Flag of Bhutan
|Design||Divided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side. |
The original Bhutanese flag was a bicolour square flag divided diagonally from the lower hoist to the upper fly. The field of yellow extended from the hoist to the upper fly, and the red field extended from the fly end to the lower hoist. In the centre of the flag, at the convergence of the yellow and red fields, is a green Druk, located parallel to the bottom edge and facing the fly. The design of the flag is credited to Mayeum Choying Wongmo Dorji in 1947.
The second version of the national flag was developed in 1956 for the visit of the third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk to eastern Bhutan. During the trip the Druk Gyalpo's Secretariat began to use flags of a new design based upon a photograph of the first national flag of 1949, with the colour of the dragon changed from green to white.
Beginning in the late 1950s, Dasho Shingkhar Lam, former Secretary to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Sixth Speaker of the National Assembly (1971–74), was requested by the king to make several modifications to the flag; he is responsible for its current design, which has remained unchanged since 1969. The king was reportedly dissatisfied that the early square Bhutanese flags did not flutter like the rectangular Indian flag displayed on the visit of an Indian official to the country. The standard measurements of the flag of Bhutan were thereafter altered to resemble the flag of India, which was 9 feet by 6 feet.
In another change, the dragon, which had formerly been placed in a roughly horizontal position in the center of the flag, was repositioned to spread out over the diagonal dividing line between the background colours. This change sought to avoid having the dragon "face the earth" when the flag was hanging limp. Bhutanese artist Kilkhor Lopen Jada painted a new design for the druk in which the curves of the dragon's body are relaxed to create a somewhat longer and more gently undulating shape. The king also ordered the colour of the lower half changed from red to orange. 
The dragon, called the Druk (Thunder Dragon), is the emblem of the nation, its white color stands for purity and the jewels in its claws symbolize wealth. The background colors represent spiritual and secular powers within Bhutan: the orange is associated with Buddhism, while the yellow denotes the ruling dynasty.