Saturday, August 11, 2007

Flags of the World: Bhutan

You can learn a lot about people by looking at the symbols they use to represent themselves.

About 2 million people call the country of Bhutan home. Over 90% of these people make their livings with agricultural pursuits. Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy located between India and China.

Around 75% of Bhutan's residents are Buddhists, and the rest are Hindus. Religion is very important in Bhutan, and that is reflected in the nation's flag.

Half of the flag is orange to symbolize the Buddhist religion. (After all, when you think of a Buddhist monk, isn't he usually wearing orange robes?) The other half of the flag is yellow to represent the fruit of the king's leadership.

The dragon has a snarling mouth to indicate the strength of Bhutan's protective gods, and the jewels the dragon clutches symbolize the riches and perfection of the nation. The dragon is the color white to represent purity and loyalty, and the dragon as a whole represents Bhutan as a whole. Bhutan's name in the local language means "land of the dragon", which is at least partly named for the thunderstorms that form over the Himalayan Mountains to the north. The thunder produced by those storms is said to be the dragon's roar.

1 comment:

Elisson said...

Here's a piece of useless trivia: One of Bhutan's neighbors, Nepal, has the world's only triangular flag.