Hard on the heels of the announcement naming the floating casino aircraft carrier after a Ming dynasty admiral who conquered Taiwan, comes word that the naval jack is, well, just not big or bright enough:

To match the bigger role that the PLA Navy is playing in international waters, all its vessels will receive bigger, brighter naval ensigns by the end of next year, the People’s Liberation Army Daily reported yesterday. Experts say the flag upgrade is symbolic of the PLA Navy’s development into an international-standard blue-water force after more than two years of involvement in anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.

Chinese officials found that compared with Western warships, the flags on PLA Navy ships were small, drab and failed to impress.

The real message:

“The flag change is not only part of the PLA’s modernisation, but also indicates its determination to be a sea power, because all its new standards have been learned from Western maritime powers like the US.”

Watching and learning; watching and learning…