THE TIBETAN NATIONAL FLAG

The Tibetan National Flag

The Tibetan National Flag was adopted in 1912 promulgated in 1918~ and is intimately connected with the authentic history and royal lineages of Tibet which are thousands of years old. Furthermore, in the Tibetan Royal year 820, or in the 7th Century of the Christian era, at the time of the Tibetan religious King, Song-tsen Gampo the Great, extensive land of Tibet was divided into large and small districts.

From these large and small districts, an army of 2,860,000 men was chosen and stationed along the borders of Tibet, and the subjects thus lived in safety. The bravery and heroism of the Tibetan people at that time in conquering and ruling even the adjacent empire of China is well known in world history.

During the rule of His Holiness the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama, this eminent spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet enacted many modifications in administrative policies in accordance with international customs. Based on the formats of previous Tibetan military flags, His Holiness improved upon them and designed the present modern national flag. With an official proclamation, he declared that it would be the uniform, standard flag to be adopted by all Tibetan military defense establishments. Since the time of that proclamation, all Tibetan regiments have likewise adopted this flag as their standard.

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The colour scheme of the Tibetan National flag gives a clear indication of all aspects of Tibet in its symbolism such as the geographic features of the religious, snowy land of Tibet, the customs and traditions of Tibetan society and the political administration of the Tibetan government History attests to the fact that Tibet is one of the most ancient nations of the world. Therefore, in all the three regions of Tibet, irrespective of casts and creed, this national flag inherited from ancestors is universally accepted as a common peerless treasure and even today still continues to be highly respected and esteemed as in the past.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE FLAG

The glorious, naturally beautiful snow mountain in the centre symbolises the land of the great nation of Tibet which is well known as the country surrounded by snow mountains.

The six red rays of light emanating in the sky symbolise the six original peoples of Tibet; the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra, who are known as the six tribes.

The alternating red colour of the peoples and the dark blue colour of the sky symbolise the unrelentless accomplishments of the virtuous conduct to guard and protect the spiritual and secular rule enacted by the two protector-deities, one red and one black.

The light rays emanating extensively from the sun rising over the peak of the snow mountain symbolise all the people of Tibet’s equal enjoyment of the light of freedom, spiritual and material happiness and prosperity.

The valiant stance of a pair of fearless snow lions glowing with five prominent features on their faces symbolises the complete victory over all by the deeds of the combined spiritual and secular ruling governments.

The three-coloured jewels above, beautiful and radiant with light symbolises all the Tibetan people’s continually revering the three Precious Gems; the objects of Refuge.

The holding of the two-coloured jewels of bliss swirls by t h e two snow lions symbolises the observance of self morality in accordance with the exalted traditions which are presented principally by the ten divine virtuous actions and the sixteen human moral rules.

The adornment with a yellow border symbolises the flourishing and increase of the Buddha’s teachings which are like pure, refined gold through-out limitless directions and time.

Snow Lions are purely mythological creatures. However, there is information to be found in Tibet that these animals did exist in the snow mountains of the Himalayas, many thousands of years ago. There is no available evidence to prove that this was so. The Tibetan name of the Snow Lions is “Seng-Kyi”. The little Lhasa Apso dogs are also called by this name because of the resemblance between Lhasa Apso and the Snow Lions.

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