What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Laos Mean?

The flag of Laos.
The flag of Laos.

The national flag of Laos is one of the national symbols enshrined in the country’s Constitution. The country first adopted the flag in 1945 during the one-year reign of the Laos Issara government but was dropped in 1946, replaced by the royal flag. Maha Sila Viravong, a renowned Laotian scholar, is credited with the designing of the flag of Laos. The scholar was picked by the Laos Issara government to come up with a national flag that would be different from the royal flag. The flag would later be readopted in 1975 by the Pathet Lao government, replacing the royal flag after the collapse of the country’s royal government. The original design of the triband flag was retained with no alterations.

Description Of The National Flag Of Laos

The design of the national flag of Laos is explicitly described in Article 77 of the country’s Constitution. The flag of Laos has a horizontal rectangular design whose proportions are 2:3 for the width to length. The flag features a triband running horizontally, and made up of two colors: dark blue and red. The top and bottom bands are red, with a dark blue band sandwiched between the two. The height of the middle dark blue band is twice that of the two red bands. Centered on the dark blue band is a large white circle whose diameter is four-fifths the dark blue band’s height. The flag is one of a kind, as it is the sole communist government flag that does not bear the five-point star emblem that is characteristic to all other communist flags.

Meaning Of The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Laos

The blue color is believed to represent the wealth and prosperity of the nation, but can also be said to symbolize the Mekong River. The red color symbolizes the bloodshed by freedom heroes during the fight for independence against France. The positioning of the red bands on either side of the blue band shows that the freedom fighters came from either side of the Mekong River. The meaning of the white disk has spurned several theories. According to one theory, the white disc centered on the flag symbolizes the full moon, shining over the Mekong River. Another theory has it that the flag’s white circle stands for the unity of the two regions of the country and justice under the country’s Communist government through the People’s Revolutionary Party. Another theory states that the white disc on the flag is a representation of a bright new future promised to the country, the spirit shared by many Laotians during independence.

Historic Flags Of Laos

Before the adoption of the triband flag, the country was governed by a royal monarchy government whose official flag was a traditionalist flag. This flag featured three white elephants standing on a pedestal and covered by a folded umbrella, centered on a red field. The three white elephants centered on the red field represented the three kingdoms in Laos, Champasak, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane, while the folded umbrella represented royalty as well as a prominent mountain in Buddhism. The pedestal on which the elephants stood symbolized the law that acted as the foundation on which the country stood.


More in World Facts