We Must Ban the Rising Sun Flag in the Media

Imagine that you are wearing a T-shirt with the Swastika symbol and walking down the street. You would feel uncomfortable and want to take it off as soon as possible because people are staring at you, and some are even confronting you aggressively. However, nowadays, we can see many clothes with the rising sun flag symbol, which is similar to Swastika. Most people do not know the true meaning of the rising sun flag. If people knew the truth, they would never want to wear clothing with the rising sun flag, since they would treat it like the Swastika.

According to the Wanderer Online, the rising sun flag was the symbol of the Japanese empire during the 19th and early 20th century. That means, Japanese used the flag when they are fighting in the World War II (WW2). Just like the Nazi Germany, Japan committed atrocities against the humanity. During the war, the Japanese colonial administration brought females from other nations and made them sex slaves for their soldiers. Also, they conducted medical experiments on living bodies under compulsion. In addition, Japanese soldiers massacred and raped more than 200,000 defenseless civilians.

The problem with the rising sun flag is that it since people do not know the meaning behind the symbol, it keeps coming out through the media. For example, Ronda Rousey and George St. Pierre, who are famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters, wore a uniform with an inscription of a rising sun flag during their televised fights. Furthermore, The Federal Internationale de Footbal Association (FIFA) published the rising sun flag on the cover of its October 2014 magazine. This is not the end, Beyoncé, a worldwide pop star, wore a dress with the rising sun flag in her music video Video phone, and the Air Jordan, a shoes and athletic clothing brand, released the “Air Jordan 12 Rising Sun edition.” On the edition, the rising sun flag is printed on the bottom of shoes. Media treats the rising sun flag as just oriental design. Through the exposure of the rising sun flag by the media, publics could absorb the rising flag as familiar design of Asia.

the rising sun flag edition from Air Jordan

the rising sun flag edition from Air Jordan

Beyoncé wore the rising sun flag dress in her music video

Beyoncé wore the rising sun flag dress in her music video

Even though media provided opportunities to give a familiar and oriental image to the rising sun flag, it still has chances to bounce back. According to the Associate Press, Andy Hurley, the drummer of Fall out boy, sincerely apologized about his outfit at the Victoria fashion show. Andy wore a T-shirt with the rising sun during the show. From this happening, many public had chance to get inside of the incident.

The role of media is to send information to the public, and the public is easily get influenced by the media. The media must inform the meaning of he rising sun flag so the publics stop dishonoring those who suffered under the Japanese colonial administration a century ago. In the future, I hope that I could find the rising sun flag only in the history book, not in the media.


8 thoughts on “We Must Ban the Rising Sun Flag in the Media

  1. MIke says:

    Wow, I really did not know about the history of the rising sun iconography before reading this post. I don’t think that many North Americans know about the history of this image. Thanks for sharing, Sang


  2. jagrajsingh says:

    This was a very readable short history about the symbol! The Nazi Germany comparison was perfect. I wonder why the history behind the Swastika is well known but the history behind the Rising Sun is not.


  3. tannercompton says:

    This is a very interesting post and I was not aware to the extent that this symbol has been appropriated. How do you think society will become more conscious of the heavy meaning behind it? Is it through education or paradoxically through discussion on media? Considering how the US has been addressing the Confederate flag, could opponents of the Rising Sun flag ride the media coattails and be allowed into the discussion?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. group5com201 says:

    WOW! This is a really good educational post! I have no idea that rising sun stands for Japanese empire! As a Chinese, I’ve learned enough about our dark history because of Japan. Millions of Chinese were tortured and killed by Japanese soldiers during that time and that was the most horrible period in China modern history! Thank you so much for pointing that out. It’s sad that public casually use this symbol without thinking. How did you notice about this mistake? And do you think is there any other reason for people love using this pattern in daily life and their products besides it’s a represent of Asian culture?
    (Good Job! This post is awesome!)


  5. Mariam says:

    Thank you for posting this! I didn’t know about the history of this symbol and I appreciate your explanation. It seems many people in the US don’t know this history – either the atrocities committed during WWII by the Japanese Army, or the connection of the rising sun image to those atrocities. Given that information about another aspect of the very same war (WWII) – and Nazi atrocities is a standard part of the education of most Americans, and it would never be considered ok to wear a swastika, why do you think there is the huge disparity in awareness and such a lack of sensitivity?


  6. Halee Jeong says:

    I’m more than happy that someone finally brought this up and this topic is actually the one I have always wanted to talk about. I already knew about the meaning of rising sun flag and hated it so much when people just casually wear clothes that have this symbol on it. Thank you for sharing this post and I think that this post really gives us information about why we should be aware of historical meaning behind them before we casually use those symbols in the media.


  7. Anonymous says:

    WW2 vets who fought against this flag are gone….thats why people think its cool. Many vets said people dont give a damm about who died for them….this is perfect example. Yaa… wear that dress in Pearl harbor at the U.S.S Arizona memorial…. see how cool it is then


  8. KeN says:

    Koreans are insane! Their demonization of Japan and fabrication of history makes me sick. And I’m even more surprised many people easily fell for their propaganda. Do you know since when they complain about the flag? It’s 2011! Until then, nobody in Korea had claimed it’s a criminal flag, even though it has been used in many place many occasions. At the 2011 AFC Asian Cup semi-final, the Korean player Ki Sung Yueng insulted Japanese that was their opponent at the game by mimicking monkey. (“Monkey” is a derogatory term Koreans like to use referred to Japanese they have been looking down on through the ages) When he was accused of his racist performance, he made an excuse saying he did it because he saw the rising sun flag in the crowd. Then, Koreans started anti Japan propaganda demonizing the flag. http://megalodon.jp/2011-0126-1052-38/news.donga.com/Sports/3/05/20110126/34392010/1


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