This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website


Druk-Gyal-Khab (Druk-Yul)

Last modified: 2001-04-27 by jonathan dixon
Keywords: bhutan | dragon | asia | druk-gyal-khab | druk-yul |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Bhutan] by Sammy Kanadi
Flag adopted 1969, coat of arms adopted 1980.

Meaning and Description

Bhutan is a Bhuddhist state where power is shared by the king and government. The country's name in the local dialect means Land of the Dragon.

In Bhutan, thunder is believed to be the voices of dragons roaring. In about 1200, a monestary was set up called the Druk (Thunder Dragon) with a sect called the Drukpas, named after it. The name and the emblem of the dragon have been associated with Bhutan ever since. The dragon on the flag is white to symbolize purity.

The two colors of the flag, divided diagonally, represent spiritual and temporal power within Bhutan. The orange part of the flag represents the Drukpas monasteries and Buddhist religious practice, while the saffron yellow field denotes the secular authority of the dynasty.

Regarding the dragon:

The dragon represents Druk, the Tibetan name for the kingdom of Bhutan. The jewels clamped in the dragon's claws symbolize wealth. The snarling mouth represents the strength of the male and female deities protecting the country.

Source: Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World, DK Publishing Inc., 1997

Phil Nelson, 4 March 1999

Regarding the colours:
Smith (1975) uses orange and red-orange respectively
DK Pocket Book (1997) uses saffron yellow and orange (same as used by Smith for upper triangle!)
Album des Pavillons (1995) mixes both: saffron yellow of DK Pocket Book and red-orange of Smith
Pedersen (1970) uses proportion 4:5, orange and maroon, and a dragon facing the hoist

Ivan Sache, 21 Jun 1999


In use since the middle of the 19th century, form of the dragon altered a little in the beginning of the 1960s.
Mark Sensen 20 December 1995

Smith (1975) mentions in the past "close relations with the emporers of China whose flag was golden yellow with a dragon"

Ivan Sache, 21 Jun 1999

The flag of Bhutan was yellow with a dragon, taken surely from China. It was in use in the 19th century, and was recognized in 1912 when the British took the protectorate.

Before 1960 the resih orange part (meaning Buddhism) was added. The diagonal line was at first from upper hoist to lower fly and later from lower fly to upper hoist.

Bhutanese flag in 1960 (from photo):
[Bhutanese Flag 1960] by Jaume Ollé

It is not clear whether the dragon was always green (until c.1965) and later white, or whether white was used before.
Bhutanese Flag c.1965 (from encyclopaedia):
[Bhutanese Flag c.1965] by Jaume Ollé

Jaume Ollé, 6 Feb 2000

CHANNELS :: Compare Country infoCountry guide & StudyFlagsMapsSightseeingTravel WarningsHotel Directory DESTINATIONS :: AsiaAfricaCaribbean Middle EastNorth AmericaSouth AmericaCentral AmericaOceania PacificEuropePolar Regions UTILITIES :: WeatherWorld TimeISD CodesTravel Links Link Exchange
DestinationsMonuments WONDERS :: AncientModernNatural | Privacy Policy