The Fiery Emperor and the Yellow Emperor / Emperor Yan and Emperor Huang
Emperor Yan (the Fiery Emperor) and Emperor Huang (the Yellow Emperor), legendary Chinese rulers in pre-dynastic times, were actually tribal leaders. Emperor Yan, whose family name was Jiang, was known as Shennongshi while Emperor Huang, whose family name was Gongsun, was known as Xuanyuanshi. They originally lived in central China where their tribes gradually merged with those in eastern and southern China. People in these tribes proliferated and made up the main body of the Chinese nation (who were referred to as the Han people after the Han Dynasty and Tang people after the Tang Dynasty). Hence, they have been revered as the ancestors of the Chinese nation. Their tribes, and the tribe headed by the Yellow Emperor in particular, achieved the highest level of civilization. Many important cultural advancements and technical innovations in ancient China were believed to be created by these two tribes. They have therefore been seen as the forefathers of the Chinese civilization. In modern times, they have been considered as symbols of the Chinese nation and Chinese culture. Today, Chinese descendants residing in different parts of the world proudly regard themselves as “descendants of the Fiery Emperor and the Yellow Emperor” or simply “descendants of the Yellow Emperor.” In this regard,”Yan and Huang” have become cultural symbols of the Chinese nation.
With the collapse of the ruling order of Emperor of the Zhou Dynasty, by the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, various vassal states had been defeated, but numerous descendants of Emperors Yan, Huang, Yao, and Shun remained. (The History of the Han Dynasty)
We, descendants of the Fiery Emperor and the Yellow Emperor, have devoted ourselves to the revolution. (“To All Officers and Soldiers Fighting the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” issued by the then national government of China)