The Story Behind The Thailand Flag

Thailand Flag

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thai flag

The current Thailand flag was officially adopted in 1917. It now consists of three colors: red, white, and blue. The Thai flag is composed of five horizontal stripes, with the central blue stripe being twice as wide as the other stripes. From top to bottom, it goes: red, white, blue, white, red.

When the design was adopted in 1917, the middle stripe was still red. During the same year, it was changed to blue and it is one of the oldest flags in the world. Next, let’s talk about what each color represents on this simple, yet powerful flag.

thai flag

This national Thailand flag is locally known as Thong Trairong, which is literally translated to ‘tricolor’. The three colors in this flag (red, white, and blue) all represent some powerful things. The red stripes stand for Thailand’s blood spilled during its bid to maintain independence, the white represents purity and Buddhism (the country’s primary religion), and the blue symbolizes the Thai monarchy.

Overall, the Thai flag stands for nation/religion/king, which is sort of the unofficial motto that some Thai people live by. Originally, the flag had an elephant in the center, but in 1916, it was replaced with two horizontal white stripes against a red background, and the next year, the middle was switched over to blue.

thai flag

The blue stripe in the center of the Thai flag has a double meaning. Thailand was one of the few Asian countries to escape European imperialism, and its close ties with the West resulted in Thailand becoming one of the Allies in World War I.

To honor that relationship, King Rama VI (Vajiravudh) of Thailand altered the flag to have a blue center stripe to give the flag the full ‘colors of liberty‘ used by its allies such as Britain, France, Russia, and the United States. The Thai Navy adopted the same flag but added a red central disk with a white elephant on it.

thai flag

Like many other countries, there are some rules that come with the Thai flag. It should not be displayed, used, fastened, or stored in a way that could damage it. Nobody is allowed to attach letters, designs, pictures, marks, or insignias on the flag.

Similar to how often the United States’ flag is flown and paraded around, the people of Thailand use their flag like that too. They are very proud of their country and giant flag hang over corporate buildings, and small flag makers are available in many places. Their national flag is celebrated on September 28th, which is the official date that Thailand adopted the current flag.

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What is the meaning behind the Thai flag?
Thailand’s flag stands for nation-religion-king, a kind of unofficial motto that Thai people live by. The red stripes represent Thailand’s blood spilt in its bid to maintain independence; the white stands for purity and Buddhism (the country’s primary religion), and blue symbolizes the Thai monarchy.

How old is the Thai flag?
Officially, the first flag was created in 1855 by Mongkut (Rama IV), showing a white elephant on red ground, as the plain coloured flag was not distinct enough for international relations.

What flag is similar to Thailand?
There are no countries with the same flags, but there are instances when they look alike, like the Costa Rican flag is similar to the Thailand flag.


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