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How to Draw the Flag of Japan

The Japanese flag.
Japan image by Angelika Bentin from Fotolia.com

The current Japanese flag became the national flag in 1870. It is easily recognized by its design, which is simply all white with a red circle in the center that symbolizes the sun. With such a simple design, one would think it is easy to draw the Japanese flag. While it is easier to draw than many other flags, it takes very precise measurements to accurately draw it. With a few common tools and simple equations, you can draw a perfect Japanese flag.

Things You'll Need:

  • White Paper
  • Calculator
  • Red Colored Pencil
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Compass

Draw the outline of the flag with a pencil and ruler on a white piece of paper. The Japanese flag has a vertical-to-horizontal ration of 2:3. For this example, we will make the flag 10 inches tall and 15 inches wide. An easy way to determine the correct dimension is to first draw the width and measure it with a ruler. Divide the width by .66666 to determine the height.

Mark the center of the flag. To do this, line the ruler up along the left side of the flag and make a mark at the half-way point. Since the flag in this example is 10 inches tall, make a small mark at 5 inches. Repeat the same process on the right side of the flag.

Line the ruler up so it touches both of the marks. Make a new mark halfway in between them. Since the flag is 15 inches wide, you must make a mark at 7-½ inches. This new mark represents the exact center of the flag.

Determine the size of the red circle in the middle of the flag. The diameter of the circle must be 3/5 of the total height of the flag. To determine the diameter, take the height of the flag and multiply it by 0.6. Since the flag in this example is 10 inches tall, the diameter of the circle must be 6 inches.

Put a red colored pencil in a compass. Read the directions for your particular compass if you are unsure about how to do it.

Position the pointed end of the compass at the 0 inch mark on the compass ruler. Determine how far the other end of the compass must extend. To do this, divide the total diameter of the circle by two. Since our diameter is 6 inches, extend the compass arm so it reaches to the-3 inch mark on the ruler. Tighten the compass to ensure it stays in place.

Place the pointed end of the compass directly on the center mark of the flag. Make sure the pencil on the other end of the compass is touching the paper and carefully rotate the compass in a complete circle.

Color the circle red to finish the flag.

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