The national flag of Bhutan has a height to length ratio of 2:3 and it consists of two colors, yellow and orange, separated by a diagonal line running from the across the flag. Yellow occupies the uppers part and orange is the color on the lower side. At the center and spread equally on both colors is the white dragon of thunder called Druk that that is holding four norbu (jewels). Bhutan adopted the current flag in 1969.

The flag lays a lot of emphasis on Buddhism and the authority of the Kingdom. In local dialect, the country’s name means the “Land of the Dragon,” and people believe that thunder is the voice of the dragon, Druk, roaring from the heavens. Druk’s white color represents the purity of thoughts and deeds while the jewels on its claws symbolize Bhutan’s wealth. Druk’s snarling mouth symbolizes the strength of both the female and male deities that protect Bhutan. The orange color stands for the Buddhist religious practice and Drukpas monasteries. The yellow color represents the civil tradition and secular authority bestowed upon the dynasty. The central position of Druk signifies the equal importance of both the monastic and civil practices.

The current flag is a modification of a previous one that Mayeum Choying Wongmo Dorji designed in 1947 following the request of the second Druk Gyalpo of the 20th-century, Jigme Wangchuk. Lharip Taw, a painter and embroidery artists embroidered this flag. During the signing of the Indo-Bhutan treaty, Bhutan introduced Dorji’s design. Although closely related to the current flag, the colors and measurements varied.

The first national flag of Bhutan is Dorji’s 1947 design that was unveiled in 1949. Documents describe this flag to have been square although, on photographs, it appears to have had a 4:5 proportion. The upper color was yellow and the lower was red. Druk was turquoise and appeared upright facing the hoist side. During the 1956 Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk’s visit to eastern Bhutan, his secretariat flew a flag similar to the previous one but Druk was white. After 1956, the King made several changes to the flag. First, he believed the square flag did not flutter like the rectangular Indian flag. Secondly, they repositioned the dragon to spread over the diagonal line and face the fly side of the flag. The last change, made in 1969, changed the lower color from red to orange.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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