6.6.09

Flying Saturday June 6, 2009.

My nephew and his Thai wife Sirinnuj  are coming for lunch today so a good chance to fly the Thai state flag.

The flag of the Kingdom of Thailand shows five horizontal stripes in the colours red, white, blue, white and red, with the middle blue stripe being twice as wide as each of the other four. The three colours red-white-blue stand for nation-religion-king, an unofficial motto of Thailand. The flag was adopted on 28 September 1917, according to the royal decree about the flag in that year. The Thai name for the flag is ธงไตรรงค์ (Thong Trairong), which simply means tricolour flag.

The first flag used for Siam was probably a plain red one, first used under King Narai (1656-1688). Naval flags later used different symbols on the red ground—a white chakra (the weapon of god Vishnu which use as the symbol of the House of Chakri), or a white elephant inside the chakra.

 Officially the first flag was created in 1855 by King Mongkut (Rama IV), showing a white elephant (a royal symbol) on red ground, as the plain coloured flag was not distinct enough for international relations.

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


The Thai Naval Ensign