The national flag of Nepal is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag. The flag is a simplified combination of two pennants. The flag is of crimson red in colour – the colour of the National flower of Nepal, rhododendron. The blue border is considered the colour of peace.
The current national flag was adopted, with the formation of a new constitutional government, on December 16, 1962. The flag borrows the basic design from the original design having two pennants, which has been in use for more than 2,000 years. Before 1962 the sun and the moon in the flag used to have human faces.
Symbolic Meaning of the Flag of Nepal
Colours: The crimson red indicates the brave spirits of the Nepalese people. It is also the national colour and also the colour of the National flower of Nepal. The blue border symbolizes peace and harmony. The white colour in the sun and the moon are the colour of light and awakening.
Shape: The two triangles tips in the Nepali flag symbolize the Himalaya Mountains. The Northern part of Nepal is full of high Himalayas including the top peak in the world Mt. Everest. It also symbolistically incorporates the plains (Terai) and the hilly region by overlapping the two triangles towards the centre of the flag.
The flag’s shape is also symbolized as a Nepali architecture-style, popularly known as ‘Pagoda’. A pagoda shape can be obtained by placing a mirror at the hoist side.
Symbols The depiction of the celestial bodies, the sun and the moon in the flag represents permanence, the hope that Nepal will last as long as the sun and the moon. While the the sun symbolizes fierce resolve, the moon symbolizes that the Nepalese are soothing and calm. The moon also believed to symbolize the shades and the cool weather towards hills and the Himalaya region, whereas the sun symbolizes heat and high temperature at Tarai plains of Nepal.
How to build a Nepali flag?
A rough sketch of the flag is easy to make. But, a precise design is not so eaxy. The Constitution of Nepal has given a precise description of constructing the national flag. The 24 step geometrical design procedure of making the flag is as follows:
(A) Method of Making the Shape inside the Border
- On the lower portion of a crimson cloth draw a line AB of the required length from left to right.
- From A draw a line AC perpendicular to AB making AC equal to AB plus one third AB. From AC mark off D making line AD equal to line AB. Join BD.
- From BD mark off E making BE equal to AB.
- Touching E draw a line FG, starting from the point F on line AC, parallel to AB to the right hand-side. Mark off FG equal to AB.
- Join CG.
(B) Method of Making the Moon
(6) From AB mark off H making AH equal to one-fourth of line AB and starting from H draw a line HI parallel to line AC touching line CG at point I.
(7) Bisect CF at J and draw a line JK parallel to AB touching CG at point K.
(8) Let L be the point where lines JK and HI cut one another.
(9) Join JG.
(10) Let M be the point where line JG and HI cut one another.
(11) With centre M and with a distance shortest from M to BD mark off N on the lower portion of line HI.
(12) Touching M and starting from O, a point on AC, draw a line from left to right parallel to AB.
(13) With centre L and radius LN draw a semi-circle on the lower portion and let P and Q be the points where it touches the line OM respectively.
(14) With centre M and radius MQ draw a semi-circle on the lower portion touching P and Q.
(15) With centre N and radius NM draw an arc touching PNQ [sic] at R and S. Join RS. Let T be the point where RS and HI cut one another.
(16) With Centre T and radius TS draw a semi-circle on the upper portion of PNQ touching it at two points.
(17) With centre T and radius TM draw an arc on the upper portion of PNQ touching at two points.
(18) Eight equal and similar triangles of the moon are to be made in the space lying inside the semi-circle of No. (16) and outside the arc of No. (17) of this Schedule.
(C) Method of making the Sun
(19) Bisect line AF at U and draw a line UV parallel to line AB touching line BE at V.
(20) With centre W, the point where HI and UV cut one another and radius MN draw a circle.
(21) With centre W and radius LN draw a circle
(22) Twelve equal and similar triangles of the sun are to be made in the space enclosed by the circles of No. (20) and of No. (21) with the two apexes of two triangles touching line HI.
(D) Method of Making the Border
(23) The width of the border will be equal to the width TN. This will be of deep blue colour and will be provided on all the sides of the flag. However, on the five angles of the flag the external angles will be equal to the internal angles.
(24) The above mentioned border will be provided if the flag is to be used with a rope. On the other hand, if it is to be hoisted on a pole, the hole on the border on the side AC can be extended according to requirements.
Explanation: The lines HI, RS, FE, ED, JG, OQ, JK and UV are imaginary. Similarly, the external and internal circles of the sun and the other arcs except the crescent moon are also imaginary. These are not shown on the flag.
Ancient version of the flag, used before 1962: