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Flag of Laos

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Flag of Laos

The modern Laos flag is unusual in that it is a revival of a flag that was used by a past government before falling out of use. It was designed with the intention of creating a flag that was distinct from the royal flag of Laos, which also helped to make it distinct from the flag that represented the nation while it was part of the French colonial empire.

The flag of Laos was adopted on December 2, 1975. The flag had previously been used by the short-lived Lao nationalist government of 1945.

The flag consists of three horizontal stripes, middle blue stripe is twice the height of the top and bottom red stripes. In the middle is a white circle, the diameter of the disc circle 8/10 times the height of the blue stripe. The national flag of Laos was adopted when the country became a people's republic in 1975. It is one of the few Communist flags that does not use the five-pointed star as an emblem.

  • Capital of Laos: Vientiane
  • Area of Laos: 230,800 sq. km
  • Languages used in Laos: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
  • Religions in Laos: Buddhist, animist

Colors and Symbolism of the Laos Flag

The Laos flag consists of three horizontal stripes that alternate between red and dark blue. A white circle is in the center of the the blue stripe. The flag was inspired by the flag of Thailand, which shares the flag's color scheme. The colors were also chosen for their symbolic value. The blue stripe represents the Mekong River as well as the nation's wealth, while the red stripes represent the blood that the nation shed during its struggle for independence and the period of colonial rule. The white circle is a symbol of both national unity and the full moon. 

History of the Flag of Laos

Laos was one of the few French colonies to have a flag of its own while it was part of the French Empire. The colonial flag of Laos has a solid red field that displayed a trio of white elephants standing on top of a pedestal with a nine-layered umbrella on top of them. It also featured the French tricolor flag in the canton. The elephants and umbrella were symbols of the nation's monarchy, while the red field was a traditional symbol of good fortune and celebration in the nation's culture.

Laos gained its independence from France and established a monarchy in the middle of the 20th century. The modern flag briefly came into use in 1945, but it fell out of use only one year later. Laos adopted a new flag in 1952, but the design strongly resembled the colonial flag. It lacked the French tricolor in the canton, but the designs were otherwise identical. It fell out of use when the nation's communist party took power in 1975 and replaced it with the modern flag. It is notable in that it is one of the few flags employed by communist nations that do not feature any traditional communist symbols.