National Flag

The necessity of a National Flag was discussed even before Sri Lanka gained independence on February 4th, 1998. Mr. A. Sinnalebbe, MP for Batticaloa table a motion in the State Council on January 16th, 1948 suggesting that the Lion Flag of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe which was taken to Brirain in 1815 should be made the National Flag. This was debated and later Prime Minister Rt. Hon. D.S. Senanayal named an Advisory Committee for the formulation of a National Flag. The Member of the Committee were Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (Chairmen), Sir John Kotalawela, Mr. J.R. Jayewardene, Mr. T.B. Jayah, Dr. L.A. Rajapakse, Mr. G.G. Ponnambalam and Senator S. Nadesan.

Although a Committee for the formulation of a national flag was appointed no finality had been reached when the first independence day was celebrated on Fenruary 4th, 1948. However the Lion Flag fluttered on that day. The Lion Flag and the British Union Jack fluttered on the occassion of the opening of the first Parliament of independent Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) on February 19th, 1948. Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake unfurled the Lion Flag at the Octagon (Pattirippuwa) during the independence celebration held in Kandy on February 12th, 1948.

The National Flag recommended by the special committee was presented to Parliament by Mr. D.S. Senanayake on March 2nd, 1951 and adopted. It had two strips, one green and the other yellow. Each of these strips had to be equal to one seventh the size of the fgal.

When Sri Lanka was first made a Republic in 1972 the traditional Bo Leaves depicted in the National Flag were changed to resemble natural Bo leaves. The amended flag was first unfurled at the Republic Day celebration held on May 22nd, 1972. The National Flag is incorporated in Section 6 Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Democcratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka of September 09th, 1978.

Except for the new Bo leaves the present flag is the same flag recommended by the National Flag Formulation Committee on March 2nd, 1951.

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