Official Name and Flag
* Officially the Kingdom of Thailand
* Formerly known as Siam
* On July 20th, 1948, the Siamese constituent assembly voted to change the name of Siam to Thailand, the change to come into effect the following year. Muang Thai or Thailand means ‘land of the free’ and the name had been changed before, in 1939 under the fascist military dictatorship of Field Marshal Luang Phibunsongkhram, but the anti-Axis powers refused to recognise the new name after Siam allied herself with the Japanese and in 1942 declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom.
* The Trairanga or Tricolour (Thong Trairong)
The story goes that during the 1916 flood the king of Siam – since 26th June 1939 called Thailand – saw the national flag – red with a white elephant – hanging upside down. Because of the distress a new flag was adopted that could not be hung upside down. Initially it was a red field with two white bands, but on 28th September 1917, the middle stripe was changed to blue to show solidarity with the Allies during the First World War. The name of the flag is therefore Trairanga, meaning tricolour. The proportions of the flag are 2:3, while the stripes are arranged 1-1-2-1-1.
* King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), amongst other things, refashioned the flag of Siam in 1917, replacing the white elephant on a red field with the contemporary tricolor. Although not an official interpretation of the Thai flag, the prevailing view is that the central blue stripe represents the monarchy, the two white stripes are the Therevada Buddhist religion, and the outer red stripes represent the land or the nation. * In Thailand (...) the Thai National Flag was used everywhere and every school day started with a flag raising and the singing of Thong Chat (The Flag) either assembled in the school courtyard or in the classrooms. * During the reign of King Vajiravut (1910-1925) the flag was changed to the...