The Flag of Myanmar: History, Meaning, and Symbolism

flag of Myanmar

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Updated: December 15, 2022

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Even though the nation’s current flag is one of the youngest in the world, Myanmar’s historical flags are among the oldest in Asia that have been recorded. Despite the common confusion between the two terms, it is typical to hear the historical flag of Myanmar referred to as the flag of Burma. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is the nation’s full title. The country was renamed Myanmar from Burma in 1989. Both names are taken from the predominant ethnic group; Bamar. Burma is the everyday, informal term, and Myanmar is the official term. Let’s delve deeper into the history, significance, and symbolism of the Myanmar flag!

Flag of Myanmar History

flag of Myanmar

The flag of Myanmar has a rich history dating back to the early 1300s.

1300 – 1500

The first known Burma flag can be found in the Hanthawaddy dynasty, a predecessor state to the nation of Myanmar. It displayed a golden peacock on a grassy landscape. Between the year 1300 and the year 1500, the flag was in use.

1750 – 1900

The Konbaung dynasty of the Third Burmese Empire flew the next known flag from 1752 until 1885. The peacock was introduced as the national symbol of Myanmar by King Alaungpaya in 1757. The oldest flags used to designate the ruler in many Asian nations featured a plain backdrop with this recognizable national animal in the middle.

Other flags were also in use during this period. In 1824, when Burma joined British India, it flew the Indian flag until it became a distinct province. The new flag included a solid red background with an Indian star in the middle, the Union Jack in the upper left corner, and the red ensign of the British Raj.

1900 – 1974

In 1939, the British Burmese began flying their own flag. In the upper left corner, against a blue background, was the Union Jack. The yellow circle on the right side of the flag contains a peacock. In 1941, the flag of British Burma underwent yet another alteration. This new flag included a yellow circle with a painted peacock in the center, on a blue backdrop. The initial national flag of Burma, which was established in 1943, had a peacock in place of the star and featured the three stripes on the present-day flag. In 1945, the peacock was stylized to look more simple. As a result of political changes, a new flag with a blue canton and red field along with white stars was adopted in 1948. In 1974, the style was somewhat modified.

2010 – Present Day

Burma, officially known as “the Republic of the Union of Myanmar,” adopted a new national flag on October 21, 2010, to replace the socialist flag that had flown since 1974. On October 21, 2010, the nation of Myanmar adopted the national flag stipulated in its 2008 constitution by legislating the 2010 Union Flag Law and repealing the 1974 State Flag Law. In compliance with the 2008 Constitution, the nation’s name was changed, and the new flag was also unveiled. It was initially raised on October 21, 2010. Additionally, instructions were given to guarantee that all out-of-date flags were destroyed.

Flag of Myanmar Design and Colors

flag of Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) national flag is a yellow, green, red, and white flag with a five-pointed white star in the center.

The core of the new Myanmar flag is a five-pointed star with the colors yellow, green, red, and white. The three colors of the ribbons represent harmony, boldness, and tenacity. a red flag with a blue canton and a white emblem in the middle. 14 five-pointed stars surround the paddy ear and gear wheel on the symbol. While the canton looks to be a little higher than half the hoist, the length appears to be less than half the fly.

The current flag of the country is horizontal with 3 colors; yellow, green, and red. It has a five-pointed white star in the field’s center. The background’s yellow, green, and red colors are meant to pay homage to the tricolors used throughout the battle for independence.

Flag of Myanmar Symbolism

The current Burmese flag has a large white star in the middle of a horizontal triband in the colors of yellow, green, and red. Yellow represents peace, understanding, knowledge, contentment, and the peaceful coexistence of different national races. The attributes of the color green are prosperity, beauty, fairness, fertility, and a green, peaceful nation. Red is a symbol of brashness and tenacity. The white star represents power, holiness, compassion, and purity.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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