Cambodia Flag History: The national flag of Cambodia consists of 3 horizontal bands – blue (top), red (double width), and blue (bottom) – with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat made public in black within the center of the red band. The national flag of Cambodia in its present form was originally adopted in 1948 and readopted in 1993, after the Constituent Assembly election in 1993 and restoration of the monarchy. The Cambodian flag is just one of four state flags that feature a building.
Meaning of the Cambodia Flag
The colors of the flag of Cambodia hold great significance to the nation. The two colors represent the bravery of the nation, liberty, cooperation and brotherhood. The flag also features a depiction of the Angkor Wat, which symbolizes justice, heritage and integrity. Combined, these elements also represent the nation’s religion, the king, and its people.
- Red: the bravery of Cambodians which is clearly revealed through the wartime. This color also represents the nation of Cambodia.
- Blue: the sense of liberty, cooperation, and brotherhood of the whole nation. It is also the symbol of the country’s monarchy and the King.
- White of Angkor Wat: the religion and beliefs of the country – Buddhism, and the virtue of purity which relates to the structure of the universe.
- Angkor Wat: the integrity, justice, and heritage of Cambodia. It is also the great spiritual and cultural role among people in this country.
There are three colors used in the Cambodian flag. The flag features two blue horizontal stripes at the top and bottom of the flag. A red band that is double the width of the blue bands runs through the flag’s center. The Angkor Wat is depicted in white in the center of the flag. The color red is designed to represent bravery. The color blue represents cooperation, livery and brotherhood.
History of the Khmer Flag
One of the first known flags flown in what is now Cambodia was the flag of the Khmer Empire, which was flown before 1863. This was a green and yellow pennant flag. Throughout the years, the nation had several flags that were used in vary regime:
Pre-1863 Flag of the Khmer Empire
The pre-protectorate flag was a yellow triangular pennant with a thick green.
Flag during French Protectorate (1863-1948)
In 1863 the Kingdom of Cambodia was a colony under the protection of France. It is the first Cambodian flag probably came into existence around 1863 and was used. The flag adopted was a red field with thick blue border and a white representation of Angkor Wat in the center.
The first Cambodian flag most likely came into existence around 1863 and was used, with solely variations, until 1948. it had been a red field with a blue border and a white illustration of Angkor Wat within the center. The image relies on the image in Flaggenbuch; a distinct variant is shown within the Flag Bulletin article: the Angkor Wat is drawn like within the current flag.
Japanese-Occupied Cambodia (1941-1945)
In the March of 1941 the Japanese took control of Cambodia and adopted a flag that featured a red field with an outline of a square with a smaller white squares in the center and each corner. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945 the flag reverted back to that of the French Protectorate.
The Flag of Kingdom of Cambodia (1948-1970)
A new flag was adopted on 20 October 1948, this flag was used until Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970. It was reestablished in Cambodia itself 30 June 1993 to present day. It consists of 3 horizontal bands – blue (top), red (double width), and blue (bottom) with the Angkor Wat in white in the center.
The Flag of Khmer Republic (1970–1975)
The Khmer Republic led by Lon Nol overthrew Sihanouk in 1970 and on 9 October 1970 a new flag was introduced. It showed a blue field with a red canton; in the canton a white representation of Angkor Wat (three towers), in the upper fly corner three white stars. This flag was used until April 1975.
The Flag of Democratic Kampuchea (1975 – 1979)
The Khmer Rouge established control of Khmer Republic in 1975 renaming the country Democratic Kampuchea. A plain red flag with yellow three-towered monument similar to the Angkor Wat was adopted as the national flag.
The Flag of People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979 – 1989)
After the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia 1979 the Salvation Front took power creating the People’s Republic of Kampuchea. The flag adopted was the plain red field with five towered m yellow monument similar to the Angkor Wat in the center.
The Flag of State of Cambodia (1989 – 1991)
In 1989 the country became the State of Cambodia and the flag became a red-blue horizontal bi-color with a more ornate yellow depiction of Angkor Wat at the center.
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1992 – 1993)
The United Nations took over administration of Cambodia in 1992 to bring peace to the country. The flag of the United Nations Transitional Authority was the sky blue field of the United Nations with a white map of country in the center with blue text at the center.
Kingdom of Cambodia (1993 to Present Day)
In 1993 the original blue-red-blue horizontal triband with white three-towered Angkor Wat at the center was adopted. Each element of the flag has a specific meaning. The red symbolized bravery, blue for liberty and cooperation, the Angkor Wat symbolizes integrity and heritage.