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Diplomatic Flags (Thailand)

Last modified: 2018-04-14 by zachary harden
Keywords: thailand | diplomatic | ambassador | consul | elephant | chakra | coat of arms | circle (blue) | stripes: 5 |
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Ambassadorial / Envoy's Flag

[Ambassadorial/Envoy's Flag (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Phanuwit Woonchoom, 10 April 2018

Flag adopted 1917
There are two special flags used by the Thais for those persons holding a position within the Foreign Ministry. These are the Ambassadorial/Envoy's and Consular flags. The Ambassadorial/Envoy's flag is exactly the same as the Naval ensign; however, the disk upon which the elephant is placed is blue instead of red.
Sources: Flaggenbuch 1939; Smith 1980; Crampton 1989; Crampton 1990; and others.

Calvin Paige Herring, 16 May 1998

From the Singha Beer source:

In B.E.2470 [1927 AD], the Ambassador's flag underwent a name change, and was henceforth known as "The Embassy Flag". The flag was made up of the "Trairanga" with a dark blue circle in the middle. Inside the circle stands a white elephant – in full caparison – facing the flagpole. Subsequently, in accordance with a Royal Decree issued in B.E.2479 [1936 AD], it was renamed "The Ministerial Counselor's Flag", though the design itself remained unchanged. In B.E.2522 [1979 AD], the flag once again reverted to its former name – "The Ambassador's Flag" – following a special Royal Decree to the effect, and has been in use ever since.

Does all this mean that the "Ambassadorial / Envoy's Flag" above is the correct (ie. current) one? I think so.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

I can confirm Santiago's assumption that the flag is still used. A photo from the Royal Thai Embassy in the Philippines shows the flag used in the Ambassador's headshot (https://www.thaiembassymnl.ph/en/component/content/category/47-about-u), the Ambassador to Japan (http://m.mfa.go.th/main/en/media-center/30/65921-The-Itochu-Corporation,-paid-a-courtesy-call-on-H..html) and used by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs (http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/media-center/28/63842-Ambassador-of-the-Arab-Republic-of-Egypt-to-Thaila.html).
Zachary Harden, 13 April 2018

Ambassadorial Flag 1892-1912

[Ambassadorial Flag 1891-1912 (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Wikimedia Commons User "Sodacan", 11 April 2018

From the Singha Beer source:

The Ambassador's Flag B.E.2434 [1891 AD]
This is a red flag with a white elephant – in full caparison – standing on a raised dais, with its head facing in the direction of the flagpole. In the top right-hand corner stands a coat of arms containing the state insignia, beneath a flaming Chakkri, over which hovers a crown. [Like the War Ensign 1891-1917 with crown and coat-of-arms on the canton and a smaller elephant]

The flag, which was first created following a special Royal Decree (R.S.110), issued in B.E.2434 [1891 AD], concerning Siamese flags, was used by ambassadors posted overseas, as well as by consuls, emissaries of His Majesty, and members of the government special missions abroad. It is also known as "The White-Elephant-on-a-Dais" flag.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

For the first designed flag, it was used from 1892 to 1912 (we currently have it as 1873). The flag was based from the "Flag Regulations for the Kingdom of Siam" of Rattanakosin Era 110, 25th March B.E.2434. According to Thai vexillologist Suttipong Phuensaen, the date was put into the Siamese calendar at that time (New Year Day was 1st April), so in the Western Gregorian calendar, it was 25th March 1892 A.D.
Zachary Harden, 13 April 2018

Ambassadorial Flag 1912-1918

[Ambassadorial Flag 1912-1917 (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Wikimedia Commons User "Sodacan", 11 April 2018

From the Singha Beer source:

In B.E.2455 [1912 AD], King Rama VI ordered that the coat of arms, in the form of the state insignia, the Chakkri and the Crown above it, be replaced by a dark blue circle with a Garuda spreading its wings beneath the Royal Crown. This flag remained in use until B.E.2460 [1917 AD], when the "Trairanga" with the white elephant in the middle was introduced.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

Ambassadorial Flag 1918-1927

[Ambassadorial/Envoy's Flag (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Phanuwit Woonchoom, 10 April 2018

According to Thai vexillologist Suttipong Phuensaen, there was another flag before the current ambassador flag was adopted. An announcement from the Siamese Ministry of Navy dated 11 March 1918 (B.E. 2460) created a new flag for the ambassador in response to the change to the tricolor national flag. The new flag was the national flag with a white elephant placed in the middle blue stripe. The flag was changed to the current pattern after an announcement from the Siamese Ministry of Navy dated 28th June 1927.
Zachary Harden, 11 April 2018


Consular Flag

[Consular Flag (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Phanuwit Woonchoom, 11 April 2018

Flag adopted 1917

"The Consular flag retains the blue disk which defaces the national flag, but the elephant is just a plain ordinary Asian elephant. There are no fancy trappings, or, to the more astute vexillologist or herald, the elephant is not caparisoned." Sources: Flaggenbuch 1939; Smith 1980; Crampton 1989; Crampton 1990; and others.

Calvin Paige Herring, 16 May 1998

From the Singha Beer source:

The Consul's Flag (B.E.2470) [1927 AD]
This flag [identical to the "Consul's Flag" above] is similar to the "Trairanga" except for a dark blue circle which touches the bottom and top of the upper and lower red stripes respectively. Within the circle stands a white elephant, facing in the direction of the flagpole, but without any of the usual trappings.

The Consul's Flag is used by Thai Consuls stationed overseas. Like the Ambassador's flag, it first made an appearance in B.E.2434 [1891 AD] following a special Royal Decree. Up until B.E.2470 [1927 AD], the flag's design underwent a number of changes until the flag shown here was introduced. Despite changes made to various flag in accordance with several Royal Decree, the Consul's Flag has remained unchanged to this day.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Nov 1999

Consular Flag 1892-1912

[Consular Flag (Thailand), 1873-1912] image by Zachary Harden and Wikimedia Commons User "Sodacan", 11 April 2018

The 1873-1912 consular flag was the same as the ambassador flag minus the "chakra" and royal crown above the royal arms.
Zachary Harden, 13 April 2018

Consular Flag 1912-1918

[Consular Flag (Thailand), 1873-1912] image by Zachary Harden and Wikimedia Commons User "Sodacan", 11 April 2018

The 1912-1918 consular flag was the same as the ambassador flag minus of the royal crown above the Garuda.
Zachary Harden, 11 April 2018

Consular Flag 1918-1927

[Ambassadorial/Envoy's Flag (Thailand)] image by Zachary Harden and Phanuwit Woonchoom, 10 April 2018

According to Thai vexillologist Suttipong Phuensaen, the consular flag was the same as the ambassador flag during the 1918 to 1927 until a distinctive flag was designed.
Zachary Harden, 11 April 2018