National Symbols

National EmblemEmblem_of_Bhutan.svg
The First Schedule to the Constitution provides that the National Emblem of Bhutan is a circle that projects a double diamond thunderbolt placed above the lotus. There is a jewel on all sides with two dragons on vertical sides. The thunderbolts represent the harmony between secular and religious power while the lotus symbolises purity. The jewel signifies the sovereign power while the dragons (male and female) stand for the name of the country Drukyul or the Land of the Dragon.

“Within the circle of the national emblem, two crossed vajras are placed over a lotus. They are flanked on either side by a male and female white dragon. A wish-fulfilling jewel is located above them. There are four other jewels inside the circle where the two vajras intersect. They symbolize the spiritual and secular traditions of the Kingdom based on the four spiritual undertakings of Vajrayana Buddhism. The lotus symbolizes absence of defilements, the wish-fulfilling jewel, the sovereign power of the people, and the two dragons, the name of the Kingdom.” – Constitution of Bhutan.

National Flag

imagesThe national flag of Bhutan is rectangular in shape and divided diagonally into two equal halves. The upper yellow half runs from the hoist to the upper fly end and symbolises the secular power and authority of King while the lower orange half symbolises religion and the power of Buddhism manifest in the tradition of Drukpa Kagyud. The dragon symbolises the name of the country and its white colour the purity of the country. The jewels in the dragon’s claws symbolise the wealth of the country and the snarling mouth of the dragon symbolises the protection of the country’s guardian deities. The national flag was first designed during the signing of Bhutan-India treaty of 1949. Then, it was square in shape, the lower half was red in colour, and the dragon was green in colour.

National Anthem
The national anthem first composed in 1953 became official in 1966 and finally placed in the Second Schedule of the Constitution, 2008. It is known as Druk Tshenden Kepay Gyalkhab Na (the Kingdom of Bhutan adorned with cypress trees).
“In the Kingdom of Bhutan adorned with cypress trees,
The Protector who reigns over the realm of spiritual and secular traditions,
He is the King of Bhutan, the precious sovereign.
May His being remain unchanging, and the Kingdom prosper,
May the teachings of the Enlightened One flourish,
May the sun of peace and happiness shine over all people.” – Constitution of Bhutan.

The first national anthem of Bhutan was known to have been composed by Dasho Thinley Dorji, the Chief Secretary. It was a 12-line verse. It was later shortened to the present length by Dasho Shingkhar Lam, the Secretary to the third King, and Sangay Dorji, his personal secretary.

National BirdRaven
The raven (Corvus corax) is Bhutan’s national bird for many symbolic reasons. The raven represents Bhutan’s protector deity Gonpo Jarog Dongchen (raven-faced Mahakala). The raven-faced protector deity is believed to have come to help Trongsa Ponlop Jigme Namgyal, the father of the first King of Bhutan, in the form of the raven in a war against British India. Later, Jigme Namgyal’s root lama, Jangchub Tsundru, designed a crown for Jigme Namgyal with the raven’s head. The crown, which was later modified for the successive Kings of Bhutan, came to be known as the Raven Crown. The Raven Crown is still the crown of the King of Bhutan and the most noticeable symbol of Bhutanese monarchy.

National Animal

downloadThe national animal of Bhutan is the takin (burdorcas taxicolor), a rare bovine associated with religious history and mythology of Bhutan.
The takin is a strange mammal with a thick neck and short, thick legs. It lives in groups and is found above 4,000 metres.
The origin of the takin is associated with the magical powers of Lama Drukpa Kunley, the Divine Madman of the 15th century. Once the lama known for his outrageous behaviours went to a social function and ate the whole carcass of a cow and a goat. After he finished his colossal meal, he collected all the bones of the two animals. Then he attached the skull of the goat on the body frame of the cow and snapped his fingers. At this, the skeleton of the two animals stood up like a living animal. The lama told the skeletal animal, “Go and eat grass. You haven’t eaten or drunk anything.” The animal walked to the nearby grassland to graze.” And this animal is the takin, the animal with the head of the goat and body of the cow.

National Flower4844479_orig

The national flower of Bhutan is blue poppy (Meconopsis horridula). It is a delicate, blue- or purple-tinged flower with white filaments. It is found above the tree line (at around 3,500-4,500 metres) on rocky mountainsides and grows to a height of about one metre.
Blue poppy was first discovered in 1933 by a British Botanist called George Sherriff in a remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan.

National Tree

cypressThe national tree of Bhutan is cypress (Cupressus torolusa). Cypress is a very special tree in the Bhutanese historical and cultural contexts.
Cypress grows in abundance in the temperate regions across the country and around temples and monasteries. Some cypress trees found near temples and monasteries are said to have grown from the walking sticks of some great religious personalities.

National SportBhutaneseArcher
The national sport of Bhutan is archery. The traditional Bhutanese archery was adopted as the national sport in 1971 when Bhutan became a member of the United Nations.
Archery has been the most favourite sport of the Bhutanese people for centuries. Archery matches have been dominating any celebratory public events. During medieval times, when wars were frequently fought, bow and arrows were used as weapons. Perhaps that is how the Bhutanese-style archery played across a long range (150 metres) evolved. Archery is today the most widely played sport in Bhutan, thanks to an increasing number of competitions offering handsome prizes.