The colors and symbols on a flag are illustrations of the ideals of a country, reflecting the values, history and pride of its people. These are 10 historical flags of the enigmatic and enchanting, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and often referred to as the “Golden Land.”
1. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 2010 – present
The current, official flag of Myanmar was adopted in 2010. The new flag was introduced along with changing the country’s name.
The white star in the center represents the unity of the various ethnic groups which make up Myanmar. The yellow stripe represents solidarity, green for peace and tranquility, and red for courage and decisiveness.
2. The Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, 1974–1988; and the Union of Myanmar, 1988–2010
While Burma was a military junta, this flag displayed 14 stars representing Myanmar’s status as a union of 7 Burmese divisions and 7 ethnic states. The wheat stalks represent agricultre and the gear represents industry.
3. The Union of Myanmar, 1948–1974
This was the first official flag of modern Burma and and can sometimes still be seen on the rooftops of local houses.
4. The State of Burma, 1943–1945
The peacock is a symbol of the Burmese Empire and the Burmese emperor-kings. This flag was conceived during World War II, when Burma was unofficially controlled by Japan.
5. Flag of Japanese Burma, 1942–1943
The “Hinomaru” flag was flown in Burma shortly after the Japanese ‘liberated’ the country from the British.
6. Flag of British Burma, 1941-1942
This flag is based on the Third Burmese Empire flag. Some people feel this version should have been the flag of modern Myanmar.
7. Flag of British Burma, 1939–1941 and 1945–1948
Union Jack canton, with a peacock charge, taken from the flag of the Third Burmese Empire.
8. Flag of the British Raj, 1824–1937
Union Jack canton, with the insignia of the Order of the Star of India on the field.
9. The Third Burmese Empire, 1752–1885
This classic Burmese flag displays the national symbol – a peacock – on a plain white field.
10. The Hanthawaddy Kingdom, c. 1300s–1500s
Hanthawaddy was a southern Mon kingdom, centred around Pegu (Bago). The flag here is the hintha (hamsa) bird on a green field, and is the source of the flag of Bago. This hintha bird is the symbol of the Mon people.
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