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Panchashila flag of Buddhism represents five noble qualities of the Buddha
Most religions have an emblem and a flag. Buddhism did not have a flag for a long time. It was in 1952 that World Buddhist Congress accepted a flag as its symbol, which was jointly designed by J.R. de Silva and Colonel Henry S. Olcott to mark the revival of Buddhism in 1880 in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.

The accepted Buddhist flag has the colours of the aura that the Buddha was believed to have shone around his head after attaining enlightenment. The first five stripes of the flag are of five colours representing the tenets of Buddhism, and is now regarded as the 'standard Buddhist flag'. In the flag, blue is for universal compassion; yellow for the middle path; red for blessings; white for purity and liberation; and orange for wisdom. The flag is meant to symbolize the unity of Buddhists.

Although the standard Buddhist flag is also used in Japan, however, there is another widely used flag with green, yellow, red, white and blue colors, which represent five Dhyani Buddhas worshipped by many Buddhists in Japan.

The Buddhist flag, as a symbol of Buddhist identity, is also called the ‘Flag of Sila of Pancha’ or ‘Pacnchashila Flag’ and is also regarded as a symbol of the rebirth of the dhamma in modern times. The true message of Buddhism can be got from the following dialogue of the Buddha.

A man asked Gautama Buddha, "I want happiness." Buddha said, "First remove "I", that’s Ego, then remove "want”, that's Desire. See now you are left with only "Happiness.

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