Mongolia is a country in East Asia with land borders with Russia and China. For most people interested in history, it is associated with the period of the Mongol Empire, the time of Genghis Khan. It was the largest empire, which included adjacent territories from the borders of Eastern Europe to Korea and from Siberia to Vietnam (according to some estimates 30 million km2).
This is what the modern flag of Mongolia looks like:
History of the flag
The Mongol empire had its own flag. History knows two empires (first and second) that lasted a total of three centuries (13th-15th centuries) and by the beginning of the 16th century had completely faded into history.
In 1480, a hundred years after the battle of Kulikovo, the Mongol-Tatar yoke in Russia was finally lifted.
After the fall of the state, the Mongol territory lost its sovereign rights, fell into the dependence of Manchuria and was considered its vassal territory, although with special rights. Nor did it have its own flag.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, Mongolia came up completely ruined and impoverished. A movement for independence gradually began to emerge in the country. In December 1911 the Mongols threw off the Manchurian yoke, creating their own state of a feudal-theocratic monarchy type. At that time, several variants of the flag were used, one of which was a cloth with a general red background and three pigtails, a gold-colored border on the edges and with the national symbol “Soyombo” in the center of the flag.
In 1921, after the revolution, the pro-communist government that came to power began to use a new version of the flag, consisting of a red cloth with the sun and the moon symbolizing the heavenly parents. In addition, the moon and the sun are part of the Indo-Buddhist religious and cultural heritage.
Three years later, after the establishment of the people’s republic, a new flag was approved that restored the image of “Soyombo,” with the lotus flower, a Buddhist symbol of purity and grace, at the bottom. Such a combination emphasized the sacred status of the Mongolian state and its perfection.
In 1940, the design of the official flag began to resemble the symbols of the USSR republics. In the center of the red cloth, surrounded by farm animals, was a picture of a rider galloping toward the rising sun.
The current official symbol of Mongolia was approved in February 1992. Before that, the flag of 1949-1992 had only a five-pointed star above “Soyombo”. It stood for the North Star and symbolized the movement toward socialism.
The cloth is rectangular in shape and consists of three uniform vertical stripes. The outer stripes are red and the middle one is blue. In the center of one of the red stripes (at the staff), the symbol of the people of Mongolia, “Soyombo”, is painted in yellow.
The flag of Mongolia includes red, blue and yellow.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
The blue color of the Mongolian symbol is the color of the sky. Red represents the color of fire, the flames of steppe fires, reminiscent of the national liberation revolution in the victorious 1921.
“Soyombo” – means the sun, the moon and the sign “anusvara”, signifying the point from which, according to Buddhist teachings, the universe originates.
“Soyombo” includes several signs that carry whole concepts. Its elements are interpreted only with reference to the state symbol. For example, the two central elements are not explained as “yin-yang,” despite the general resemblance.
Interpretation of the Soyombo:
- The sign of fire at the top, signifying dawn and rebirth, as well as expansion and continuation of the lineage. The flame with three tongues represents the prosperity of the people in three time periods: past, present and future;
- The moon and the sun, depicted below the fire, are ancient deities of the Mongols, signifying light and eternity. The legend of the heavenly parents reads: “Mongolian people whose father is a young month and whose mother is a golden sun”;
- In the central part, a sign resembling “yin-yang” is depicted. It is interpreted in Buddhist: “fishes that do not close their eyes and are symbols of the vigilance of the Mongolian people.”
- The top and bottom of the fish eyes are bounded by horizontal rectangles expressing uprightness, openness, honesty, fairness, and nobility. These figures are interpreted as an appeal: “Let everything above and below serve the people honestly.”
- Rectangular figures depicted vertically on the left and right signify fortress walls and demonstrate the idea that two friends are stronger than any fortifications;
- Triangles are martial symbols. According to the Mongolian interpretation the point turned down is a warning sign to enemies: external (triangle below) and internal (triangle above).
The golden color “Soombo” is considered a symbol of constancy and permanence.
Mongolia uses in all its symbols either the whole sign “Soyombo” or its individual elements. For example, the emblem of the People’s Revolutionary Army of 1921 looks like a star with the national symbol in the center.
The Air Force emblem, on the other hand, contains only the sign “Soyombo”.
In addition, others apply:
- banner of the armed forces;
- ground troops;
- Air Force.
Interesting facts about the flag
The history of the Mongolian state knew many ups and downs, ruin and rebirth. It included territories that were themselves states with attributes in the form of a flag. In ancient times, for example, these were:
- Golden Horde;
- Chagatai ulus;
- Hulaguid state;
- Northern Yuan.
After independence in 1911, the head of the state was Bogdo Khan, the head of the Buddhists of Mongolia. At that time, along with the approved flag, another flag was also used: a square cloth with an orange border (the color of Buddhists) and three plaits, as well as a yellow square in the center.
A fuller version of the flag of the Bogdo-khan government looked different. The monarchy was abolished after the death of Bogdo-gahen in 1924, and the use of the flag disappeared by itself with the proclamation of the MNR.
General information about Mongolia
|Territory||1 564 116 km²|
|Population||3 256 176 people|
|Currency||Mongolian tugrik (MNT, code 496)|