New Flag Flying in Burma
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, October 23, 2021


New Flag Flying in Burma

By THE IRRAWADDY Thursday, October 21, 2010

The new Burmese flag, featuring green, red and yellow stripes. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

A new junta-designed flag is flying across the country, the first time in 36 years since the former ruling Burmese Socialist Programme Party changed the 1947 independence-era flag in 1974.

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According to sources inside the country, the old flag was replaced at 3 p.m. On Thursday in the capital of Naypyidaw, and at 3:33 p.m. at Rangoon’s City Hall, a decision that observers said was made based on advice from astrologers. The new flag’s official launch comes 17 days ahead of the Nov. 7 elections.

The new flag will represent the Republic of the Union of Myanmar [Burma] under the junta-backed 2008 Constitution, adding a third flag to the history of the post-colonial Southeast Asian nation.

The new flag was an issue of controversy during the National Convention which drafted the 2008 Constitution, particularly among delegates from ethnic minority groups who said the flag symbolizes a unitary nation rather than a federal union.

Previously, the two flags of independent Burma were symbolically expressing “equal rights in the union” with stars representing ethnic minorities, a major difference in the new flag's design.

In September 2007, a new flag was proposed at the National Convention. The current flag, unveiled it at the end of the 14-year-long National Convention (1993-2007), consists of four colors— green, yellow and red horizontal stripes with a white star in the center of the flag.

Green symbolizes peace and tranquility as well as Burma’s verdant environment; yellow for solidarity; red for valor and decisiveness, and white represents the consolidated union. Some observers said the flag is similar to the flag of Ghana.

A flag with a peacock in the center was used by the pre-war anti-colonial front of the We, Burmese, Association. During the World War II, the Burma Independence Army and the  Japanese-backed regime led by Ba Maw, used the tricolor flag with a peacock as the flag of the State of Burma.

A number of Rangoon residents told The Irrawaddy that the previous two flags of Burma under the 1947 Constitution and the 1974 Constitution better represented the country.

“I do not know about politics. But I feel the new flag is quite ugly, and it seems like the national flag from another country,” said a 22-year-old NGO staffer in Rangoon.

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tocharian Wrote:
Such an ugly flag, but it's perhaps symptomatic of the state of the country: corrupt, lawless and Chinese!

Myatye Moe Wrote:
I think the new flag doesn't hurt any one, nor devalue the Union of Burma. The junta has their own opinion on defining the colors of the flag. They also changed the country's name and some of the cities' names: Burma to Myanmar, Rangoon to Yangon, May Myo to Pyin Oo Lwin, Haka to Hakha etc..

They may change traditional official dress, Tait-pun & Lung-gy, to Western suits later. Who knows?

Chaw Wrote:
this looks just like the flag of Ghana. what was wrong with our old flag anyway? :(

chunkawgg Wrote:
Green is for the Taliban Military.
Red is for the communists under the military boot.
Yellow is like the KGB under the iron fist of military intelligence.
The white star is the sign of the central control of Naypyidaw military divison

Nagani Wrote:
We respect all the valid comments except those comments relating to copying Lithuania and such. Please refrain from making such naive comments before you do your homework. See the link of a quick research that we did when a new flag was proposed (prior to this final version):

KML Wrote:
The Burmese military junta has plagiarised the flags of Ghana and Lithuania.

Myanmar Patriots Wrote:
Thomas Wrote:
"I thought the Shans had taken over Naypyidaw!!"S

So what! Patriotic Burmese know the real spirit of Myanmars/Burmese (derived from Brahmah, not Bamar) is in Shan hearts. Burmese kings married Shan noble ladies. Shan lords (chieftains or Sawbwas/Saophas) were part of the Burmese monarchical system. We had Shan SawShwe Thike as President.

The last king Thibaw (bastard,literally) was son of a monk who had an affair with the daughter of Sawbwa of Thibaw (Thibaw Sawbwa as known in Burmese, Hsipaw Saopha in Shan) The daughter was betrothed to King Mindon, Mindonmin.

In 1879 there were two waves of massacres of true royals so that Thibaw could ascend the throne uncontested. Actually, Mindonmin's hand was guided to Thibaw's name whilst Mindonmin was on his death bed. Because of the massacres, the only pure royal blood of Burma is the family of Schwewbomin II, who has chosen to live in exile.

Nyi Nyi Wrote:
There is nothing to talk about this. This change of flag is just a medieval act by superstitious Than Shwe who rules Burma in the 21st centuary like an old kingdom. As for the design of the flag, green represents the military and that is why it is in the center and why the star sits mainly in the green area.

Thomas Wrote:
I thought the Shans had taken over Naypyidaw!!

NoFat Wrote:
NGO staffer is right. The national flag of Lithuania, just without the white star in the middle. These Asians are copying everything from europe.

jorhae Wrote:
The new flag of Burma is not a flag that represent the country. All ethnics will be cleansed by the regime, that is why there is nothing that represent ethnic groups. No matter what flags you made, this one you copy it from Ghana and the politics you play you ask permission from China to persecute the ethnics and citizens.

Yes, it's ugly & not an outstanding one.
The Shan may be happy as it looks like their flag. If the Junta uses a peacock in the flag it will be very symbolic & liked by many of us Burmese although some ethnics may not like it.

Myanmar Patriots Wrote:
We are in the know. Let us give it to you straight.
The new flag is NOT really new. It is the modified version of the patriotic flag that truly represents Burma, real Burma: Yellow is for Buddhism, green represents farmers, who are in the majority and provider of the nation's living and red for the brave soldiers who defend the state of Burma - in other words sovereignty.
The Peacock signifies MONARCHY, symbol not only of the king but also of all Myanmars: the monarch is embodiment of all the people/subjects.
The white star is the SPDC's wish. Fine--it represents the state. Better than Red star. Yes, it is a republic. So far so good. BUT remember, animals symoblise the spirit of nations; eg.double-headed eagle. Lion also as a symbol of the state. All these new-fangled republic symbols are cold and spiritless. In the case of India,the centre symbol or the 'CHAKRA',is a Buddhist symbol.

Sawpyaj Naythorn Wrote:
The military are crazy. I don't like this new flag. As a Burmese, this new flag means nothing to me. It is representing only the military. When Burma gets democracy we will use the previous one, not this ugly one.

kml Wrote:
I regret losing the country's impressive legacy, the existing Burma flag, although designed by the infamous BSPP.

The existing flag is far more impressive than the new one.

birbyzas Wrote:
Very similar to the Lithuanian flag.

Irish peh Wrote:
At the first look, I thought I was looking at one of those flags whcih we all saw and nearly strained our eyes. We might as well bring vovuzalas now so we can blow them. Is that soldier actually blowing one? In my opinion, the colours on a flag and the symbols won't mean anything unless there is a change along with it.
Burma is now having a new flag but will the people who raise it be new. If not, there is no point changing it.

MN Wrote:
It represents the military regime ruling the country forever.

Panglong Wrote:
For those who want to watch from the start what Shan Lay has shared...


Tiger Wrote:
If you say you aren't familiar with this flag's colors, I would say, "Observe more!!"... Watch this if you really wanna know, it is not far away from you...


Shan Lay Wrote:
I don't see that it's ugly at all! I just feel more like "When did the SSA defeat them (Military Junta)" and raise their flag there...

Sai Lu Wrote:
Rather than saying 'it seems like the national flag from another country,' 'why don't you just simply say it's like one of the Anti-Naypyidaw's armed forces, SSA (Shan State Army')?

Natshinnaung Wrote:
This new flag might have meaning for Than Shwe but it has no meaning at all. Our democratically elected representatives will do the job one day and it will be our true flag, not this one yet.

Kerry Wrote:
The military change the name of your country, but the world still calls it Burma.

Only the people of Burma can decide the future of their own country.

may lin Wrote:
Really, the Junta want to try to write the new history but it is vain in practice. The two flags clearly differentiate the country into two group; the old flag for the people, and the new one for the military junta. Even the ethnic groups in Burma will not be satisfied with the new flag. It means there can be no union in the future also.

k.brang Wrote:
I do not understand why the Junta want to erase the old flag of the Union of Burma. Really, the old one is more meaningful and relevant to the nature of the Union of Burma. I bet that the new flag will not bring the good future for the country.

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