A few years ago, I reported the startling discovery that numerous Taiwanese college students have no clue as to when World War II was (even allowing for different plausible answers). Lo and behold, while grading exams last week I discovered that many of them don’t recognize the flag of the PRC.
Here’s the context: The exam question asked (in another language which they were studying) “What country are you from?” And I had drawn a little guy with a flag on the back of his shirt. I suppose I should mention that this was in black-and-white, but still… The flag had one big star in the corner, with four little ones in an arc–oh, you know. Anyway, a lot of students understood the question, but thought the answer was Britain, Korea, or Germany.
How could this happen? Is it because they’ve grown up seeing the ROC flag superimposed on maps of China?