The Tibetan National Flag

The Tibetan national flag is intimately connected to the history and royal lineages of Tibet which are thousands of years old. Traditionally, various Tibetan military regiments each had their own military flag. Snow lions and other important figures were prominent in many of these flags.

The national flag includes these images:

  • Mountain:  The natural beautiful snow mountain in the center of the flag symbolizes the lands of the great nation of Tibet which is surrounded by snow-covered mountains.
  • Rays of Light:  The red-colored rays on the flag represent the six original tribes of Tibet. The alternating red and dark blue-colored rays symbolize the effort to protect the spiritual and secular rule of Tibet.
  • Sunburst:  The burst of light emanating from the sun rising over the peak of the mountains symbolizes freedom, happiness, and prosperity, equally enjoyed by all Tibetan people.
  • Snow Lions:  The valiant stance of the pair of fearless snow lions glowing with five prominent features on their faces symbolizes the complete victory over all by the deeds of the combined spiritual and secular ruling government.
  • Three-Colored Jewel:  Located above the snow lions, beautiful and radiant with light, the jewel symbolizes the three Precious Gems: the objects of refuge, which all Tibetan people revere continually.
  • Bliss-Swirls:  Held between the paws of the snow lions, the bliss swirls represent the observance of self-morality in accordance with the exalted traditions which are represented principally by the ten divine virtuous actions and the sixteen human moral rules.
  • Border:  The adornment with a yellow border symbolizes the flourishing of the Buddha's teachings which are like pure, unrefined gold throughout limitless directions and time.

Source: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharmasala, India, as included in the Council for Creative Projects Exhibition Materials (see Background, Page One.)

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