Royal flags of Thailand
The Royal Flags of Thailand (Thai: ธงประจำพระองค์) are flags that are usually flown in Thailand along with the National flag to honor the King as well as the Royal Family of Thailand. Unlike the Royal Standards that are only displayed in special ceremonies and in particular locations, the royal flags are a ubiquitous sight all over Thailand. They are not commonly seen, however, outside of the country.
The main royal flag is that of the King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, known as the "Tenth king" (Rama X). The flag of the previous monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the flag for Queen Dowager Sirikit is still widely used. These flags are in plain colors with their respective royal cyphers. Other members of the royal family, like Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak also have their own plain-color flags, but these are not seen very often, except at ceremonies personally led by them.
The royal flags are not only used officially, but also unofficially. They are displayed by Thai citizens of any social class or background at any location, usually beside the Thai flag, as a homage to their King. Honoring the royal family is a characteristic feature of Thai culture.
These flags are sold at most small stores and grocery stores in every town and village of Thailand. They come in many different sizes. Usually the symbol is printed only on one side of the flag.
Flag of the King
The King's flag is in yellow, the color of Monday, the day of his birth. It always has a symbol in the middle. There are a variety of symbols, but recently most king's flags have different symbols, such as the symbol marking King Bhumibol's 80th birthday or the one commemorating the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol's accession to the throne.
Both emblems in the center of the flag are quite complex, involving Buddhist iconography and ancient royal symbols of authority as well, such as the multi-tiered white umbrella. The kings's symbols are always topped by the royal crown. Sometimes light rays are emanating from the top of the crown, these are also an element of royal symbology. In simplified versions of the flag the central symbol may come simply outlined in red.
Yellow is the color identified with the king in Thailand (as well as the previous king, both were born on a Monday). Many Thais like to wear yellow shirts as an informal homage to their king, especially on Mondays, the day of his birth.
Flag of the Queen Dowager
The Queen Dowager's flag is in blue, the color of Friday, the day of her birth. Unlike the flag of the king, her flag has always the same symbol in the middle. The symbol is her acronym, the white letter intertwined with the dark blue letter, below a yellow or golden royal crown, sometimes with a pink scroll with Thai writing underneath. In simplified versions of the flag this symbol may come simply outlined in white on the blue ground. This flag is mostly displayed around August, the month of the Queen Dowager's birth.
List of Royal Flags
|2016–||Personal Flag of King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Yellow flag (the King's birthday colour), the middle the depicts the Royal Cypher (ว.ป.ร.: มหาวชิราลงกรณ์ ปรมราชาธิราช : Mahavajiralongkorn Paramarajadhiraja (Thai equivalent to Vajiralongkorn Rex), topped by the Great Crown of Victory, in between is the Thai symbol for the numeral 10, signifying his rule as Rama X.|
|1950–||Personal Flag of Queen Mother Sirikit||Blue flag (the Queen's birthday colour), the middle is Queen Sirikit's Royal Cypher, topped by the Great Crown of Victory.|
|2005–||Personal Flag of Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti||Blue flag (the Prince’s birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher.|
|1977–||Personal Flag of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn||Purple flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher, topped by the simplified crown.|
|1982–||Personal Flag of Princess Chulabhorn Walailak||Orange flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher, topped by the simplified crown.|
|2001–||Personal Flag of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya||Red flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher, but not topped by the simplified crown.|
|1977–||Personal Flag of Princess Soamsawali||Purple flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher, under the Buddhist/Hindu sacred sign of "Unalome".|
|1978–||Personal Flag of Princess Bajrakitiyabha||Orange flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher.|
|2005–||Personal Flag of Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana||Orange flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher.|
|1982–||Personal Flag of Princess Siribhachudhabhorn||Blue flag (the Princess’ birthday colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher.|
|2016–||Personal Flag of Princess Adityadhornkitikhun||Purple flag (the Princess’ favourite colour), the middle is the Royal Cypher.|
Notes and references
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal flags of Thailand.|