Sri Lanka flag
Sri Lanka flag
The flag of Sri Lanka consists of a gold lion, holding a kastane sword in its right fore paw, in front of a dark red background with four golden bo leaves, one in each corner. Around the background is a yellow border, and to its left are 2 vertical stripes of equal size in green and saffron, with the saffron stripe closest to the lion.




Sri Lanka flag - facts at a glance
Nickname Lion flag
Adopted 22 May 1972
Proportion 1:2
Use State & Civil flag


    Sri Lanka flag


Sri Lanka flag colors - meaning/symbolism
Maroon on the Sri Lankan flag represents the Sinhalese and the Buddhist faith
Orange on the Sri Lankan flag represents the Tamils and the Hindu faith
Green on the Sri Lankan flag represents the Moors and the Islam faith
Gold border of the Sri Lankan flag stands for the unity in diversity


Flag of Sri Lanka
Meaning, symbolism, and significance
of the golden lion on the Sri Lankan flag
The Golden Lion represents the Sinhalese ethnicity and the kastane sword in its right fore paw stands for the authority and bravery of the nation


Flag of Sri Lanka

Meaning of Bo leaves on Sri Lankan flag
The bo leaves represent Buddhism. The four Bo leaves stand for the four virtues - Mettha (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Upeksha (equanimity) and Muditha (happiness). Siddhartha Gautama sat under a bo tree when he attained the enlightenment and became the Buddha (“Enlightened One”)


Golden Lion of Sri Lanka

Symbolism of the golden lion
The eight hairs on lion's tail symbolize the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. The handle of the sword represents the four elements - water, fire, air, and earth - that the country is made of. The nose of the lion stands for intelligence. The beard of the lion stands for purity of words.


Flag of Sri Lanka
Earliest Sri Lankan Flag

History of the Sri Lankan flag
Prince Vijaya, the founder of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka from India in 486 BC. His Lion Flag has been the chief flag of Sri Lanka for most of its history. In 162 BC, when King Dutugemunu defeated the South Indian invader Ellalan, he carried with him a banner which portrayed a lion carrying a sword in his right forepaw along with the Sun and the Moon.


Flag of Sri Lanka
British Ceylon Flag (1815–1948)
British Ceylon Flag (1815–1948)
The Lion flag was in use until March 2, 1815 when the reign of the last King of the Kandyan Kingdom, King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, was brought to an end with the Kandyan nobility's signing of the Kandy convention, proclaiming King George III as King of Ceylon and replacing the Lion flag with the Union Flag as the national flag of Ceylon. The Lion Flag was taken to England and kept at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, UK




Flag of Sri Lanka
Ceylon Flag (1948–1951)
Ceylon Flag (1948–1951)
As the independence movement in Sri Lanka gained strength in the early 20th century, E. W. Perera, a prominent figure of the independence movement with the help of D. R. Wijewardene discovered the historic Lion flag in Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, UK. A picture of it was subsequently published in a special edition of the Dinamina newspaper to mark 100 years since the end of Sri Lankan independence. The Lion flag inspired patriotism among the people and when Sri Lanka achieved its independence on February 4, 1948, a new Lion Flag, based on the historic Lion flag, was adopted as the national flag.


Flag of Sri Lanka
Ceylon Flag (1951–1972)
Ceylon Flag (1951–1972)
In 1951, the national flag of Sri Lanka was modified to represent minorities of Sri Lanka. A parliamentary commission proposed few changes - the yellow border of the Lion Flag was extended around two vertical stripes placed near the hoist, green for the Muslims and orange for the Tamils (Hindus) The national flag with the new design was made official on March 2, 1951.


Flag of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Flag (1972–present)

Sri Lanka Flag (1972–present)
Prior to 1972, the national flag had four yellow spires, one on each corner of the crimson area. They represented the Buddhist shrines as the spires are usually placed on the tops of Hindu and Buddhist temples. In 1972, the four yellow spires were replaced by four leaves of the Bo tree under the direction of Nissanka Wijeyeratne. The four Bo Leaves represent the core principles of Mettha (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Upeksha (equanimity) & Muditha (happiness).


    Flag of Sri Lanka


    Sri Lanka flag image

    Flag of Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka flag image


World flags
South Africa flag
South Africa


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