Last modified: 2014-06-28 by Zachary Harden
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Civil and State Flag/Ensign: A red disk on a white field. The disk is known as the Hinomaru, a mon representation of the sun. It can be used on land and sea by civilians and government (excluding military).
Ground Self-Defense Force (War Flag): A hinomaru with 7 red rays extending outward. A gold border lies partially around the edge.
Naval Ensign (War Ensign): A hinomaru set towards the hoist, with 16 red rays.
Although the hinomaru has been a symbol and flag of Japan for centuries (and unofficially a national flag since 1868), it was not officially adopted as the flag of Japan until 1999. The flag dimensions were set at 2:3.1
Following World War II, the War Ensign, which had been in use by the Japanese Navy since 7 October 1889 the flag use was discontinued as part of the treaty of San Francisco until 30 June 1954 when readopted for use by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Proportions are 2:3.2
The War Flag was adopted 30 June 1954 as the flag of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.3 It's proportions are approximately 8:9.
Flag of Japan by António Martins.
War flag by Kazutaka Nishiura, and Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg and ensign by Željko Heimer