Laos Flags – Everything about the National Flag of Laos

Laos Flag

Like the flags of other countries, the national flag of Lao People’s Democratic Republic also has its special meaning. Adopted on 12 October 1945 and readopted on 2nd December 1975 when the communist Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) toppled the King and took over the government, the current flag of Laos is one of the few communist-style flags not featuring a star.

Laos National Flag

If Thailand can be well described as an amazing modern country, Vietnam is renowned for its stunning landscapes, Laos enchants tourists with its unique serene beauty. Visiting Laos you will be drawn by the laid-back lifestyle as well as have an opportunity to admire the sunsets on the Mekong River. Check out our Laos tour packages to know more about this beautiful charming land.

Colors & Symbolism of the National Flag of Laos

The history of the Laos flag can be traced back to 1953 when the royal government and the Pathet Lao struggled for political power and the Pathet Lao succeeded by being an alliance of the royal government before taking over the rule. It was adopted by the royal monarchy of Luang Prabang since the beginning of the 20th century under French rule. Inspired by the flag Thailand, the Laos flag shares the flag’s color scheme. It includes three horizontal stripes and a white circle in the center. The top and bottom stripes are red and half the height of the center stripes, which is blue. The blue stripe represents the wealth of the nation as well as the serene Mekong River. The red stripes mean the bloodsheds in the fight for freedom. The white circle symbolizes national unity and the full moon.

The Flags of Laos as a French Colony

Background of Current Lao Flag

Designed in 1945 by Maha Sila Viravong who is a member of the Lao Issara government as well as a famous Lao nationalist, the current national flag is totally different from the royalist flag. This flag of Laos was adopted by the new government as its national flag in accordance with the establishment of the Lao Issara government and its first Lao constitution on October 12, 1945. As a result of a political movement, the Lao Issara continued using this flag in exile until its dissolution in 1949. Then, the Laos flag was re-used by its communist-led successor, the Pathet Lao to represent the political movement until the fall of the royal government in 1975 when this flag was readopted as the official national flag by Pathet Lao (now Lao People’s Democratic Republic).

Royal Standard of Laos flags 1949 1975

The Flag of Laos Kingdom

During the time from 1952 to 1975, the national flag of Laos was red with three white elephants standing on a five-level pedestal. The image of the triple-headed elephant illustrates the ancient name of the country, “Land of a Million Elephants”, and dating from the 19th century. Like other flags of Laos, this flag also has a special symbolic meaning. The five-level pedestal at the bottom shows the law on which the country rested. There is an image of three headed-elephant in the middle of the Laos flag which represents three former kingdoms Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Champasak which made up the country. Last but not least, the nine-folded umbrella on top of the elephant is said to be a royal symbol, originating from Mt. Meru in the Buddhist cosmology.

Flag of laos the Kingdom of Champasak Laos