National Flag Of Sri Lanka Essay

When Vijaya, the first King of the island of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka from India in 486 BC, he brought with him a flag with a symbol of a lion on it. Since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the
history of Sri Lanka.

It was used extensively by monarchs who followed King Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope. When the legendary King Dutugemunu embarked on the campaign in which he defeated the Tamil King Elara, who had occupied part of Sri Lanka, he carried with him a banner which portrayed a lion carrying a sword on his right forepaw along with two other symbols, the Sun and the Moon.

The banner was in use until 1815, when the reign of the last king of the Kandyan Kingdom, King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, was brought to an end with the Kandyan nobility's signing of the Kandy convention on March 2 proclaiming King George III as King of Ceylon and replacing the Lion Flag with the Union Flag as the national flag of Ceylon.

The government of British Ceylon used its own flag. The Lion Flag was taken to England and kept at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. As the years passed, the design of the flag was forgotten by the Sri Lankan public.

Then, as the independence movement in Sri Lanka gained strength in the early 20th century, E. W. Perera, a prominent figure of the independence movement with the help of D. R. Wijewardene, owner of the Sinhala newspaper 'Dinamina' discovered the original Lion Flag kept at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, UK.

A picture of it was subsequently published in a special edition of the Dinamina newspaper to mark 100 years since the end of Sri Lankan independence. The Lion flag then became a centrepiece of attraction to the public, who for the first time since the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom were now aware of its actual design.

The first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon Hon. D.S. Senanayake, hoisted the Lion Flag at the ceremony on February 4, 1948.

This flag depicted a yellow lion holding a sword in the right hand, facing the hoist, on a dark red background, with a yellow border, with four pinnacles of a Buddhist dagaba in the four corners.

The National Flag Committee was formed in March 1948 and on March 2, 1951, the Lion Flag was accepted, with a few changes as the country's National Flag. Two vertical bands, one green and the other orange, were included in the flag to represent the Muslim and Tamil communities respectively.

Finally in 1972, when the country adopted the local name of Sri Lanka, the flag was modified once more, with four stylized leaves of the Bo (Pipul) tree, a Buddhist symbol, added to the four corners to replace the four pinnacles. In 1978, the leaves were made more natural.

Symbolism of the Lion Flag

The lion

The Sinhalese ethnicity and the strength of the nation

The Bo leaves

Buddhism and its influence on the nation. They also stand for the four virtues of Kindness (Mettha), Compassion (Karuna), Equanimity (Upeksha) and (Muditha) Happiness.

Sword

The soverignty of the nation Vertical

Orange stripe

The Tamil community

Vertical green stripe

The Muslim community

Yellow border

People from other cultures living in Sri Lanka

See also: List of Sri Lankan flags

Name Lion flag or Sinha flag
UseCivil and state flag, civil ensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 22 May 1972
Design Dark red rectangular panel bordered yellow containing a yellow lion holding a sword upright in its right fore paw, and four bo leaves, one in each corner, and next to the hoist two vertical stripes, green and orange, also bordered yellow together.

Variant flag of Sri Lanka

UseCivil ensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 1972
Design A red field with the flag of Sri Lanka in the canton.

Variant flag of Sri Lanka

UseBlueensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 1972
Design A blue field with the flag of Sri Lanka in the canton.

Variant flag of Sri Lanka

UsePresident's Colour
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 1972
Design A defaced flag of Sri Lanka with Coat of arms of Sri Lanka

Variant flag of Sri Lanka

UseNaval ensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 1972
Design A white field with the flag of Sri Lanka in the canton.

Variant flag of Sri Lanka

UseAir Forceensign
Proportion 1:2
Adopted 2010
Design A defaced sky blue ensign with the flag of Sri Lanka in the canton and Air Force roundel.

The flag of Sri Lanka (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජාතික කොඩිය Sri Lankavay Jathika Kodiya), also called the Lion flag or Sinha flag, consists of a yellow lion holding a kastane sword in its right fore paw in a dark red background with four yellow bo leaves in each corner of the background. Around the background is a yellow border and to its left are two vertical stripes of equal size in green and saffron, with the saffron stripe closest to the lion. The lion represents bravery of Sri Lankans. The four Bo leaves represent four main concepts of Buddhism Mettā, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha. The stripes represent the two main minority groups. The saffron stripe represents Tamils and the green stripe represents Muslims, and the maroon background represents the majority Sinhalese. The yellow border around the flag represents the unity of Sri Lankans.

It was adopted in 1950 following the recommendations of a committee appointed by the 1st Prime Minister of Ceylon, The Rt HonD.S. Senanayake.

History

When Vijaya, the first King of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka from India in 486 BC, he brought with him a flag with a symbol of a lion on it. Since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the history of Sri Lanka. It was used extensively by North Indian prince who followed King Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope. In 162 BC, when KingDutugemunu embarked on the campaign in which he defeated the South Indian invader Elara, who had ruled the northern part of the island, he carried with him a banner which portrayed a lion carrying a sword on his right forepaw along with two other symbols, the Sun and the Moon.

The banner was in use until 1815, when the reign of the last King of the Kandyan Kingdom, KingSri Vikrama Rajasinha, was brought to an end with the Kandyan nobility's signing of the Kandy convention on 2 March proclaiming KingGeorge III as King of Ceylon and replacing the Lion flag with the Union Flag as the national flag of Ceylon. The government of British Ceylon used its own flag. The Lion Flag was taken to England and kept at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

As the independence movement in Sri Lanka gained strength in the early 20th century, E. W. Perera, a prominent figure of the independence movement with the help of D. R. Wijewardene, the press baron, discovered the original Lion flag in Chelsea. A picture of it was subsequently published in a special edition of the Dinamina newspaper to mark 100 years since the end of Sri Lankan independence. The Lion flag then became a centrepiece of attraction to the public, who for the first time since the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom were now aware of its actual design.

In 1948 the flag was adapted as the national flag of the Dominion of Ceylon, however the flag underwent several changes in 1953 and again in 1972. During the same year four leaves of the Bo tree were added to the four corners of the Sri LankanNational flag under the direction of Nissanka Wijeyeratne. At the time, he was Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Chairman of the National Emblem and Flag Design Committee. Prior to 1972, the corners of the flag were occupied by symbols depicting spearheads.[1] The four Bo Leaves added by Wijeyeratne reflect the core principles of Mettha (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Upeksha (equanimity) & Muditha (happiness).[2][3]

Symbolism

The national flag of Sri Lanka represents the country and its heritage as rallying device that integrates the minorities with the majority race. Most symbols in the flag have been given distinctive meanings.

Symbol Represents
The lionRepresents the bravery of the Sri Lankan nation.
The bo leavesThe four Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
The sword of the lionThe sovereignty of the nation and the bravery of its people.
The curly hair on the lion's headReligious observance, wisdom and meditation.
The eight hairs on lion's tailThe Noble Eightfold Path.
The beard of the lionPurity of words.
The handle of the swordThe elements of water, fire, air and earth that the country is made of.
The nose of the lionIntelligence.
The two front paws of the lionPurity in handling wealth.
The vertical orange stripeThe Tamil ethnicity.
The vertical green stripeThe Muslim faith and Moor ethnicity.
The yellow border round the flagUnity of Sri Lankans.
The maroon backgroundThis represents the Sinhalese ethnic majority.

See also

References

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.

1 Flag of Ceylon between 1951 and 1972.
2 Flag of Ceylon from 1948–1951.
3 Flag of British Ceylon, 1815–1948.

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