Flag of the five founders used in Tiandihui initiation ceremony

The flags of the five founders were used during the Tiandihui initiation ceremony. They represented the five founders of the Hung Society and the provinces of the society's lodges. The red flag with a white border shown represents the second principal lodge and signifies ‘Hongshuntang’, or the Hall of Obedience. The Chinese characters ‘hong’ and ‘shu’ are positioned in the centre of the flag and mean longevity when combined together. These secret society paraphernalia were found in the William Stirling Collection. William George Sterling was the Assistant Protector of Chinese in Singapore from 1921 to 1931.