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Military Flags (Thailand)

Royal Thai Military

Last modified: 2011-07-01 by ian macdonald
Keywords: thailand | army | military | coat of arms | elephant | chakra | cak | crown: thai | trairanga | stripes: 5 | circle (blue) | text: thai |
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    Supreme Commander – Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces

    Supreme Commander / Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Supreme Command Headquarters
    [Supreme Commander / Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (Thailand)]
    [Supreme Command Headquarters (Thailand)] 2:3
    image by Suttipong Phuensaen, 19 Apr 2007 image by Suttipong Phuensaen, 19 Apr 2007

    Yellow-bordered vertically divided tricolour of red, dark blue and light blue and overall a CoS emblem. The emblem is a white anchor set though a yellow chakra with yellow wings (somewhat different artistically then the one in MoD flag) within a yellow wreath surrounded in lower part with five yellow five-pointed stars in an arch. This must be a newer joint-service flag.

    Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

    The Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces is called "Supreme Commander." His flag is a yellow-bordered vertically divided tricolor of red, dark blue and light blue and overall his headquarters’ emblem, surrounded with five gold stars. His headquarters are known as the Supreme Command Headquarters (SCHQ); their flag looks like the first one but has no stars. The significance of the colors: red for RTA, dark blue for RTN and light blue for RTAF.

    Suttipong Phuensean, 19 Aug 2007

    Chakra (wheel) on Thai Military flags

    Knowing that the first ships of the Thai Navy were steam ships, and having heard of the rather bizarre story that the Siam Steamship Company donated these ships to the Navy, I was wondering if this emblem could be the steampaddle wheels.

    "Mats", 13 Jan 1999

    Pedersen 1971 refers to them as rosettes but also has them with the points going the other direction [ie. clockwise]. The description of the naval jack in Flaggenbuch 1939 names the device as a chakra.

    Michael P. Smuda, 13 Jan 1999

    It is a chakra, the same religiously-related symbol as found on the flag of India, and some other flags of the region (Sikkim).

    Željko Heimer, 13 Jan 1999

    I have received from the Thai Embassy in Paris plates on rank flags, with these chakras used also for Minister of Defence and for the Chiefs of Joint Staff and Army Staff. Another plate received from the French attaché in Bangkok mentions "Chakra or wheel."

    Armand Noel du Payrat, 13 Jan 1999

    In the Singha Beer Thong Thai flag site, the devices in admiral rank flags are definitely called flaming Chakkras (with a double "k"), which is probably the most correct term.

    Santiago Dotor, 13 Jan 1999

    The wheels in Thai admiral flags are "discuses" (Cak). The discuses represent the rank of Thai admirals in the same way as stars represent American admirals.

    Wisarut Bholsithi, 29 Oct 1999

    Rank Flags Overview

    The Thai Wikipedia has an important article about current Thai Military rank flags. The Royal Thai Army (RTA)'s rank flags are red, ratio 2:3. For the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), the flags are navy blue, ratio 1:1. The rank flags of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) are light blue, ratio 5:6. Please see this page for Thai rank terminology.

    Note: the current version of the Admiral of the Fleet's flag has five chakras.

    Suttipong Phuensaen, 16 Mar 2007

    Unit Colors

    Site with several military flags (in Thai language): Page 1; Page 2.

    Valentin Poposki, 03 Sep 2006

    The top pair on the second page is a regimental colour in use during the first twenty years (at least – it is used in an illustration of a soldier of 1917-18) of the 20th century. The inscription along the red stripes is, apparently, a Buddhist mantra to help ensure victory. There doesn't seem to be anything to say which regiment it belongs to, unless it is somehow contained on the cravat / ribbons attached to the finial.

    From the illustration in the article, the sheet looks to be around one metre long.

    Source: Lierneux, Pierre, "L'arme/e du Siam 1914-45," in: Militaria, (204) July 2002, pp.17-20

    Ian Sumner, 05 Sep 2006

    The Thai Wikipedia has an important page about current Thai Military regimental colours (Army, Navy [same as Thai Naval Jack], Air Force and the Royal Guard's colour which has a white elephant in a red rectangular block in the center of the Trairanga.) The size of the Army and the Air Force regimental colours is 70x70 cm., while those of the Navy and of the Royal Guards are 70x105 cm.

    The two pages mentioned above are the Thai Ministry of Defense's Thong Chai Chalermphol (Thai Regimental Colours) site, presenting official information about these flags (in Thai only).

    Please note that, however, that the Thai Navy regimental colours at the MOD site are wrong according to the Flag Law.

    Suttipong Phuensaen, 16 Mar 2007