Smartphone app revives flagging Korean custom

South Korea’s biggest mobile phone carrier has devised a smartphone application to revive a flagging custom — raising the national standard over homes on important holidays.

The application automatically displays the distinctive Taegeukgi flag on the wallpaper of phones in standby mode on national holidays, such as March 1 and August 15.

March 1 commemorates heroes of the independence movement against Japanese colonial rule, and August 15 is the anniversary of liberation in 1945.

“We developed the application to rekindle the custom of hoisting the national flag,” Lee Joo-Shik, head of new business at SK Group, told Monday’s Korea Times.

“As we are in the mobile era where many people have smartphones on hand we determined that these devices could be a means of raising the flag.”

The app also provides instructions on how to hoist a real flag, as well as information on the history and design of the Taegeukgi. An MP3 file of the national anthem is included.

On the day before the virtual flag is to be hoisted, the app uploads a posting on the user’s Twitter or Facebook account, and sends messages to his or her friends on social networks to encourage people to remember the event. — AFP

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