Flag of Laos
|Design||A horizontal triband of red, blue (double height) and red; charged with a white circle in the centre (the diameter of white circle is four-fifths the height of blue band). |
The current Lao flag was designed in 1945 by Maha Sila Viravong, a famous Lao nationalist, intellectual, and scholar of traditional Lao literature, history, and culture. As one of the members of the Lao Issara government, he was tasked with creating a new Lao national flag that is to be distinct from the royalist flag (the red flag with the white three-headed elephant) that represented the monarchy of Luang Prabang, inspired in how Thailand in 1917 adopted the red-white-blue tricolour as its national flag over the traditional royalist flag (the red flag with the white elephant). In accordance with the establishment of the Lao Issara government and its first Lao constitution on October 12, 1945, Viravong's flag was adopted by the new government as its national flag until the French takeover in 1946. The Lao Issara, as a political movement, continued to use the flag in exile until its dissolution in 1949. Its communist-led successor, the Pathet Lao, re-used Viravong's flag to represent the movement until the fall of the royal government in 1975 when the Pathet Lao re-adopted it as the national flag. 
The red bands recall the blood shed for liberation. The blue band represents the Mekong River and prosperity. The white disk symbolizes the full moon against the Mekong River, but also signifies the unity of the people under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, as well as the country's bright future.