National Flag of Bhutan
The national flag of Bhutan consists of a white dragon over a yellow and orange background. The flag is divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner, making two triangles. The upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange. The dragon is centered along the dividing line, facing away from the hoist side.
The upper half of the flag, which is yellow in color represents the secular authority of His Majesty the King.
The lower orange half of the flag represents Mahayana Buddhism, the state religion.
The dragon running diagonally across the middle of the flag is no ordinary dragon. This is the Thunder Dragon, and the country takes its name from this dragon. The indigenous name of Bhutan is Druk Yul meaning the land of the thunder dragon. The color of the dragon is white, representing the loyalty of the various ethnic and linguistic groups in the country. The country’s wealth and perfection are the jewels clasped in the dragon’s claws, protected by the strength of the deities expressed by the snaring mouth of the dragon.
Bhutan National Game
Dha (Archery) is the national sport of Bhutan. It is an exclusively male sport but women do participate of dancing accompanying the game and give verbal encouragements to the archers. In olden days traditional long bamboo bows and arrows are used but presently it’s replaced by more expensive and sophisticated imported compound bows. There are often two teams, wearing traditional Bhutanese dresses and competing with each other. Small wooden targets for archers are placed 120 m apart. They play especially in Bhutanses festival, holidays and some time it’s organized as national game competitions.
National Tree of Bhutan
Cypress (Cupressus torulosa) is the National Tree of Bhutan. Locally, it is known as ‘Tsenden’. Bhutanese consider the cypress sacred as well as holy tree. Its ability to survive in difficult, harsh terrains. Cypress is often planted outside monasteries, dzongs and religious places and its wood and branches has been used as incense for thousands of years. The essential oil extracted from root-wood of Cypress is used in medicine to cure inflammatory wounds, an antiseptic and to make cosmetics. It is often found at 1800-300 m in the Himalayas. Cypress is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 50 m of height and its trunk can have a diameter of 80 cm.
National Bird of Bhutan
The Raven (Corvus Corax Tibetanus) is known as Bhutan’s national bird. It represents one of the most powerful deities of the country (Jarog Dongchen) and raven in local language call as ‘Jarog’. The Royal Raven Crown or Druk Gyalpo represents Bhutan’s reverence for these birds and the faith of Bhutanese in their protective deity, along with Yeshey Gonpo (Mahakala) and Palden Lhamo (Mahakali) form the Divine Trinity, who protects the King and the people of Bhutan from harm and safe guard their well being. You can see ravens nesting in monasteries and dzongs throughout Bhutan. In 1885, the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal (father of HM Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan) wore the Raven Crown to the war with the British as his helmet. Since then, it became a model for all future crowns of the Wangchuck dynasty.
National Animal of Bhutan
The Taken locally known as Dong Gyem Tsey. It is unique, rare and native to Bhutan. It is closely associated to religious history and mythology of the country. There are more than 1,000 takin flourishing in the Jigme Dorji National Park and other areas of Bhutan. They are bulky and large and yet can move very fast on the high ridges. It’s mostly found in sub alpine forests and meadows above 3700 m. Takins mate in the summer and their gestation period lasts for 7 to 8 months. Usually, a single calf is born between December to February. The young ones are black while adults have golden yellow and brownish coat.
National Flower of Bhutan
The National Flower of Bhutan is blue puppy and locally known as ‘Euitgel Metog Hoem’. Its biological name is Meconopsis grandis. They are found along high mountain passes from the far eastern parts of the country across to the west.. Blue poppies used to grow abundantly at the Chelela pass. It is one of the rarest flowers in the world and its stems have 4 to 5 flowers According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in Bhutan, about 150 blue poppies were spotted here in the 1990s but the numbers depleted to only 11 in 2002. There are four types of blue poppies were identified at the Chelela Pass. The rare ‘Meconopsis napaulensis’ is on the verge of extinction in the area, which could further lead to disturbance in the ecosystem of the area. Transplanted blue poppies do not grow properly and the best way to sow the seed. There are 13 types of endemic Blue Poppies have been identified all over Bhutan, strewn all over the alpine region across the country. Blue Poppy is a hardy perennial flowering plant. It is herbaceous and blooms in summer. The flowers are huge and are about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Its plants can be two feet tall and can grow from sunny to partial shade areas.