Saturday, 25 July 2009

Cambodia - Current

The flag of Cambodia consists of three horizontal bands, in 1:2:1 proportions of blue, red, blue with a depiction of a three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in black in the centre of the red band.[1][2] The present flag with these colours arranged in horizontal bands, was officially adopted on 29th October 1948 until October 1970, then, once again, at the beginning of 24th September 1993, date of the reestablishment of the Monarchy.[3] The ratio of the flag is 2:3.[4]

The colours of the Cambodian flag have been given many different meanings. The symbolism ranges from blue, symbolizing the royalty, the red, the nation, the white, the religion.[5] Red for the blood, given in the struggle for freedom and independence, Blue for the wealth of the country . Red being the national colour of the Khmer people, expressing willingness for sacrifices, blue the colour of the Khmer royalty representing the power and the wishes of the sovereign. The white temple symbolizes the glorious past of the land. White also stands for the confidence of the people in its sovereign.[6] Right through to red standing for hardiness, bravery, strength and valour, and blue for vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance and justice.[7]

The current Cambodian flag holds the distinction of being the only flag in the world to feature a building in its design. [8]

The flag used today is the same as that established in 1948, although since then 5 other designs have been used. These have almost all made use of the image of the temple of Angkor Wat in one form or another. This famous temple site, which dates from the 12th century, was built by the Mahidharapura monarchs. It has 5 towers, but these were not always all depicted in the stylized version used on flags. [8] Whitney Smith stated, “The temple is considered a symbol of the great civilization of the Khmer people.”[9]

[1] Flag of Cambodia, Wikipedia,
[2] The Meaning & History of the Cambodia Flag,
[3] Flags of the World,
[4] The Meaning & History of the Cambodia Flag,
[5] Flags of the World,
[8] Wikipedia,
[9] Whitney Smith, Flag lore of all nations, Millbrook Press, 2002.
[fig1] P. Mattew and Eugene Ipavec, Flags of the World,
[fig2] Angkor Wat, Andrew Lih,

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