Recently I’m finding alot of rainbow flags strung all around the temples in Singapore. Earlier on, I mentioned to my mother about the rainbow flags hung in the churches of Toronto which symbolises LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual) Pride so mum thought that perhaps these flags were also similar ones. I’m not sure about Buddhist’s stand on LGBT issues but I doubt those flags had anything to do with that. =)

If you take a closer look at these flags you’ll realise that these rainbow flags aren’t of the same design nor do they have the same number of colors. They are very different in fact!

This is how the Buddhist flags look like:

the LGBT pride flag looks like this:

Pretty different I would say.

Curious about rainbow flags, I went to do a quick wikisearch and realised that there’s just so many versions of rainbow flags, each symbolising or representing different things.

There’s of course the pride flag, the buddhist flag, PACE flag (which is the italian peace flag), International cooperative movement flag and so on. (click on the links to view each one) It’s amazing to see that there is such a wide variety of rainbow flags around the world each with its own symbolic meaning.

Anyhow, back to the Buddhist flags. I wonder how many Buddhist here in SG actually know how the flag came to existence? Did you know it’s actually a pretty modern creation (designed in 1880) by a famous American Buddhist by the name of Colonel Henry Steele Olcott?  Apparently the colors on the buddhist flag represents the aura that Buddha emanated at the point of his enlightenment. I don’t know about you, but I do find it interesting.

Oh and the reason why there’s so many of these Buddhist flags hanging ard the Buddhist temples these days? Because Vesak day is coming! =) A public holiday! Hurrah!