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What's a good symbol of China, suitable for stickers, T-shirts, etc. that's not political?


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I'm looking for something that says "China" without it being political. 


Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg

The five star flag is obviously out, it's a symbol of communism. 


Flag of China (1889–1912).svg

I put the Qing dynasty yellow dragon flag as the ensign on my boat, in honor of Philo McGiffin, an American who served in the Beiyang fleet. But I was informed that it was a flag of conquerors.


Flag of the Republic of China 1912-1928.svg

The five color flag?  NO. 



I tried the the twelve pointed star.  No good, people don't get it.  They just point to it and say "it's mean Taiwan". 


I tried the flag of the Wuchang uprising and boy is that an awesome design! But it was political from the moment it was created.


The word 中国? Eh, Chinese characters are kind of douchey in a Western context. Moreover if you write "guo" in simplified or traditional, that gets political too. 


I just want a way to say I'm pro-China, but not pro-CPC or other political entity.  Just China the land and people.  

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I'd go with 中国梦. It is slightly political but in a very low-key way that few will notice and it won't get you into trouble.


Maybe put them on a map. Don't forget to leave room for the nine dots.


Using traditional characters for artistic purposes seems fine in the Mainland.

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中国梦 I associate very much with the Xi Jinping era. Which, right enough, means it will blend in nicely and not get you into trouble. Plus vellocet wants to avoid characters. 


Can you tell us where you actually want to use this?

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T-shirts and stickers, coffee mugs, that sort of thing.  Just say, "I love China (the country/people/culture)" without it being political.  I'm working on a similar project for Wenzhou, and it's tough here too.  There isn't really anything famous I can put on T-shirts.  Duck tongues ain't gonna cut it.  


Yeah, something without characters if possible.  Nobody will be able to read them. Worse, someone might mistake them for Japanese and I'd get mixed up with the weeaboo crowd. 😠  The nine-dash line is 100% political. 😕

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On 10/12/2021 at 12:09 PM, 889 said:

Maybe put them on a map.

A map of China is always political, because you have to include or exclude Taiwan, the nine-dash line and certain parts of the border with India.


A motif from Chinese china perhaps?

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On 10/12/2021 at 7:56 PM, Lu said:

A map of China is always political


Absolutely. Many news stories from this year of Chinese and foreign companies getting in trouble and/or fined for getting the map "wrong".  


My contributions: Chinese Dragon, Gingko leaf, Giant Panda.

Are you looking for pre-existing images, or ideas for a logo designer?

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How about the Great Wall? You know, a watchtower prominently occupies one side of the picture and a section of the wall meandering into the distance, something like that.


You instantly think of Japan when you see a picture of the Fuji mountain, perhaps with a cherry blossom branch hanging in the foreground, right? Without the WWII/imperialistic associations, right?


One thing I'm quite sure of: flags or maps are definitely no-go.

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I think the issue here is looking at flags, they're inherently political and associated with the foreign policy of the territories concerned.


I think anything with a stylized dragon or anything red with yellow (i have a red tshirt with yellow flames that's clearly China but not as provocative as wearing the flag).


I think some Chinese characters would do, we can think of others if you don't like the style of 中国


Joke answer: qr code 😀

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If you're catering to customers you think might take characters on a Chinese map as Japanese then I guess we're not aiming at a sophisticated market.


If so, why not go for the obvious, 我爱中国 in English and Chinese with maybe a persimmon or something subbing for the apple.


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On 10/13/2021 at 12:23 AM, abcdefg said:

Another vote for a stylized "kung-fu panda." It would be a safe bet.


I've seen people complain about Disney, an American company, using Chinese culture to make money while misrepresenting their cultural heritage, so it might not be that neutral after all.

The giant panda without any Disney connection should be a good option though.

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I was looking into general culture. Maybe pictures related to the 4 arts 琴棋書畫 (examples below) can probably even make pandas do the 4 arts if you want to make it cute. 

Not sure if you’d think it’s too pretentious? But they definitely say China, not political, won’t be mistaken for any other countries. 




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