Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hong Kong coat of arms

I don't think I have looked at Asian  Vexillology or Heraldry in this blog. So I think I will start with this post. As Chinese New Year is tomorrow  I think China is an appropriate country to start with. Instead of looking at China as a whole in this post I will focus on it's "Special Administrative Region" of Hong Kong, for two reasons unlike other countries China has little history as far as heraldry is concerned and I don't want to start from scratch as I am starting a new project soon, and Hong Kong had a coat of arms in its colonial days which make a good starting point:
Hong Kong coat of arms 1959-1997
  The official emblem of Hong Kong  today which is featured on its flag is the five petal Hong Kong orchid. Surrounded by the region's official title in Chinese and "Hong Kong" in the Latin Alphabet (Apparently both English and Chinese are still spoken in Hong Kong):
Although this would probably make a good seal and logo its not exactly a good substitute for a coat of arms so I have too proposals:
As you can see it is based on the old coat of arms, I kept the Chinese dragon supporters (and replaced the lion with one) because they're awesome, the base symbolising the island of Hong Kong is pretty much unchanged although I removed the banner say "Hong Kong" (because its not exactly a motto). I did however add orchids to the base. The crest is basically a simplified version of the "emblem" without the text. The shield itself keeps the Junks (a traditional Chinese sailing vessel a design still in use!), symbolising Hong Kong's relationship with the sea. I also removed the naval crown and replaced it with "Hong Kong" in what I hope is traditional Chinese (I apologise if I got the Chinese letters wrong).
If however this is seen as too close to the colonial arms a slightly altered version:

This design puts more emphasis on the Chinese text and only has one junk.
I think both of these designs strikes a good balance between both Hong Kong and Chinese symbolism.
Comments are Welcome and Happy Year of the Horse.


  1. It looks very communist if you know what I mean. I like how the old Coat of arms looks. Btw, there is no need to remove the English wordings Hong Kong from it as English is still an official language de facto in Hong Kong so it's going to be on its coat of arms anyhow. What's with the flowers in purple anyway xd I suggest you take away the red-coloured background behind the bauhinia(helmet coronet) as it'd look nicer without it. Hope it helps!

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I don't intend my designs to reflect political ideology, but most Communist states don't use actual coats of arms as they are a western thing, besides the point China is a Communist state. Also I didn't remove the words "Hong Kong" Because they were in English, but rather because its not a motto in the heraldic sense (for example "Dieu et mon droit" on the UK coat of arms) . The purple colour I believe is the natural colour. You may have a point though about the cornet and the red background.

    2. FYI Hong Kong is not communist and it has one of the cleanest and most successful capitalist economies in the world. I can go on for ages to tell you the differences between mainland China and Hong Kong but that is unnecessary. I understand your point about Hong Kong not being a motto in the heraldic sense, but do you think those who designed the CoA in 1959 did not pick that up? The motto of Hong Kong when it was a British Colony, and later a dependent territory, was also 'Dieu et mon droit'. If they wanted to put it in our Coat of Arms, they could have. Better yet, they would have, but they didn't. Anyway, nice designs! Keep it up!

  2. I do agreed with Jeffrey. The original coat of arms look lots nicer. The lion representing the past history of Hong Kong and it should be kept. Sam maybe not familiar with the current status quo of Hong Kong. It is part of China but under a different legal, immigration and political system. The lion should be de-crown as she is no longer a colony. The navy crown can be removed and replacing it with the red emblem. The supporting lion and dragon are symbolic of Hong Kong legal system (Englush law) and Chinese tradition remains the pillars of the Hong Kong. Emblem, coat of arms and the flag remains the core value of all Hong Kong people (Hongkonger).