Choson Korean Flags of the Imjin Wars 1592-1598

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Choson Korean Flags of the Imjin Wars 1592-1598

These flags and banners are based on recent research done in Korea as well as translated parts from the Korean book ‘Weapons and Amour of the Choson’.

As far as I’m aware this is the first time this information has been seen in the West. So you will all be pioneers in a small way when these flags and there uses are incorporated into your armies!

Far from the general idea of the Korean Army being an uncoordinated mass when pitched against the Japanese in the Imjin Wars you’ll see that they had a sophisticated organisation and drill.

Pyo-Gi (Symbol flag) These were symbols for each general/ commander/ platoon leader etc. and also used to answer the call of a superior commander.

Young Ha Gi (Ordering flag) These were used by generals/commanders etc. to order commanders under them. They are have exactly the same shape (normally) and colour as their Pyo Gi but usually have tassels attached. Each commander has as many flags as the units under him and use them to order specific troops.

From the highest commander to a platoon commander (Dea Jung), each one of them has their own Young Ha Gi. Although the Wi Jang has two types of Young Ha Gi as they have to order reserve troops (Yu Gun) too.

The colours 
The colours of the flags signify the commanders and his troops position in the army i.e. the front or vanguard is red, the right is white, the left is blue, the centre is yellow and the rear or reserve is black.

Flag sizes 
No period flags exist anymore, so the sizes aren’t known although the shapes and designs are. However some sizes can be based on later 17th century flags. The Kyo Ryong Gi was around 2-2.5 metres wide whereas regular flags such as Wi Jang Gi or Yeo Su Gi are believed to have been around 1.2x 0.9 metres. The size of the Hu Gi Gi (scouting flags) are believed to have been 1.5-2m wide by 70cm -1.2 m high.

Now for a short Korean lesson!

Jang means general 
Wi means Escort or Guard 
Bu means flock (!)or group 
Tong means command 
Yeo means troop 
Young means ordering 
Ha means under 
Gi means flag

Many Thanks to Jude Oh for the translations and additional research which with without who’s help this and much of the Choson range of figures would never have seen the light of day.

Alan Perry

These images are designed to be printed at 300dpi, to save them right / ctrl click the links below and select “Save link as”

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