Do these red, yellow, and blue swirls mean something?
February 4, 2004 9:40 PM   Subscribe

A Korean friend-of-a-friend, and fellow indie pop devotee, gave me a metal bookmark. Of its many symbols, the most prominent is something like (excuse my ignorance) a yin yang, but with three "swirls," colored red, yellow, and blue. (There is also a fish, a butterfly, and what I think is a Chinese "double happiness" and some hangul writing.) Could someone tell me what this means?
posted by Utilitaritron to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
It's a common symbol of Korean culture and national identity - note the center of these drums, for example. My wife's asleep right now, otherwise I'd give you its proper name.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:46 PM on February 4, 2004

In Korean, it's actually "Eum" and "Yang", and, like the Korean flag (more here), derives from many sources, including and eventually Chinese Taoist furtune telling diagrams. I was looking around for an article I read entitled "What is Korean about the Korean Flag?" that I read about two years ago or more. It was written by a Korean scholar of some kind who was trying to change the Korean flag to reflect more of Korea and less of Toaist ideas from China. I couldn't find it online, but I have a copy of it on actual paper.

The Korean Flag - Gary Rector

Symbolism and Meaning of the Korean Flag - Tina Reist

The three-colored swirl is decorative, and still can be found on gates and temples in Korea, but its origins are the I-Ching.
posted by hama7 at 5:53 AM on February 5, 2004

Thanks you guys. I guess it was a bit presumptuous to assume it had to mean something.
posted by Utilitaritron at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2004

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