National flag - Flag of Laos

National flag  >  Flag of Laos

Flag of Laos

The flag of Laos consists of three horizontal stripes, with the middle stripe in blue being twice the height of the top and bottom red stripes. In the middle is a white disc, the diameter of the disc is 4⁄5 the height of the blue stripe. The flag ratio is 2:3. The national flag of Laos was first adopted in 1945 under the short-lived Lao Issara government of 1945–46, then by the Pathet Lao. It is one of the two flags of a currently communist country (the other being Cuba) that does not use any communist symbolism and the only current communist country that does not use a five-pointed star in its flag as an emblem. The current flag was adopted on December 2, 1975 when it became a socialist state.

This flag replaced the 1952-1975 flag of Laos that represented the royal monarchy, which was red, with a triple-headed white elephant on a pedestal beneath a parasol. This expressed the ancient name of the country, "Land of a Million Elephants", and dated from the 19th century. From 1953 onward the royal government waged war with the Pathet Lao, whose flag was blue with a white disk and red borders at the top and bottom.

From 1973 to 1975, the Pathet Lao formed part of the government coalition, before assuming power directly and prompting the abdication of the king. Their flag was adopted as the national flag. According to the original creator of the current Lao flag, Maha Sila Viravong, the white disk in the center symbolizes the unity of the Lao people (and the future reunification of the two Laotian regions of Laos and Northeastern Thailand that are divided by the Mekong River) under one nation. It is also said to represent a full moon against the Mekong River. The red stripes stand for the blood shed by the Lao people on both banks of the Mekong River (the multi-ethnic people of Laos and the Isan people of Northeastern Thailand) in their struggle for freedom and independence from the French, and the blue symbolizes the Mekong River itself, a symbol of the nation's prosperity.

The current Lao flag was designed in 1945 by Maha Sila Viravong, a famous Lao nationalist, intellectual, and scholar of traditional Lao literature, history, and culture. As one of the members of the Lao Issara government, he was tasked with creating a new Lao national flag that is to be distinct from the royalist flag (the red flag with the white three-headed elephant) that represented the monarchy of Luang Prabang, inspired in how Thailand in 1917 adopted the red-white-blue tricolour as its national flag over the traditional royalist flag (the red flag with the white elephant). In accordance with the establishment of the Lao Issara government and its first Lao constitution on October 12, 1945, Viravong's flag was adopted by the new government as its national flag until the French takeover in 1946. The Lao Issara, as a political movement, continued to use the flag in exile until its dissolution in 1949. Its communist-led successor, the Pathet Lao, re-used Viravong's flag to represent the movement until the fall of the royal government in 1975 when the Pathet Lao re-adopted it as the national flag.

From 1952 until the fall of the royal government in 1975 the country had a red flag, with a white three-headed elephant (representing the Hindu god Erawan) in the middle. On top of the elephant is a nine-folded umbrella, while the elephant itself stands on a five-level pedestal. The white elephant is a common royal symbol in Southeast Asia, especially in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. This flag was adopted by the royal monarchy of Luang Prabang since the beginning of the 20th century under French rule, inspired by its similar flag (red flag with the single white elephant) in Thailand during that time.

The nine-folded umbrella is also a royal symbol, originating from Mount Meru in the Buddhist cosmology. The pedestal represented the law on which the country rested.

National flag 
Flag of Laos

Country - Laos

Laos (, ; ລາວ, Lāo ), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ; République démocratique populaire lao), commonly referred to by its colloquial name of Muang Lao (Lao: ເມືອງລາວ, Muang Lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Located at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, and Thailand to the west and southwest.

Present-day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (Kingdom of a Million Elephants Under the White Parasol), which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Due to Lan Xang's central geographical location in Southeast Asia, the kingdom became a popular hub for overland trade, becoming wealthy economically as well as culturally. After a period of internal conflict, Lan Xang broke off into three separate kingdoms—Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three territories uniting to form what is now known as the country of Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but was recolonised by France until it won autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war began, which saw the communist resistance, supported by the Soviet Union, fight against, first, the monarchy and then a number of military dictatorships, supported by the United States. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power, seeing the end to the civil war. During the first years of Communist rule, Laos was dependent on military and economic aid supported by the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.
Neighbourhood - Country  

  •  Burma 
  •  China 
  •  Khmer Republic 
  •  Thailand 
  •  Vietnam 

Language

Flag of Laos (English)  Bandiera del Laos (Italiano)  Vlag van Laos (Nederlands)  Drapeau du Laos (Français)  Flagge von Laos (Deutsch)  Bandeira do Laos (Português)  Флаг Лаоса (Русский)  Bandera de Laos (Español)  Flaga Laosu (Polski)  寮國國旗 (中文)  Laos flagga (Svenska)  Drapelul Laosului (Română)  ラオスの国旗 (日本語)  Прапор Лаосу (Українська)  Национално знаме на Лаос (Български)  라오스의 국기 (한국어)  Laosin lippu (Suomi)  Bendera Laos (Bahasa Indonesia)  Laoso vėliava (Lietuvių)  Laos' flag (Dansk)  Laoská vlajka (Česky)  Laos bayrağı (Türkçe)  Застава Лаоса (Српски / Srpski)  Laose lipp (Eesti)  Vlajka Laosu (Slovenčina)  Laosz zászlaja (Magyar)  Zastava Laosa (Hrvatski)  ธงชาติลาว (ไทย)  Laosas karogs (Latviešu)  Σημαία του Λάος (Ελληνικά)  Quốc kỳ Lào (Tiếng Việt) 
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