China to Furl Red Flag, Its Maoist Theoretical Journal

From a Times Staff Writer

The Chinese Communist Party theoretical journal Red Flag, once a key fount of Maoist ideological inspiration and guidance, will cease publication in June, authorities said Saturday.

The journal will be replaced by a reform-oriented magazine called Qiushi, or Seeking Truth, the New China News Agency reported.

The name is taken from the slogan, “Seek truth from facts,” popularized by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in his drive to supplant ideological orthodoxy with a pragmatic national quest for economic development.

Red Flag was named by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, and the Chinese characters used for the journal’s masthead are in Mao’s calligraphy.


In recent years, Red Flag has been a twice-monthly, 48-page magazine with a circulation of 3 million. Founded in 1958 as the voice of the party Central Committee, Red Flag assumed great importance in the Cultural Revolution, when political struggles and ideological purity took precedence over economic efficiency.

The Chinese news agency said Red Flag will publish its last issue in mid-June, and Seeking Truth will come out on July 1.

Like Red Flag, the new magazine will serve as the Communist Party’s theoretical journal. But unlike its predecessor, which was an organ directly under the party’s Central Committee, Seeking Truth will be published by the Central Party School, which trains high-ranking officials.

Su Xing, a reform-minded economist who is deputy editor-in-chief of Red Flag, told the New China News Agency that Seeking Truth will focus on issues arising from China’s current reforms.