Also called the Lion Flag, the flag of Sri Lanka features a golden lion holding a ‘kastane’ (a ceremonial Sri Lankan sword) in its right forepaw in a maroon background with four gold bo leaves, one in each corner. This is bordered by gold, and to its left are two vertical stripes of equal size in teal and orange, with the orange stripe closest to the lion. The flag was officially adopted in 1972.

Each element of the flag has a specific meaning. Listed below are the meanings of some of the major symbols.

1) The lion - The Sinhala ethnicity and the strength of the nation

2) Bo leaves - The four Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

3) The sword - The sovereignty of the nation

4) Orange stripe – Tamil people

5) Teal stripe – Muslim People

6) The maroon background - Sinhala people

7) The golden yellow border - Other minority communities of Sri Lanka and the unity among them

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