National Symbols

flagNational Flag: The National flag of Bhutan is divided diagonally into equal yellow and orange halves. The division starts from the lower corner of the flag where it is hoisted and runs along the diagonally opposite corner. The yellow portion lies on the upper part of the diagonal division and it represents the yellow scarf worn by His Majesty, which in turn represents the being of His Majesty, the King. The orange portion lies on the lower part of the flag and it represents the orange scarf worn by the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot). The religious head of the country. The National Flag has a white dragon which spreads equally along the diagonal division towards the upper end. The dragon holds norbu (jewel) by its claws.

EmblemNational Emblem: The national emblem, contained in a circle, is composed of a double diamond thunderbolt placed above a lotus, surmounted by a jewel and framed by two dragons. The double diamond thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power; which results from the Buddhist religion on its Vajrayana form. The lotus symbolizes purity; the jewel sovereign power; and the two dragons, male and female, stand for the name of the country-the thunder.

National Dress: Bhutanese men wear gho, which are longish robes tied around the waist by a cloth belt, known as kara. The womens ankle-length dress is known as kira, which is made of bright colored fine woven fabric with traditional patterns. The women of Bhutan are known for their dark good looks and graceful manner. Their beauty is only enhanced by the intricately woven kiras they wear. Kiras are the national dress for women in Bhutan.

National Game: The national sport of Bhutan is archery, and competitions are held regularly in most villages. It differs from Olympic standards in technical details such as the placement of the targets and atmosphere. There are two targets placed over 100 meters apart and teams shoot from one end of the field to the other. Each member of the team shoots two arrows per round. Traditional Bhutanese archery is a social event and competitions are organized between villages, towns, and amateur teams. There are usually plenty of food and drink complete with singing and dancing. Attempts to distract an opponent include standing around the target and making fun of the shooter’s ability. Darts (khuru) is an equally popular outdoor team sport, in which heavy wooden darts pointed with a 10 cm nail are thrown at a paperback-sized target ten to 20 meters away.

Other traditional sports include degor – a kind of shotput, and wrestling. Today, most international sports, such as soccer, basket ball, volleyball, tennis, and table tennis are becoming popular.

National Day: On December 17 it is celebrate as National Day in commemoration of the accession of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk, the first king of Bhutan to the throne in Punakha Dzong in 1907.

birdNational Bird:Raven (Corvus Corax Tibetanus)
Its symbolism is wrapped in mysticism and yet occupies a realistic place in our history. According to legend, a manifestation of our guardian deity, Yeashi Goenpo, took the form of the raven (local name Jarog Dongchen). Raven lent its name and features to the crown of the king of Bhutan.


National Tree:
Cypress (Cupressess Corneyana): History tells that Bhutan was once known as “Tsenden Mengyi cypressJong” which means “the valleys of Cypress and Herbs”. This is because cypress trees were found growing in abundance as they still do. Another we believed to have been planted by Guru Padmasambhava during his visits to Bhutan. It therefore, signifies the wealth of the country in terms of
natural resources and the deep-rooted religious values that the Bhutanese possess. It has green leaves all the year round. Compared to other trees, its leaves do not resemble needles. Its leaves are narrow, thick and leathery. Drooping leaves make tree look graceful. Trunk erect and ridge with grayish brown bark which flake of in short, thin strips, Life span of centuries. It grows naturally in Bhutan between 2500 – 3000 m but it is also planted at lower altitudes.

takinNational Animal: Takin (Budorcas Taxicolor)
Takin( Locally called Don Gyem Tsey) is a rare animal found only in the eastern Himalayas. It is a strange looking animal with the head of a goat and the body of a cow/bull. Because of its uniqueness and its strong association with the country’s religious history and mythology it is consider as our national animal.

Blue PoppyNational Flower: Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Grandsis)
The blue poppy is found in the alpine of Bhutan and is mostly sought after for use in the manufacturing medicines and is rarely found.