Three Red Flags

Three red flags were a common feature on Maozhang, either as the main element of the design, or as part of the backdrop to the Chairman's portrait. The three flags represent: the General Line on Social Construction ("geater, faster, better, and more economical"); the People's Communes (final stage of rural collectivisation that, with modifications, survived into the post-Mao years); and the Great Leap Forward (massively unsuccessful attempt at rapid industrialisation and agricultural innovation that resulted in the Great Famine). Together they symbolise the high point of Mao's utopian idealism during the late 1950s.

The deployment of this symbol in the context of the Cultural Revolution can be read as a simple declaration of faith in Mao Zedong Thought. Simultaneously it can be read as an indirect attack on "capitalist roaders".

3rf 5 3rf 4 3rf 2 3rf 6 3rf 1 3rf 7 3rf 8 3rf 3

h. 19mm  w. 12mm   0.7g

h. 13mm  w. 21mm   1.0g

h. 24mm  w. 21mm   1.8g

h. 24mm  w. 22mm   2.0g

h. 27mm  w. 21mm   2.1g

h. 19mm  w. 18mm   0.9g

h. 33mm  w. 18mm   2.3g

h. 30mm  w. 21mm   1.8g