All of our printed Sri Lanka flags are made by a process called Dye Sublimation. This process impregnates the fibres of the fabric, the result is a flag that has very accurate colour, and importantly the design appears clearly on both sides of the flag. This is known as ‘printed through to reverse’ and is an important consideration when choosing your flag as both sides will be seen when flying.
|Adopted||22nd May 1972|
|Design||A gold bordered red rectangle with a yellow lion and four bo leaves next to yellow bordered green and orange vertical stripes.|
|Colours||PMS Yellow: 109 Green:361 Brown:150 Red:194|
In 1412 the Kingdom of Kotte controlled most of Sri Lanka. It had a flag made up of a plain white field with ornate blue and red leaved white border and a lion with a whip at the centre.
The Kingdom of Kandy was formed in 1469 and slowly took control of the central and eastern portion of Sri Lanka. The flag adopted was the royal standard and featured a gold and black bordered red field with Bo leaves and lion with a sword. This is similar to the right portion of the modern flag.
In 1521 a split of the Kingdom of Kotte lead to the creation of the Kingdom of Sitawaka whose flag featured a plain white field with double black border and a red elephant and leaves.
The Kingdom of Sitawaka would have fierce battles against the Portuguese who began taking over the island from 1567 and eventually taking over Sitawaka in 1594.
The flag of Portuguese Ceylon was the national Portuguese flag featuring a white field with a red-bordered white crowned shield with gold seven gold castles and five small blue shields in the shape of a cross.
From 1640, the Dutch East India Company began to govern most of modern day Sri Lanka. The red-white-blue horizontal Dutch flag with OVC in the centre was adopted.
When Ceylon became a British Crown Colony, around 1802, the flag flown would be a the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Alongside the Union Flag a British Blue Ensign with emblem of British Ceylon was adopted from 1815.
When the country was granted independence in 1948 a thick yellow, then black bordered red flag with knife wielding lion and four Bo leaves was adopted.
A gold bordered green and orange vertical bicolour portion was added to the flag in 1951 and the Bo leaves were more spear like. In 1972 the design changing slightly depicting rounder Bo leaves.
Each element of the flag has a specific meaning. The leaves represent Buddhist loving kindness, compassion, equanimity and happiness, the lion represents bravery and the Sinhalese people, the sword is bravery, curly represents hair wisdom, the tail is Noble Eightfold Path and the beard the purity of words. The red represents Sinhalese people, green the Muslim faith, orange Tamil ethnicity and yellow is all cultures.
The Emblem of Sri Lanka
The current Emblem of Sri Lanka was adopted in 1972.
The design features a blue/white bordered orange circle with a lion holding a sword in the centre surrounded by lotus leaves and rice grains with a blue Buddhist Dharmacakra able and a Sinhalese heraldic pot, sun and moon below.
The Historical Emblems of Sri Lanka
Portuguese Ceylon, Dutch Ceylon and British Ceylon all had similar coat of arms. They all featured shield with palm trees, mountains and an elephant. Dutch Ceylon included a crown.
The emblem of the Dominion of Ceylon featured a right facing lion with a sword inside a red circle and surrounded by lotus leaves and a blue and gold border. With a crown above and a banner below.
The Flag of the President of Sri Lanka
The Flag of the President of Sri Lanka was adopted in 2015.
It features a maroon filed with ornamental yellow border, leaves in each corer and a red, yellow and black lotus in the centre.
The Historical Flags of the President of Sri Lanka
Each president of Sri Lanka has had a flag they all have featured an ornamental border and a flower in the centre.
From 1994 to 2005 the flag of President Chandrika Kumaratunga was a yellow field with a red-white border, a white pipul leave in each corner and a red-white rosette in the centre.
From 2005 to 2015 the flag of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a dark burgundy flag with an ornamental orange, four roange leaves and a yellow lotus in the centre.
The Civil Ensigns of Sri Lanka
The Civil Ensign of Sri Lanka was adopted in 1972 and Is a red field with national flag top left. The Blue Ensign of Sri Lanka is a blue field with national flag top left.
The Flags of the Military of Sri Lanka
The President’s Colour of Sri Lanka was adopted in 1972 features the national flag defaced by the coat of arms.
The Flag of the Sri Lanka Army was adopted in 1972. It features a blue-orange-blue triband with the insignia of the Sri Lanka Army in the centre.
The Naval Ensign of Sri Lanka was adopted in 1972. It is a plain white field with the national flag top left.
The Air Force Ensign of Sri Lanka is a sky blue field with the roundel lower right.
The Flag of the Sri Lanka Police Service
The Flag of the Sri Lanka Police Service is a white field with two blue triangles meeting in the centre with the emblem of the police service.
The Provincial Flags of Sri Lanka
Each Province of Sri Lanka has a specific flag. Examples of these flags are below.