Architect Tao Ho.

Between May 1987 and March 1988, a competition was held amongst residents to select a new flag for post-colonial Hong Kong. The judging panel received 4,489 flag designs but Beijing rejected the six finalists.

Architect Tao Ho, who was on the judging panel, eventually chose a bauhinia flower to represent the city on its flag as he admired its symmetry and its winding pattern suggested dynamism. Adopted on April 4 1990, the flag was first hoisted during the July 1 Handover ceremony in 1997.

Below are some of the rejected entries submitted by citizens a decade before Handover.

Hong Wrong lives on at HKFP, offering a mix of news, mildly serious observation & irreverent claptrap chronicling the good, bad and ugly under the Fragrant Harbour’s fading lights.