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The National Flag Rules of Bhutan, 1972, Bhutan

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Latest Version in WIPO Lex
Details Details Year of Version 1972 Dates Entry into force: November 1, 2011 Adopted: June 8, 1972 Type of Text Implementing Rules/Regulations Subject Matter Trademarks, Other

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Main text(s) Main text(s) English The National Flag Rules of Bhutan, 1972        

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The National Flag Rules of Bhutan, 1972

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The National Flag Rules

The Legal Provisions of the National Flag of the Kingdom of Palden Drukpa as endorsed in Resolution 28 of the 36th Session of the National Assembly held on June 8, 1972

The national flag is the symbol of the Kingdom’s independence and sovereignty. It is also the main symbol of honour, and complete victory of the state in all directions. It will be hoisted where the heads of states visit, and during different state celebrations. The details of the system and procedures are as follows.

1. Description of the National flag

1. The yellow half holds the base from the top. It signifies civil tradition, and embodies His Majesty’s being who enhances the limits of his reign. Therefore, it signifies the basis of both monastic and civil traditions.

2. The orange half extends from bottom and forms the fluttering end. It signifies monastic tradition of Buddha’s teachings. Moreover, it signifies that the traditions of Kagyud and Nyingma flourish in harmony.

3. The dragon equally spreads over the borderline. This signifies the name of the Kingdom of Druk, having monastic and civil traditions.

4. The colour of dragon is white. It signifies that although there are many peoples in the kingdom whose conduct of body and speech are not similar, their inner thought and deeds are pure. They highly cherish patriotism, and therefore, the sacred bond between the sovereign and the people are untainted.

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2. Types of National Flag

Whatever be the length of a larger or small national flag, two third of it must be kept as the width. For example, dimension such as 9 by 6. the colours of the flag and symbols on it must be consistent with the clauses of codes of national flag. They should be proportionate to different sizes.

3. Respect for the National Flag

Wherever the national flag is hoisted, it must be accorded the same respect that is due to the Druk Gyalpo and the Bhutanese state.

a) It is not permissible to use the national flag as wrappers, covers or substitute for other cloth materials.

b) It is not proper to hoist it lower than other flags.

c) No objects should be placed over the national flag.

d) The national flag shall never be hoisted upside down.

e) While carrying the national flag, it is not permissible to drag it on the ground or drench it with water.

f) While hoisting and lowering the national flag, due respect and attention must be paid consciously.

4. General Code of Hoisting the National Flag

a) The national flag should always be hoisted in the capital, His Majesty’s palace, office premises of the civil service and armed forces, from sunrise to sunset.

b) Small flags can be hoisted on vehicles. The national flag of different sizes can be hoisted during auspicious celebrations according to the significance of the functions. However, a large national flag alone can be hoisted in the capital and at places where His Majesty and senior heads of the Kingdom resides.

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c) While due respects must be accorded when the national flag is hoisted or lowered, it must be handled appropriately if a military bugle is sounded.

d) The national flag with different sizes can be hoisted during sports day and other important events in schools, according it due respects.

e) It will remain hoisted from the beginning until the conclusion of the National Day celebrations.

f) The national flag must be hoisted in any place during the National Day.

g) It will also be hoisted while commemorating civilian and military heroes who has rendered great services to the state.

h) The national flag shall be hoisted at half-mast during mourning at particular times dedicated by the state.

5. Admissibility of Hoisting the National Flag

a) Starting from the capital, every dzongkhag will hoist the national flag.

b) Where there are no dzongkhag, the national flag will be hoisted in front of the office of the main government officer.

c) If officials above the rank of ministers do not reside near the capital, they can hoist the national flag in front of their residence.

d) In relation to the hoisting of the national flag by Bhutanese and foreign embassies, the ambassadors can hoist the flag according to their legal tradition.

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6. Custom of Hoisting the National Flag for Different Occasions.

a) His Majesty the King, and all officials who have received ministerial acarves can hoist the national flag in front of their residences both within and outside the country.

b) The representatives of his Majesty the King, and ambassadors of the state who are either travelling abroad on state missions or has special state commands are entitled for the national flag.

7. Entitlement for Hoisting National Flags on Cars

a) No matter how many officers travelling in a car are entitled to flags or how many flags different departments have, the national flag of only the senior officer must be hoisted, not of junior officers.

b) If the officers entitled to flags are of equal rank, the national flag of the country of visiting dignitary must be hoisted.

c) If there are two officers-one of the host country and the other a junior visiting dignitary - travelling in a car, the national flag of the visiting dignitary shall be hoisted on the car.

d) Irrespective of the rank of foreign and national leaders, the national flag of the host country shall be hoisted on the right side.

e) Except for the permission to hoist the national flag in front of dzongdag and thrimpon offices of a dzongkhag, they are not allowed to hoist on their cars.

f) His Majesty the king, Her Majesty the Queen, parents of the King, Je Khenpo, four lopen, ministers and deputy ministers are entitled to the national flag.

g) The Crown Prince or the eldest prince is entitled to flag car.

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h) Among the royal family, those who undertake responsibilities of the state above ministerial ranks are entitled to flag cars.

i) While His Majesty resides in the capital, no one is entitled to flag cars from the entrance to the interiors of the capital, excepting the Je Khenpo, the Queen, and parents of the King.

8. Different Legal Provisions of Handling the National Flag

a) The national flag must be carefully attended before hoisting it. Torn or defective flags cannot be hoisted.

b) Except for ministers and senior officials of the civil and armed forces, and persons of higher ranks, the national flag cannot be used to drape the remains of others.

c) While taking the national flag or storing it, it must be kept neat, according due respects.

d) Except for burning or storing away neatly, nothing should be done to defective national flag.

e) The signs of the national flag cannot be used as business logo.

f) Last, designs similar to the national flag cannot be imprinted on any other objects.

Shingkhar Lam Speaker The Great National Assembly of Bhutan


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WIPO Lex No. BT025