| Soan Island is located an hour away by boat from Wando County, South Jeolla Province. On Tuesday, two days before the Independence Day, all the villages at the island were full of Korean national flags. At roads and villages ranging from Soan Port to the village office, the flags waved high. The 25-meter flagpole set at the Soan Anti-Japan Movement Memorial Park also had a high-flying flag. Residents including children who gathered at parks also had flags in their hands. All of them waved the national flag and shouted "hurray," recalling the meaning of independence from Japan 68 years ago.
Wando County held an event on Tuesday to publicize that Korean national flag waves 365 days a year on Soan Island. County head Kim Jong-shik said, "I hope the flag waving at an anti-Japan land where patriotism has steadily passed down spread to the whole country." The so-called Korean flag village where flags wave every day started on August 14 last year. All 1,361 households at 15 villages put up national flag every day. The Korean national flag, flagpole and the mugungwha pole were made by village fund. Around 60,000 won (53.7 U.S. dollars) are needed per household, but they received no support from the municipal government. But as the flags were torn by heavy winds in two or three months, the cost for change is funded by military.
Soan Island was a base place for struggle for independence under Japanese colony. Twenty people from the island have been bestowed with Order of Merit for National Foundation there, having the biggest number of such recipients in the country. When a resident was put into jail during independence movement, the rest of the residents chose not to cover themselves with blankets even in winter. Hwang Yeong-woo, chairman of Soan Anti-Japan Movement Commemoration Project, said, "I came up with an idea for residents to decorate the island with the national flag to show people that Soan is an anti-Japan shrine," adding, "We promoted a mugunghwa longevity movement to plant trees in the island and also made a mugunghwa hill.
Soan Island is located on the route from Mokpo of South Jeolla Province to Jeju Island, helping residents be open to outside world. In the 1990s, the island set up schools and started new education, cultivating many pioneers who made secret anti-Japan societies launching systemic anti-Japan movements. In 1905, patriotic martyr Lee Jun-ha infiltrated into a lighthouse set up by Japanese people killing four Japanese, sparking struggle for independence. In the 1920s, more than 800 residents among 6,000 were branded as anti-Japan strikers and were under Japan control. Soan School, a private school established in 1923, was an anti-Japan cradle teaching anti-Japan spirit by not observing national holidays of Japan and not putting up Japanese national flag.