Five Stripe Boy

Five Stripe Boy

Updated Aug 12, 2015 at 01:55AM EDT by Brad.

Added Oct 14, 2011 at 07:54AM EDT by Pheonachen.

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好习惯是终身0 惯躉人生快乐的源泉


Five Stripe Boy (Chinese: 五道杠少年) is a nickname given to the Chinese schoolboy Huang Yibo who was photographed with a five-stripe badge on his uniform for the youth organization "Young Pioneers in China." With the conventional rank order maxing out at three stripes, Huang's five-stripes insignia quickly caught the attention of Chinese netizens, who turned the boy into a mythical hero with tongue-in-cheek comments.


Photographs of Huang Yibo were originally published online in early May 2011 as promotional materials by the Young Pioneers, a primary school branch of the Communist Youth League. In the photographs, Huang is portrayed as an exemplary role model of student leadership, as he can be seen signing documents, presiding over meetings and visiting the elderly patients at a hospital.

东 成长 的舞

The pictures quickly spread on the Chinese web due to the obviously staged nature of the photo-op and the resemblance to cliche news photographs of government officials.

The Young Pioneers

The Young Pioneers in China is a state-run youth organization for children of 6 to 12 years of age. Established on October 13th, 1949, the membership primarily consists of elementary school students and it is run by the Communist Youth League, an organization for older youths affiliated with the Communist Party of China. Upon reaching the age of fourteen, members automatically graduate from the Young Pioneers and may continue service with the Youth League. In 2002, there were an estimated 130 million Young Pioneers in China.


Netizens on the web reacted to the photographs with skepticism, as it was largely seen as a propaganda effort to promote the state-run youth organization by the government. Among other things, the five stripe insignia worn by the boy in the photographs quickly became a topic of debate, given the fact the highest-ranked officers within the Young Pioneers are decorated with three-stripes badges.

“I’ve never heard of five stripes before,” wrote one Internet commenter from Sichuan province in comments translated by the blog chinaSMACK. “I only know that having stripes all over your body is the outfit of mental patients!” On the news portal site Tencent, a reader from Nanjing joked “The humble people seek an audience with Lord Huang."

News Media Coverage

The Chinese media quickly jumped in on the story as well, providing more information about the top-ranking pioneer and the mystery behind his five stripe badge. According to the local news reports, Huang began taking interest in politics and current affairs during his early childhood; he started watching the state-run evening news program “Xinwen Lianbo” at age of two and began reading “People’s Daily” and “Reference News” daily since he was seven years old.

Photoshop Challenge

Soon, a photoshop challenge ensued on the Chinese portal community Tianyan, with his face superimposed over a number of iconographic paintings of Chinese leaders and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, which further highlighted the boy's public image as a precocious political zealot.

爱《参考消息》 、爱《新闻联播》 、更爱《人民日报》。 爱欣然题字,爱抒发胸纳五湖四海的乾坤心胸 爱造就笔扫九洲万国的巨椽恬笔,更爱发表文章。 爱《上下五千年》 ,爱《资治通鉴》 ,爱评说天下大事, 爱指点江山激扬文字,更爱让中国雄居东方称霸世界。 爱党爱国爱人民, 爱少先队,爱红领巾, 更爱让大家过上更好的生活。 我和14岁的同龄人不一样, 从不玩游戏 我是黄艺博, 我是中国少先队武汉市总队长, 不是三道杠,是五道杠。 她话题| 两岁起看新闻联播 "五道杠,少年走红 长得有些“官相" ,文字有些 “官腔" 近日,一组关于" 少先队武汉市总队长"的图片在 网上突然走红,主人公名叫黄艺 博,照片上的他戴着红领巾和" 五道杠"队牌,神情泰然,引起 穴,, 了网友们的关注。 甚至,还有网友翻出黄艺博以 前的新闻报道,并进行逻辑串联 甚至怀疑黄艺博“自始至终有 人为包装和炒作"的痕迹。

The photoshopping fad picked up its momentum with the rise of yet another star child nicknamed "Brother Scorn," a classmate of Huang who was first seen in a news report on the internet fame of the five-stripe badge boy.


Five Stripe Scandal

Following the reports, It was revealed that Huang was given the five stripe badge after the city of Wuhan breached the official charter and established a subbranch of the youth organization, thus allowing Huang who is the director-in-chief of the municipal branch to be distinguished with extra two stripes. In response to the "five stripe" controversy, the Young Pioneers Organization ordered the city of Wuhan to stop the practice which has been in existence since 1989. Meanwhile, the Five-Stripe badges, Red Young Pioneer Scarves and striped T-shirts have become high-demand products on the online merchandise site Taobao.

More information of Huang was collected and posted on the popular Chinese forums, including pictures of the boy and his family as well as a link to his personal blog. On Weibo, many netizens scorned at the boy as overzealous and even pretentious, while others criticized his parents for brainwashing and living vicariously through their overachieving child. In an interview with Changjiang Times, Huang's parents denied ever encouraging their son to take interest in politics:

“He’s just a child,” the boy’s father, Huang Hongzhang told the newspaper. “I don’t understand why people want to take out their frustrations with society on my son.”

Although the majority of online opinion has been unfavorable towards Huang, an influential Chinese blogger came to defend the Young Pioneer in an article published in May 2011:

A lot of netizens feel politics have are harmful to elementary school students, but I don’t see anything wrong with the “News Simulcast” as children’s programming. What is political and what is not political, elementary school students have no idea… Any brainwashing that happens before adolescence turns to ash, or even reverses itself completely, once kids start to learn about the world. Whose education hasn’t been like this?

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