Flag of Sri Lanka

Flag of Sri Lanka
Country Sri Lanka
Population 21,893,579 (2023)
Area (Km²) 62,710
Сontinent Asia
Emoji 🇱🇰
  hex rgb
#FFBE29 255, 190, 41
#EB7400 235, 116, 0
#00534E 0, 83, 78
#8D153A 141, 21, 58
#000000 0, 0, 0

The Singh Flag or Lion Flag consists of a golden lion with a sword on a burgundy background with four golden ficus leaves, one in each corner. It is bordered by gold, and on the left are two vertical stripes of equal size in green and orange. The flag was adopted on May 22.

What does the flag of Sri Lanka mean?

  • The lion is a symbol of the strong and noble Sinhalese people;
  • the four leaves of the religious ficus symbolize the four Buddhist virtues;
  • the sword symbolizes the greatness and sovereignty of the nation, the power of the people; 
  • the sword hilt symbolizes the four elements: air, water, fire and earth; 
  • the orange stripe reflects the Tamil ethnicity; 
  • green stripe indicates Muslim ethnicity; 
  • dark red background represents the majority of Sinhalese;
  • a yellow border around the flag symbolizes other minorities, such as the Malayalam, Burghers, indigenous Veddas, Kaffirs and others.

History of the flag of Sri Lanka

The national flag of Sri Lanka has the image of a lion, which is found on many historical flags of this country. The first archaeological evidence of the lion image used on the modern national flag dates back to the reign of Dutugemunu. Other sources mention the use of a lion flag during the Dutch War. Instead of the lion flag, after the colonization of Sri Lanka by the British, the Union Jack flag was used. This flag was used until the country gained independence in 1948.

History of the flag of Sri Lanka

In 1948, Sri Lanka held its first independence celebration after the first parliamentary elections in the country. The celebration was held in Independence Square in Colombo, where the lion flag was raised high. Afterwards, the parliament held a debate on the shape of the Sri Lankan national flag. Prime Minister Don Stephen Senanayake appointed a committee to design the flag. In 1951, the flag was first hoisted according to the final recommendation of the committee, in which some elements were added. 

History of the flag of Sri Lanka

In 1972, Dr. Nissanka Wijeratne (Sinhala: නිශ්ශංක පරාක්‍රම විජයරත්න) took the initiative to replace the four spearheads in each corner of the red part of the flag with four leaves of the religious ficus tree, which symbolize the four Buddhist virtues of love, compassion, understanding and self-control. The modified national flag is still used as the national flag of Sri Lanka.

The national flag, which is the main symbol of the country's identity to the world, is like a mirror reflecting the historical past, pride, sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka, as well as the unity and equality of the people.