communist Party, after they had gained control in the Chinese Civil War.