The ‘Rainbow’ Flags of Buddhism – Country By Country!

International Buddhist Flag – Chakra Wheel – Sri Lanka

The concept of a multi-coloured Buddhist flag was designed in 1880 by Henry Steyr Alcott – a retired American army colonel. He probably got the idea from the five-coloured’ Daoist flag – the defining concept of which associated a distinct colour to a geographical location. This concept of colour-coding for four ‘cardinal’ compass-points and the theoretical ‘centre’ dates back to at least the Zhou Dynasty. On April 17th, 1885, this multicoloured Buddhist flag was officially adopted in Sou Lanka as an ‘International’ symbol representing faith and peace for the first time. The World Buddhist Friendship Association was established in Sri Lanka in 1951, and the Buddhist flag was designated as the preferred flag, which was gradually recognized by Buddhist believers all over the world and became the common symbol of international Buddhism. 

Original International Buddhist Flag – Minus Chakra Wheel (1885)
Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Flag
Thai Buddhist Flag
Laos Buddhist Flag
Official Buddhist Flag of Tibet – Ignored by 14th Dalai Lama
Japanese Buddhist Flag

Korean Buddhist Flag

Chinese Language Source:国际佛教旗

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