The Kingdom of Cambodia is a state located in southeast Asia. Its population is more than 16 million people. The most widespread ethnic group is represented by the Khmer: 80% of the total population of the country belongs to them.
This is what the modern flag of Cambodia looks like:
History of the Cambodian flag
Before the sixth century the Khmer had no statehood as such: the territory was ruled by separate principalities. They did not have any distinctive symbols either. But gradually the isolated lands began to unite, and the Khmer Empire became a strong and independent state.
Considering the history of the appearance of the official flag of Cambodia, we can distinguish several stages. The appearance of the cloth managed to change ten times.
- The period from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century in the history of Cambodia is called the “dark times. At that time the flag looked like a white cloth with a yellow triangle. The triangle was encircled by a thin green outline.
- The next version of the flag was considered and approved in 1863. It was considered a symbol of the French protectorate: in this state of affairs one state was under the protection of another. The banner was a red cloth with blue inserts. In the center there was an image of the Angkor Wat complex. With minor changes, it survived for almost a hundred years.
- During World War II, the territory of Cambodia was occupied by Japanese troops. During these years, the flag used in the state was a red cloth with a white map of Angkor Wat in the middle. However, a number of scholars cast doubt on this information: no evidence has survived.
- The next version of the state symbols was approved in 1948. In general, it retained the stylistics of the once existing one and looked like a tricolor with two blue stripes and one red. The complex building was also left on the cloth. In 1970 the flag was abolished when Cambodia was proclaimed a republic.
- There is a military coup in the kingdom that removes the current Prince Norodom Sihanouk from power. General Lon Nol introduces a new version of the national flag. It features the same colors, but additionally depicts three stars. However, the royal government does not recognize the updated reforms and continues to use the old version of the flag.
- In 1975 the Khmer Rouge came to power: the Lon Nol regime was overthrown. Only red flags with the yellow silhouette of Angkor Wat are used in Cambodia. The color symbolized the revolutionary movement and the determined struggle for the country’s well-being.
- At the time of the Vietnamese occupation, Cambodia was proclaimed the People’s Republic of Kampuchea. The red color on the canvas now symbolizes the blood of Cambodians spilled for the ideas of the socialist revolution. The five towers on the silhouette of the temple communicated the unity of all sectors of the population: soldiers, intellectuals, and the working class.
Although this version of the flag was used quite actively, it did not spread abroad. The Heng Samrin regime reigning at that time had no international recognition; one had to be content with the support of individual countries of the socialist camp. These included the Soviet Union and Vietnam.
- In 1989, Vietnamese troops begin to withdraw from Cambodia. De-ideologization of state symbols takes place: the role of ideologies is significantly reduced. A new constitution is adopted: the People’s Republic of Kampuchea is renamed Cambodia. The flag is now a fusion of two stripes – red and blue. In the center traditionally rises the building of Angkor Wat with five towers in a yellow image. However, this is no longer a schematic silhouette of the famous temple, but its careful and elaborate drawing.
- In 1992, an interim body was established at the UN. Its main purpose was to act as a transitional administration. Their flag was a blue cloth with a white map of the country. The name of the state was written in Kampuchean – Kampuchea. The symbolism was abolished about a year later, after the restoration of the kingdom.
- In 1993, the flag of 1948 was reapproved. There have been no changes since then.
The current version of the flag of the Kingdom of Cambodia consists of a rectangular cloth with an aspect ratio of two to three. The symbol features three horizontal stripes of different sizes: blue and red. In the center is drawn Angkor Wat, a popular temple complex built in the first half of the twelfth century.
The flag consists of three bold lines:
- The upper and lower bands on the flag are blue.
- The middle red one occupies the middle of the width of the cloth.
- The temple is depicted in white.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
The colors and images on the canvas can be interpreted as follows:
- Blue is the embodiment of monarchy, the ruler of the country is considered a mediator between the Higher Powers and the common people. According to another version, it is the color of the sky and a sign of purity of thought.
- Red is the symbol of the people and their courage.
- White speaks of commitment to the religion of Buddhism, as well as justice.
- The drawing of the temple is a conventional image of the universe. The Angkor Wat complex is officially recognized as the largest religious building on the planet in terms of occupied territory. It is dedicated to the god Vishnu – the main guardian of the entire universe.
Angkor Wat is built like a temple-mountain. It is a truncated pyramid with three tiers. The only entrance is on the west side. Its name can be literally translated as “city. The legendary structure is often compared with the Greek Olympus, where the gods lived, and the temple of Zeus.
We can conclude that the symbolism of the flag means a triad:
Cambodia is a country with a rich history, but very young for tourism. Everything here is interesting and imbued with national colors.
General information about Cambodia
|Territory||181 040 km2|
|Currency||៛ Riel (KHR)|