The History of Thai Flag

The History of Thai Flag

The Thailand flag was first used when the country was still known as Siam. However, it was felt that the plain red colour was weak for international relations. In 1851, Rama II redesigned the flag and included an elephant at the centre of the red colour. Would you like to learn more about the history of the Thai flag? Then you should keep on reading.

The First Flag-Not Good For Salutation The Unhappy French

Siam did not have an official flag before 1855. As such, they used different flags to trade with foreign countries. At some point, they raised the Dutch flag, trying to salute the French. Instead, the French declined the flag since the Dutch were their enemy. For this reason, they raised a plain red flag, and the French accepted it. King Rama II would later change the plain red flag in 1855.

White Buddhist Chakra- The Thai Royalty

Later on, King Rama I came up with another design meant for the royal ships. The flag had the same red colour, but this time, with a Buddhist chakra at the centre. However, the plain red flag was used by public merchants.

The Standing Elephant- The Symbol of Prosperity

Around 1851, Rama II came up with a different flag. The same red colour was maintained, but with a standing elephant in the middle of the flag. This was done after the king acquired three white elephants. Since they believed that white elephants brought prosperity to the country, they wanted to include it in their flag.

Removal of the Disk- Respect To The Royalty

After many years, King Rama IV felt that the disc was a royal sign. Thus, he removed the chakra and left only the white elephant at the centre of the flag. The king also reasoned that the plain red flag was similar to what many other countries used, so they needed something unique. This time around, they made the white elephant bigger.

More Colors for an Attractive Flag

After careful consideration of the overall looks of the flag, Rama VI saw that it wasn’t appealing enough. For this reason, they redesigned the flag so that the elephant was resting on a stand. Also, they gave the white elephant red and green regalia. This was the flag that Thailand used for all its government officials.

The Current Thai Flag

After many attempts, the Thai flag was changed into what they have today. This happened in 1917. This came because they didn’t like the red flag with white stripes. The current design was officiated on September 28, 1917, by the Royal Decree from Rama VI. The current design is known as tong dtrai-rong, which means the Tri-colored flag. On the flag, the red colour depicts unity among the citizens, while the white colour symbolizes the purity of the Buddhists. The blue colour represents the king of the land.


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