The national flag of Laos was officially adopted on the 2nd December 1975. It had been previously used by the Lao Issara short-lived government that was in power between the years of 1945-1946 (by Pathet Lao). It has three horizontal strips whereby the strip at the middle has its height being two times that of the upper and lower red stripes. At the middle of the flag sits a white disc whose diameter measures 0.8 times the blue stripe’s height. The Laos flag has a flag ration of 2:3 and it holds the record of being the only flag that belongs to a communist country currently without the five-pointed star as its emblem.
The current flag replaced Laos original red flag, which had a white elephant that was triple-headed on a pedestal that was beneath a parasol. This symbolized the ancient name of Laos, the “Land of a Million Elephants”, which dates back to the 19th century. The Pathet Lao has a flag that is blue in color and has a white disk as well as red borders which are at the flag’s top and bottom. Pathet Lao had from the year 1973 to the year 1975 formed a part of the coalition government, before it took power and abdicated the king. The Pathet Lao flag was then adopted as the official national flag which is also symbolic. The centrally located white disk represents the people’s unity under Lao People’s Revolutionary Party leadership and the bright future of the country. The red stripes stand for the blood that was shed in the freedom struggle while blue symbolizes prosperity.
Laos, since the year 1952 up until 1975 when the royal government fell, had its national flag that was red in color. At its middle there was a white three-headed elephant (also referred to as god Erawan). Atop this elephant, there was an umbrella that was nine-folded and the elephant itself stood on a pedestal that was five-level. In Southeast Asia, the white elephant is considered as a royal symbol that is common and the three heads refer to the former three kingdoms; Champasak, Vientiane and Luangprabang that make up Laos. The nine-folded umbrella symbolizes royalty and the pedestal was to represent the country’s law that Laos rested. The present Laos flag has since replaced the flag that was in use since the year 1952.