Flag of Tamil Eelam
|Name||Puli Kodi ("Tiger flag")|
|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||November 21, 1990|
|Design||An emblem depicting a tiger jumping through a circle of bullets, with crossed bayonets on a red background|
The flag of Tamil Eelam was designated as a national flag in 1990. The Tiger symbol of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was created in 1977 and was designated as the National Flag of Tamil Eelam in 1990, differentiating it from the LTTE's emblem by leaving out the letters inscribing the movement's name. In 2005, the LTTE released an updated version of the guide providing instructions and explaining the correct usage of the Tamil Eelam National Flag. The guide written in Tamil specifies the regulations for flying alone or with national flags of other countries, and for general handling of the flag.   The National Flag has four colors, yellow, red, black, and white.
The jumping Tiger was adopted from the emblem of the Chola Empire, it should reflect the martial history (Veera varalaru) and the national upheaval of the Tamils. The national flag is the symbol of the independent state of Tamil Eelam to be created, rooted in the martial traditions (Veera marapuhal) of the Tamils," LTTE organ Viduthalai Puligal said in its February 1991 issue.
The crossed bayonets were based on the historical crossed sword emblem of Vannimai and represent the armed resistance. The LTTE leader Prabhakaran Vellupillai was often compared to Pandara Vannian of Vannimai, because both had a similar fate. Pandara Vannian was a freedom fighter during the British colonial era in Sri Lanka.
Use of the flag of Tamil Eelam in public was controversial in other countries, such as Canada, due to the depiction of the bayonets as it was believed it indirectly promoted violence. Supporters of the flag pointed out that the flag of Sri Lanka depicts a lion carrying a sword.
Four aspects of ideals and mission of Tamil Eelam represented by the four colors are detailed in the published guide book.
"Yellow signifies that Tamils' aspiration to freely govern themselves in their own homeland is a fundamental political and human right. The color expresses the righteousness of Tamil struggle and reinforces Tamil Nation's will to uphold moral highground during its path towards freedom.
Red represents the realization that freedom is not complete by establishment of a separate state of Tamil Eelam. We should abolish distinctions of caste and class. Egalitarianism should become our spiritual principle. Gender equality should permeate Tamil society. The revolutionary changes necessary to spread social justice represented by these principles are reflected by this color.
Black reminds that march towards freedom is wrought with dangers, death and destruction. That it's filled with pain and misery. Black signifies determination and resoluteness vital to withstand the adversities and build the new nation of Tamil Eelam. To provide security and to defend the borders.
White demands purity, honesty and selflessness from the leaders and citizens of Tamil Eelam.