The flag of Thailand (Thai: ธงไตรรงค์; RTGSthong trai rong, meaning 'tricolour flag') shows five horizontal stripes in the colours red, white, blue, white and red, with the central blue stripe being twice as wide as each of the other four. The design was adopted on 28 September 1917, according to the royal decree issued by Rama VI. Since 2016, that day is a national day of importance in Thailand celebrating the flag.[1]

Kingdom of Thailand
Trairanga (Thai: ธงไตรรงค์, RTGS: thong trai rong), 'Tricolour flag'
UseNational flag, civil and state ensign Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Reverse side is congruent with obverse side Vertical hoist method of flag is unknown
Adopted28 September 1917 (standardized on 30 September 2017)
DesignFive horizontal stripes of red, white, blue, white and red, the middle stripe twice as wide as the others
Designed byKing Vajiravudh (Rama VI)
Thai: ธงราชนาวี (RTGS: thong ratcha nawi), 'Royal Navy flag'
UseNaval ensign Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Reverse side is mirror image of obverse side
Adopted28 September 1917 (de jure)
DesignA red disc containing a white elephant (Airavata) in regalia centered on the national flag

The colours are said to stand for nation-religion-king, an unofficial motto of Thailand,[2] red for the land and people, white for religions and blue for the monarchy, the last having been the auspicious colour of Rama VI. As the king declared war on Germany that July, some note the flag now bore the same colours as those of the UK, France, Russia and the United States.[3]

Design Edit

The Flag Act of BE 2522 (1979)[4] stipulates the design of the national flag as "rectangular in shape with 6 part width and 9 part length, divided into five stripes throughout the length of the flag; with the middle stripe being 2 part wide, of deep blue colour, and the white stripes being 1 part wide next to each side of the deep blue stripes, and the red stripes being 1 part wide next to each side of the white stripes. The National Flag shall also be called the Tri-Rong flag".[5]

Colour standards Edit

The colours of the flag were standardised in an announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister dated 30 September 2017, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its adoption.[6] It gives recommended values for determining the standard colours of physical cloth flags, defined in the CIELAB colour space under Illuminant D65. RGB, HEX and CMYK values are derived by NSTDA.[7][8]

Colour CIELAB D65 Other colour values
Red 36.4 55.47 25.42 ≤1.5 165-25-49 #A51931 C24-M100-Y83-K18
White 96.61 -0.15 -1.48 ≤1.5 244-245-248 #F4F5F8 C3-M2-Y1-K0
Blue 18.63 7.89 -19.45 ≤1.5 45-42-74 #2D2A4A C87-M85-Y42-K43

Construction Sheet Edit

History Edit

The Siamese Expeditionary Force during World War I with the Siamese tricolour in Paris, 1919
National flag of Thailand being flown in 2009 (before colour standardisation)

The first flag used for Siam was probably a plain red one, first used under Narai (1656–1688). Naval flags later used different symbols on the red ground—a white chakra, or the Hindu mythological elephant Airavata inside the chakra.

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.

In 1916 the flag was changed to show a white elephant in royal regalia. In 1916, the current design, but with the middle colour being the same red as the outer stripe, was defined as the civil ensign. The story goes that during a flood Vajiravudh (Rama VI) saw the flag hanging upside-down, and to prevent this from happening again created a new flag which was symmetrical. Later in 1917, the middle colour was changed to dark blue, which was similar in tone to indigo or purple, which at the time was regarded as the auspicious colour for Saturday, the day Vajiravudh was born. According to other sources, the blue was also chosen to show solidarity with the Allies of World War I, which also had the colours blue-red-white in their flags.

Timeline Edit

Flag Date Use Description
c. 1680 – c. 1782     National ensign during late Ayutthaya and Thonburi periods A red plain rectangular flag.
c. 1782–1855     Civil ensign prior to 1855
c. 1782 – c. 1817     State and naval ensign decreed by Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I) Red flag with a white chakra, presumably to represent the Chakri dynasty.
c. 1817–1855     Change instituted by Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II) Red flag with a white elephant inside the chakra.
c. 1843–1855     Alternative civil ensign from 1843 to 1855 A white elephant, facing the hoist, centred on a red field. Thai: ธงช้างเผือก (Thong Chang Puak)[9]
1855–1893     National ensign decreed by Mongkut (Rama IV)
1893–1916     Civil ensign until 1916
1893–1898     State and naval ensign, to be displayed defaced with the flyer's emblem on the upper hoist corner A white elephant in regalia, facing the hoist, centred on a red field
1898–1912     State and naval ensign
1912–1917     State flag and ensign, decreed by Vajiravudh (Rama VI)
1916–1917     Civil ensign Red flag with two horizontal white stripes one-sixth wide, one-sixth from the top and bottom
1917–present     National flag, civil and state ensign Flag with horizontal blue stripe one-third wide between white stripes one-sixth wide, between red stripes one-sixth wide, known as the Trairanga.

Maritime flags Edit

    Naval ensign of Thailand
    Naval jack of Thailand

The naval ensign of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is the national flag with a red circle in the middle that reaches as far as the red stripes at the top and bottom. In the circle stands a white elephant, in full caparison, facing the hoist. The kingdom's naval jack is the national flag defaced with the emblem of the Royal Thai Navy in the middle. The regimental colours of the RTN is as same as this flag; both ensigns were adopted in 1917.

See also Edit

Sources Edit

  • Macharoen, Chawingam (2002). Thong Thai Laem 1. Bangkok. ISBN 974-419-454-5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)

References Edit

  1. ^ (in Thai) การฉลองครบรอบ 100 ปี การประกาศใช้ธงไตรรงค์ เป็นธงชาติไทย Archived 19 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  2. ^ "Thailand: A Country Study". Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program, from the Library of Congress. Retrieved 23 July 2011. Sarit revived the motto "Nation-Religion-King" as a fighting political slogan for his regime, which he characterized as combining the paternalism of the ancient Thai state and the benevolent ideals of Buddhism.
  3. ^ Duncan Stearn (14–20 February 2003). "A Slice of Thai History: Raising the standard; Thailand's national flags". Pattaya Mail. Retrieved 24 July 2011. The prevailing – although unofficial – view of the meaning of the five stripes is that red represents the land and the people; the white is for Theravada Buddhism, the state religion and the central purple stripe symbolises the monarchy. It has also been stated that purple was the favorite color of King Rama VI (he born in Saturday). Another account claims the purple (this refer deep blue) was inserted as a show of solidarity following Thailand's entry into the First World War (in July 1917) as an ally of Britain and France....
  4. ^ The Flag Act of BE 2522 (1979) (Thai: พระราชบัญยัติธง พ.ศ.2522) in Royal Thailand Gazette No. 96 Section 67, special edition page 1
  5. ^ "An unofficial translation from the Office of the Council of State" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  6. ^ มาตรฐานแถบสีธงชาติไทย [Flag of Thailand] (in Thai). National Science and Technology Development Agency. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  7. ^ ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง รูปธงชาติตามพระราชบัญญัติธง พ.ศ. 2522 [Announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister regarding appearance of the National Flag in accordance with the Flag Act, B.E. 2522] (PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette (in Thai). 164 (Special 245 D): 1–2. 4 October 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ สวทช. มาตรฐานแถบสีธงชาติไทย Archived 2020-05-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Roberto Breschi. "Siam Bandiera mercantile 1839" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 8 December 2004. Retrieved 25 September 2004.

External links Edit