Sunday, May 22, 2016

Republic of Vietnam Military Flag Finial - QLVNCH

Republic of Vietnam Military Flag Finial, 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
              The flag finial shown in this post is an original pre-1975 piece for a Republic of Vietnam military flag. Typically, a color guard would carry two flags - the national colors and the flag of the particular unit. The finial for the national colors consisted of a spike-design. The finial for unit and other military flags was of the pattern shown here, featuring an eagle atop a wreath with a star held overhead between the wings.
General Thuan Quac Pham as 5th Division commander saluting the colors during the playing of the Republic of Vietnam national anthem.
Note the design of the finial atop the army branch flag.
          The practice of having separate designs of finial for military versus the national colors was for the most adhered to, but exemptions to the practice occured. First, period photographs seem to show the military design finial did not become widespread until the mid-1960s. Many early photos simply show the spike design on both types of flags, which would later be regulated for the national colors only. Addtionally, in the early years of the republic, many military unit flags featured the national colors with the unit designation embroidered onto it. Photographic evidence shows both the eagle and spike-design in use with these flags, even in later years. Nevertheless, most use of flags by military units, especially after the mid-1960s, followed the policy of using separate finial designs for each type of flag.
A Republic of Vietnam military color guard stands at attention during a speech. Note the different finials for the national versus military flag, 1960s.
Medical cadets ceremony. Note the same military pattern finial on both flags.
A photo showing detail of an early 7th Infantry Division flag. Note the flag is of national colors base with the unit designation embroidered onto it as was the common pattern for most early military unit flags. Also, note the use of a spike finial.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hùng Cường 1936-1996

An early promotional portrait of Hùng Cường.
                 May 1st, 2016, marked twenty years since the death of one of the most popular singers associated with the Republic of Vietnam, Hùng Cường. Born on December 21st, 1936, Hùng Cường first achieved fame in Vietnam in the 1950s, and would continue to perform until his death on May 1st, 1996. Many of his songs covered the subject of soldiers in the military, and he often performed in military uniforms, most frequently dressed as a ranger.
Records and promotional material featuring the music of Hùng Cường,
1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
                 Many of his most well-known songs were performed as a duet with Mai Lệ Huyền. Some of his music hits where he contributed vocals include "100 phần trăm," "Cưới Em," and "Hờn anh giận em." Hùng Cường also appeared as an actor in films and television in the Republic of Vietnam, and traveled the country performing for the entertainment of soldiers and civilians alike. After April of 1975, Hùng Cường was eventually arrested and held in prison by the Communist authorities. He immigrated to the United States in 1980, settling in Garden Grove, California, where remained until his death in 1996. Thousands of his fans attended his funeral, and his music continues to remain popular. In this post, we would like to honor his memory on the twentieth anniversary of his passing.
A record cover of Hùng Cường and Mai Lệ Huyền, featuring the song "Hờn anh giận em,"
1960s, RVNHS Archive.
Please view our Facebook page to listen to some samples of Hùng Cường's music.