top of page

1945-1997 The Rebirth and “Pearl of the Orient”


After World War II , HK rose from the ashes and rapidly transformed from an entrepot to a light industrial centre due to the Korean War in the early 1950s. In the 1980s, the economy underwent another transition, HK became an international financial centre. Within half a century, HK transformed from a warzone to the “Pearl of the Orient”. In the 1960s, HK's gross domestic product was only one-third of the UK’s, but by the mid-1990s, HK had surpassed its sovereign nation.

However, as the lease of the New Territories was set to expire in 1997, China and Britain began negotiations on the future of HK in the 1980s, but Hongkongers had no say on their own future, not even a referendum.


1996 香港地圖(約為1954年)復刻版 Map of Hong Kong cir. 1954. Reproduction


The landscape of downton HK was roughly what we’d recognised today. However, the runway extension of Kai Tak Airport, which extended to the centre of harbour, had not yet begun. The land reclamation on the northern shore of Central had not been completed. Many residential areas and cross-harbour tunnels at Hung Hom Bay and West Kowloon were still part of the sea.


2022 香港旗復刻版 Hong Kong Flag. Reproduction


The Hong Kong Flag was the official flag representing HK during colonial rule, first appearing in 1871, it was in use until the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. On January 21, 1959, a new version of the HK coat of arms was announced, and it was presented to HK by Prince Philip during his visit in March. On July 27, 1959, the HK government officially redesigned the flag and added the new coat of arms. The flag was used when HK participated in international organisations. When HK won its first Olympic medal in 1996, the flag was raised alongside "God Save the Queen" playing at the closing ceremony of the Game, which was a memorable moment for Hongkoners.

bottom of page