Lung Cu Flag Pole is located in Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang province.

Imagining the border line between Vietnam and China is a palm-leaf conical hat (nón lá), then 2 lowest points are A-pa-chai (Dien Bien province) and Sa Vi (Mong Cai province), then the peak is Lung Cu, with Dragon Mountain.

The natural area of Lung Cu commune is 3640 hectare with 9 villages: Lo Lo Chai, Seo Lung, Ta Gia Khau, Can Tang, Then Van, Then Pa, Si Man Khan, San Cho, San Sa Phin and the border line with China is 16km long. In winter, the weather is very cold and sometimes it is even snowy. Lung Cu is on mountainous area with the height is from 1600 to 1800m above sea level. This is where to live of Hmong, Lo Lo, Tay, Pu Peo ethnic groups. Most ethnic people in this area cultivate rice on the terraced fields. The Mong and Lo Lo still preserve the traditional weaving industry with flax fibers.

Lung Cu flagpole

The Lung Cu flagpole is a national flagpole on Lung Cu summit, another name: Dragon Mountain, in the latitude 23°21’49’’ North,  the coordinate 105°18’58’’ East, marking the country’s extreme north, (actually according to geographic data, the extreme north is 2km further, but Lung Cu flagpole still inspires a deep sense of pride of national sovereignty in Vietnamese people’s mind).

From distances, Lung Cu is very spectacular with three quarters of the land covered with stone, a national flag pole erected on the top of the mountain, which is surrounded with magnificent and majestic mountain forests … “Lung” in Hmong language means corn, there are many big corn fields here, hence Lung Cu means corn valley. This is the simplest explanation, as simple as the soul of local people in here. But there is another legendary explanation  about Lung Cu summit, other name Dragon Mountain – where the sacred dragon lived. From the top of Dragon Mountain, the paddy fields and earthen-walled houses dot the sumptuous panorama, interrupted by two lakes that are said to be the dragon’s eyes. According to the legend, the people in this area always lack of water to use, that make the sacred dragon feel compassionate. Before flying back to sky, the dragon left his eyes to village people, which created 2 lakes now. Even though people say that Lung Cu is a ‘thirsty’ land, the lakes never dry out.

Another explanation, Lung Cu probably named after: Long Co (long: dragons; Co: drum) means Dragon Drum – the drum of the King. As history records, at the time of Tay Son, Quang Trung Emperor had to put a big drum at the borderland (it is the border guard office now – 20km far away from the flagpole). At that time, the drum-beat was the fastest means of communication, also assert the national sovereignty. The border post now is placed where the King was placed the drum. Therefore, Lo Lo minority people in Lung Cu now can play well-trained drum which is derived from Dong Son drum in the funerals.

Lung Cu flagpole was started to build at Ly dynasty by a sa moc trunk with 10m in high. In 1887, the flagpole was rebuilt many times with different height and size. In 1978, the vice president of Dong Van people’s committee saw the flag was not wide enough to be seen by local people, so he thought about building a higher tower with bigger flag. On 12th July 1978, the national flag adorning the top of the tower has an area of 54m2 (with 9m long, 6m wide), symbolizing the unity of Viet Nam’s 54 ethnic groups. From 2002, the flag pole was restored several times and expanded both in scale and size. According to the new design, the flagpole now is officially built with 33.15m high, the tower is 20.25m high, the flag stick is 12.9m high, the diameter of tower is 3.8m. Its design is an imitation of the Ha Noi Flag Tower, with eight Dong Son bronze drums guarding the sides of the octagonal tower and designing different historical period of this country. The tower has 140 spiral staircases inside to lead to the top. The flag tower itself stands proudly 1,600m above sea level. The flagpole was started to build like this on 8th March 2010 and finished on 2nd Sep 2010, the cost is 20,8 billion VND.

Hoang Ai


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