Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/th/flag-of-thailand/
The flag of Thailand is also known as the ธงไตรรงค์ or Throng Trairong, which means tricolor in the English language. What makes the flag recognizable is the fact that it makes use of three specific colors and these are blue, white, and red. Are you interested in getting to know the history and meaning behind every color of the national flag? Get to know more about this in this post today.
In historical contexts, flags are important to countries because it acts as a symbol showing freedom, authority, and power. In addition, it helps portray a significant detail in the history, values, beliefs, government, and personality of the country and its citizens. It is usually used in times of war (especially during World War) and is proudly placed in front of trading ships. There are no countries with the same flags, but there are instances when they look alike, like the following:
- The flag of Chad and Romania
- The flag of Senegal and Mali
- The flag of Indonesia and Monaco
- The flag of Norway and Iceland
- The flag of Luxembourg and the Netherlands
It’s crazy how these ones can resemble each other yet have distinct reasons for being designed as such. So, if you are looking for one of the unique flags out there, then perhaps it is time to get to know more about the official flag of the Kingdom of Thailand.
History Of The National Flag Of Thailand
Thailand is one of the Southeast Asian countries known for its rich natural wonders, amazing cuisine, and home to some of the smallest and largest animals in the world. But did you know that the country also holds a unique history? In fact, the whole place was formerly known as Siam, and it is was until the reforms in 1932 that they got to change it into The Kingdom of Thailand.
In those early times, the first flag of Siam was known as a “plain red flag” and was the ensign of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and Thonburi.
When the Rattanakosin period started, this Thai flag was changed to include a white chakra symbol (shaped like a circle or a fan) in the middle and is used mainly by the monarchy for their royal ships. The chakra is known to be the weapon of the Hindu God Vishnu and is also a symbol adopted by the Chakri dynasty. It was stated that the locals continued to use the plain red flag.
By the year 1809, King Rama II (also known as Phraphutthaloetla Naphalai) became Thailand’s next ruler, and he is best known to own three white elephants. With this being considered, a new design was born, and the traditional flag with a white chakra was altered to include the white elephant inside.
By 1855 during the reign of King Rama IV, the flag was redesigned again and is now more focused on the white elephant symbol. This time, the new enlarged elephant design was used by both the locals and the monarchy. It was then popularly called the Elephant flag or the Thong Chag (ธงช้าง) in Thai and was used as the civil ensign until the year 1916.
In 1916, the Siam flag pattern was adopted and updated by King Rama VI to include the green and red regalia for the white elephant standing on the center podium/altar. During this time, the red field is still existing, and perhaps this is the reason why red stripes are also added to today’s Thai flag. Government agencies mainly used this design until 1917. Then, for merchants and commoners, a flag consisting of white and red stripes was used.
By 1917, the flag pattern became the blueprint and was used to create a design that exists up to this date. The present Thailand flag (or Trirong / Trairanga) designed under the rule of King Rama VI included five horizontal stripes of red, white, blue. The dark blue stripe is the one in the center and is the biggest out of all the colors since it represents solidarity with the Allies of World War I.
What The National Flag Of Thailand Symbolizes
In the search for what each of the stripe colors means? Below is the information usually related to the colors red, white, and blue.
- Red stripes: Valor, courage, power
- White stripes: peace, innocence, purity
- Blue stripes: Liberty, truth, justice, loyalty
As you can vote from above, the color combination represents a general sense of freedom and courage which is fitting to the country since it is also known as the land of the free. Moreover, it is considered such since this is one of the only countries in Southeast Asia that stayed independent against Western forces looking to colonize the lands near them.
Interesting Facts About The Flag Of Thailand
- Aside from the National flag of Thailand, the country also has provincial flags with specific designs.
- The present diplomatic flags also bear horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue, but the white elephants are different. The Consular flag does not contain fancy regalia and is not caparisoned like the one from the Ambassadorial flag.
- Thailand celebrates the national flag day every 28th of September.
- While the flags may have changed from time to time, the emblem of Thailand did not change from 1911. It featured Garuda along with wings and a green banner.
- The first-ever flag in Thailand was raised at the white-walled Wichai Prasit Fort back in 1680. It was also used on Siamese ships until such time that the Rattanakosin era began.
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