The flag of Vietnam was originally designed in 1940, and officially adopted on November 30, 1955, after gaining independence from French rule in 1954. The flag contains a red field with a gold five-pointed star centered on the red field. The gold five-pointed star symbolizes the five groups of workers in the building of socialism: intellectuals, peasants, soldiers, workers and youths. The color red symbolizes bloodshed, and the revolutionary struggle. There is a theory that states that the red color represents the Communist Party while the star was added purely for aesthetic purposes.
A local poet, Nguyen Hu’u Tien, who later became a leader in the resistance movement, is one of many, attributed to designing the flag. A state-sponsored study conducted in the 1980s by Son Tung showed the Nguyen Hu’u Tien had written a poem in which he explained his choice of colors and symbols of the flag. According to the poem, the colors of the flag are inspired by patriotism and culture. The red field represents the bloodshed during the struggle for liberation, while the yellow represents the skin color of the majority of Vietnamese people. Hu’u Tien’s poem explicitly states that “the yellow star is the color of our race’s skin”. Another theory has it that Le Quang So, another freedom fighter was the designer of the flag. Therefore, the actual designer of the Vietnam flag is still unknown.
A flag similar to the one used today was adopted in 1945. Ten years later, the flag was modified to sharpen the edges of the star. This flag was first used by North Vietnam. South Vietnam on the other hand used a yellow flag displaying three red stripes. When Vietnam was unified in 1976, and became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the flag of North Vietnam was adopted.