Flag of Cambodia. All the facts.

Cambodia – 12th Century Temple Flag

The national flag of Cambodia was adopted in June 1993 and has a one forth border of blue at the top and bottom.

The center banner is red and features a white 12th century temple with details outlined in red called Angkor Wat imprinted in the center. The temple is seen from the front view.

Cambodian Flag

Angkor is now the most popular pronunciation rather than the original Norkor.

The word Wat means temple. Over the years, the number of towers shown on the temple has changed from five towers to three towers.

Colors of the flag of Cambodia

The red and blue colors are traditional colors of the 9th century Khmer Empire.

In Cambodia, the flag is called the flag of national unity. The flag size has a ratio size of 2:3.

The blue color of the flag seems to surround the whole and was meant to symbolize the Royalty of Cambodia.

The center red color represents the Nation and the white is the Religion, which is primarily Buddhism.

The flag with these three colors was originally adopted in 1948.

It continued to be the national flag until 1970. With the re-establishment of the monarchy, it again became the national flag in 1993.

The flag is sometimes shown as a vertical banner. The vertical sides of the banner have a narrow blue stripe. This may be to allow space for the larger Angkor Wat temple. The red banner in the center occupies much more of the horizontal space. The white Angkor Wat temple is in the middle of the banner.

Cambodia has a roundel emblem that converts the temple imagery from the flag into a solid white temple placed in the middle of a red circle. The red disk is then encircled by a border of blue.

History of the Flag of Cambodia

In October 1887, the French proclaimed the Indochina Union. Cambodia was part of that Union, hence the French colonial influence was established and the introduction of the French language.

Resident or local governors were assigned a post in the provincial center of the Indochina Union. But the resident general claimed that Cambodia’s local governor was incompetent and he soon became a mere figure head.

With France’s tricolor flag flying over Cambodia, the French occupied most of the higher government positions. Cambodians weren’t even allowed to hold lower positions. Most of these went to the Vietnamese.

In 1940 during the beginning of World War II, the Japanese forces moved into Vietnam and displaced the French authority there.

Becoming more aggressive, they entered Cambodia in mid year of 1941. The Vichy French colonial officials were allowed to remain at their administrative posts.

At the same time, Thailand requested that Cambodia be returned Bangkok’s authority.

The request was rejected and Thailand invaded Cambodia. The Japanese intervened giving most of the territory to Thailand. Cambodia was allowed to retain Angkor.

In 1945, the Japanese dissolved the French colonial administration and urged Cambodia to declare its independence.

When the Allied forces occupied parts of Cambodia, many citizens were tried for collaboration with the Japanese and were sent into exile in France.

A draft of a treaty was prepared and offered by France in late 1948. However, it was never secured but Cambodians were granted control of the Administrative positions.

In July 1953, France announced that it was willing to grant true independence and freedom to Cambodia.

The country assumed command of the judiciary at the end of August. They also declared full independence from France during November 1953.

The country’s ruler, King Norodom Sihanouk, was overthrown in March 1970 by the Khmer Rouge. This overthrow destroyed many Cambodians and much of their culture.

The flag of Cambodia of that period was the flag of the Khmer Rouge which was a blue flag.

The upper left one quarter of the flag had a red square with the white Angkor Wat temple in white with red outlines to show the detail of the temple. On the upper right quarter of the flag were three equally placed five point stars.

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge adopted another flag, so we saw another change to the flag of Cambodia, which by then they had renamed Kampuchea.

This one was a solid red background with the temple displayed in bright yellow with rounded towers in the center of the flag. In the official description of the flag, the temple is merely described as monument.

The Flag of Cambodia changes again...

In January 1979, Cambodian forces were aided by Vietnam forces to gain total independence from the Khmer Rouge.

Cambodia forces had a similar flag except the temple had five towers that were drawn angularly. The United Nations stepped in and the Paris Peace Accord was signed in October 1992.

In 1989, the flag had the top half red and the bottom half blue. The yellow temple was placed in the center overlapping both the red and blue borders.

The flag of Cambodia was redesigned to today’s flag in 1993.

In addition to the flag of Cambodia, find out about learning French

More about Flags of Francophone Countries
Flag of Belgium | Flag of Benin | Flag of Burkina Faso | Flag of Burundi | Flag of Cameroon | Flag of Canada | Flag of Central African Republic | Flag of Chad | Flag of Congo | Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) | Flag of Djibouti | Flag of France | Flag of French Guiana | Flag of French Polynesia | Flag of Gabon | Flag of Guadeloupe | Flag of Guinea | Flag of Haiti | Flag of Laos | Flag of Lebanon | Flag of New Caledonia | Flag of Niger | Flag of Zaire

Flag of Cambodia
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