Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: bhutan | dragon | druk-gyal-khab | druk-yul |
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2:3 by Sammy Kanadi
Flag adopted 1969, coat of arms adopted 1980.
On the web:
Bhutan is a Buddhist state where power is shared by the king and government. The country's name in the local dialect means Land of the Dragon. In Bhutan, thunder is believed to be the voices of dragons roaring. In about 1200, a monastery was set up called the Druk (Thunder Dragon) with a sect called the Drukpas, named after it. The name and the emblem of the dragon have been associated with Bhutan ever since. The dragon on the flag is white to symbolize purity.
The two colors of the flag, divided diagonally, represent spiritual and temporal power within Bhutan. The orange part of the flag represents the Drukpas monasteries and Buddhist religious practice, while the saffron yellow field denotes the secular authority of the dynasty.
Regarding the dragon, it represents Druk, the Tibetan name for the kingdom of Bhutan. The jewels clamped in the dragon's claws symbolize wealth. The snarling mouth represents the strength of the male and female deities protecting the country.
Source: Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World, DK Publishing Inc., 1997
Phil Nelson, 4 March 1999
Regarding the colours:
Smith (1975) uses orange and red-orange respectively
DK Pocket Book (1997) uses saffron yellow and orange (same as used by Smith for upper triangle!)
Album des Pavillons (1995) mixes both: saffron yellow of DK Pocket Book and red-orange of Smith
Pedersen (1970) uses proportion 4:5, orange and maroon, and a dragon facing the hoist
Ivan Sache, 21 Jun 1999
The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags
and Anthems Manual London 2012) provides recommendations for national flag
designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for
their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm
version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the
official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC
believed the flag to be. For Bhutan: PMS 116 yellow, 165 orange and black. The
vertical version is simply the flag in 5:3 format.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012
The national flag and emblem of Bhutan are prescribed in Article 1 ("Kingdom
of Bhutan"), Paragraph 5, of the Constitution of The Kingdom of Bhutan, and
described (without illustration) in the First Schedule attached to the
The National Flag and the National Emblem of Bhutan shall be as specified in the First Schedule of this Constitution.
The National Flag and the National Emblem of Bhutan
The National Flag
The upper yellow half that touches the base symbolizes the secular tradition. It personifies His Majesty the King, whose noble actions enhance the Kingdom. Hence, it symbolizes that His Majesty is the upholder of the spiritual and secular foundations of the Kingdom. The lower orange half that extends to the top symbolizes the spiritual tradition. It also symbolizes the flourishing of the Buddhist teachings in general and that of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions in particular. The dragon that fully presses down the fimbriation symbolizes the name of the Kingdom, which is endowed with the spiritual and secular traditions. The white dragon symbolizes the undefiled thoughts of the people that express their loyalty, patriotism and great sense of belonging to the Kingdom although they have different ethnic and linguistic origins.
The National Emblem
Within the circle of the national emblem, two crossed-vajras are placed over a lotus. They are flanked on either side by a male and female white dragon. A wish-fulfilling jewel is located above them. There are four other jewels inside the circle where the two vajras intersect. They symbolize the spiritual and secular traditions of the Kingdom based on the four spiritual undertakings of Vajrayana Buddhism. The lotus symbolizes absence of defilements, the wish-fulfilling jewel, the sovereign power of the people, and the two dragons, the name of the Kingdom.
Full text of the Constitution (PDF)
https://web.archive.org/web/20110706163717/http://www.constitution.bt/TsaThrim Dzongkha (A5).pdf (Dzongkha)
https://web.archive.org/web/20090306122100/http://www.constitution.bt/TsaThrim Eng (A5).pdf (English)
Ivan Sache, 5 October 2014
located by Esteban Rivera, 22 October 2005
Source: Bhutan website