France attracted by Japan’s National Flag ‘Hinomaru’

At the time of Japan’s modernization during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the beautiful ‘Hinomaru’ design attracted a great deal of attention from ambassadors of many countries. France sent formal delegates of her government to Japan, and asked the new Meiji Administration to sell the ‘Hinomaru’ design to France for five million yen (equivalent to twenty billion yen at the present time).

This sum greatly appealed to the Meiji Administration, which was suffering financially, but the Administration flatly refused this offer, saying that “selling our national flag means selling our own country”.