Plough flag


The Plough flag (simplified Chinese: 犁头旗; traditional Chinese: 犁頭旗; pinyin: lítóu qí) is a red banner with a white or yellow plough positioned in the center of it, widely used in the period of the Northern Expedition as the flag of the Chinese Peasants' Association.[1]


Another version of the flag.

The plough symbolizes the peasants' leadership in rural areas, and the red color stands for the victory of the communist revolution. When it is depicted in works of art, it is generally shown in conjunction with Mao Zedong and/or armed peasants. An example of this can be found in an illustrated pamphlet titled "'This is fine' - In memory of the 44th anniversary of the publication of 'Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan"'[2][3], published by the People's Press of Guangdong, where the illustrator uses the plough flag as a symbol of the peasant movement.


Plough Flag used by the left wing of the Kuomintang.

It is believed that Peng Pai (Chinese: 彭湃) was the first to use this flag in 1923, as the Chairman of the Peasants' Association[4] of Hailufeng.[5] During the period of first United Front, when the peasant movement in China was at its peak[6], the plough appeared in the flag and membership cards of the local peasant associations in several provinces[7]. Another version of the flag, used by the left-wing of the Kuomintang, combines the plough with the Flag of the Republic of China.

After July 15, 1927, when the Communist Party was made illegal in Wuhan[8], the associations controlled by the communists stopped using the "Kuomintang" version of the flag[9][10] and instead began using a version with a completely red background[11].

After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, plough flags have been placed in several museums around the country (e.g. the museum of Guangxi[12]) as well as being featured in paintings as the symbol of the peasant movement during the Encirclement Campaigns. A Caicha Opera (Chinese: 采茶戏) titled "Ode to the Plough Flag" (Chinese: 犁旗颂) was composed in Yangxin, Hubei[13].

Compared to Starry Plough FlagEdit

The Starry Plough Flag is a similar banner used by the Irish Citizen Army[14], but with imagery of the Ursa Major constellation. However, there is no evidence that Peng Pai borrowed from the Irish design.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "收藏快报数字报-土地革命时期农民秋收暴动旗帜".
  2. ^ "活页画册之这是好的很纪念《湖南农民运动考察报告》发表四十四周年_连海中人_新浪博客".
  3. ^ "Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "彭湃与陆丰农民运动 – 陆丰宣传文化网".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "城步发现罕见的犁头旗". 湘潮 (3): 49. 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "1926-1927年容县辛下里区甘洞农民协会犁头旗_广西壮族自治区博物馆 the Museum of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region".
  13. ^
  14. ^ "History of Starry Plough Flag".