Tae-Kuk Ki

Tae-Kuk Ki is the national flag of the Republic of Korea. The circle in the center of the flag represents Um (blue color) and Yang (red color). The background color white represents brightness and purity. This is the symbol of Korean national traits, the love of peace and harmony. Tae-Kuk (the Great Absolute) is the expression of the universe (Heaven and Earth) that promotes creation and growth by complying with mutual interaction.  It symbolizes the natural balance of opposition in the world.

The four corners represent the Four Trigrams (that have been used for divination) with 3, 4, 5, and 6 dark stripes. These Sa-Kweh represent the interaction and growth of Um and Yang. Each trigram has 3 lines, either solid or broken. A solid line represents Yang and a broken line represents Um. The top line represents Heaven (Chun), the middle line represents Humanity (In), and the bottom line represents Earth (Ji). The combination of Um and Yang with ChunInJi constitute an element with unique characteristics:

Kweh Name Nature Virtue Meaning Family
heaven Geon (건 / 乾) Heaven (천 / 天) Humanity (인 / 仁) Justice (정의 / 正義) Father (부 / 父)
fire Ri (리 / 離) Sun (일 / 日) or Fire (화 / 火) Courtesy (예 / 禮) Wisdom (지혜 / 智慧) Son (중남 / 子)
water Gam (감 / 坎) Moon (월 / 月) or water (수 / 水) Intelligence (지 / 智) Vitality (생명력 / 生命力) Daughter (중녀 / 女)
earth Gon (곤 / 坤) Earth (지 / 地) Righteousness (의 / 義) Fertility (풍요 / 豊饒) Mother (모 / 母)

The Sa-Kweh shows the achievement of peace and harmony centered on Um and Yang.  By applying the principles of Sa Kweh and Um/Yang, one can also achieve peace and harmony in life.

From ancient times, our ancestors delightedly valued and utilized these Tae-Kuk principles. They also illustrate the Korean ideology of desirable prosperity and creation of well-being.
Therefore, we must succeed in the spirit of the Tae-Kuk Ki (Um and Yang principles) and provide unity and harmony to world peace and happiness by applying its principles. Memorization alone will not bring the desired result. Until we, as Moo Do In (Practitioners of the Martial Way), understand the philosophy of Tae Kuk and act in accordance with these principles, we will fail to reach our full potential and become a mature, masterful Moo Do In. Without righteous actions founded upon Tae Kuk Ki, there is no value obtained.

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D.K. Jang, Sa Bom Nim
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