The flag of Thailand consists of five horizontal stripes of red, white, blue, white and red. The central blue stripe is twice as wide as each of the other four lines on the flag. This design was officially adopted on September 28, 2017, and there is a national holiday on this date every year in Thailand. According to Thai history, the King of Thailand at the time, Rama VI saw the flag hanging upside-down and decided that a symmetrical flag of Thailand was needed. Later in 1917, the middle, and most prominent colour, was changed to blue, reflecting the day the King was born as well as solidarity with the Allies of World War I.

The colours in the flag of Thailand represent the nation, Buddhism and other religions, and the King of Thailand. Red is symbolic of the land and the people of Thailand, white is the symbol of religious harmony, and blue is the symbol of the monarchy. This flag is also known as the Thong Trairong or Tricolour flag.

King Rama VI is widely credited with designing the modern flag of Thailand in 1917 and adopting it as the national symbol the same year after a royal decree. King Rama VI has a legacy in Thailand of promoting nationalism, and he thought that this symbol was appropriate. The 1979 Flag Law states the flag must be “of rectangular shape with a width of 6 parts and a length of 9 parts divided into five strips in the whole length of the flag, with the middle a strip of 2 parts in width, a dark blue colour, and white stripes that are 1 wide part next to each side of the deep blue stripes, and the red stripes that are 1 part wide at side of either side of the white stripes”.

A previous flag of Thailand depicts a white elephant in regalia, facing the mast side of the flag, centered in a red field. This flag was in use until 1917 when a very similar flag to the current version, replacing the blue stripe with red, was in use for the civil ensign. The earliest known flag of Thailand was a simple red rectangular field which was in use during the Ayutthaya and Thonburi periods of rule. Thailand has several flags and symbols for their royal family that are different to the national flag.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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