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Thread: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

  1. #1

    Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    For a long while, I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a Buddhist flag.



    It was barely last year or more that I learned that there was such a flag. I read recently the wikie article.

    So. My question is....how accepted is this flag as a symbol of Buddhism in the US and/or throughout the Buddhist communities? :?:

    BTW...I am building a web page for our nascent sangha, so I wanted to be acquainted with most Buddhist symbols.

  2. #2

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    For a long while, I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a Buddhist flag.
    ...
    So. My question is....how accepted is this flag as a symbol of Buddhism in the US and/or throughout the Buddhist communities? :?:
    Hi Erik,

    I have not seen it widely used in the Zen community, but that may be Sangha by Sangha and I have seen it displayed some places (I can't recall where). The history says "The five colours of the flag represent the colours of the aura that emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained Enlightenment." I don't know how I feel about aurus, and I am not sure that we need a "flag" (not until we march into battle with the heathens! :twisted: ), but if you just take it as the rainbow that emcompasses all things, I think it fine.

    Also, one could take it to represent the qualities of a Buddha lists in the article ,, such as ...

    Blue: Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
    Yellow: The Middle Path - avoiding extremes, emptiness
    Red: The blessings of practice - achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
    White: The purity of Dharma - leading to liberation, outside of time or space
    Orange: The Buddha's teachings - wisdom


    (Soto Zen Practice might rephrase a couple of things in that list, by the way),

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    As I drop all likes and dislikes, I can say without a doubt that is one ugly flag :mrgreen:

  4. #4

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    How about this one?

  5. #5

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I have not seen it widely used in the Zen community, but that may be Sangha by Sangha and I have seen it displayed some places (I can't recall where).
    I hear ya. That's why I wasn't familiar with it. When I started studying & reading about Zen Buddhism back in 1992 or so, I didn't read anything about a Buddhist flag. It was really up to recently that I started to do more research in Buddhism via Internet that I came upon the flag. I am not sure if faiths needs flags, but...hey...c'est la vie.

  6. #6

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Actually, a Buddhist symbol it took me a little time to get used to is this one, still seen quite commonly around Japan and other places in Asia (I am not making this up for those who might not be familiar with it) ...



    For those who don't know, it represents the "Buddha's Heart", and is --not-- a Nazi Swastika (which turns the other way. It is said that Hitle got the idea from the very similar indian symbol, for it is an ancient Hindu symbol as well) ...



    Here is the story with some more pictures on various Buddhist buildings and such ...


    http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/s ... astika.htm

    In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha's footprints and the Buddha's heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha.

    The swastika has also often been used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. In China and Japan, the Buddhist swastika was seen as a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life.

    The swastika is used as an auspicious mark on Buddhist temples and is especially common in Korea. It can often be seen on the decorative borders around paintings, altar cloths and banners. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is also used as a clothing decoration.

  7. #7

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Yes, my dad once said something about how Hitler "borrowed" a symbol from somewhere. Guess he was talking about this one... I dunno. That was years ago. :lol:

  8. #8

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Actually, a Buddhist symbol it took me a little time to get used to is this one, still seen quite commonly around Japan and other places in Asia (I am not making this up for those who might not be familiar with it) ...
    Actually, I knew about this since I did a high school essay on Hitler & WWII back in the late 80's (ooops gave away my age :mrgreen: ). Still, I sometimes do a second look when I view Buddha art from Asia. As a matter of fact, I went to a store here in McAllen, TX owned by Chinese Pure Land Buddhists to buy a banner with Buddha on it. I had two choices between banners both with Buddha. The deciding factor was that one had the symbol and the other didn't. I bought the one w/ out it since I didn't want to be answering the reason for the symbol in the Buddha.

  9. #9

    Re: Buddhist Flag - Quick Question

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    The deciding factor was that one had the symbol and the other didn't. I bought the one w/ out it since I didn't want to be answering the reason for the symbol in the Buddha.
    Ha Ha. Good choice. Its funny how little historical reference people have. Maybe we should begin campaigning to wipe this stigma from this symbol?

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