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A flag (patākā or Dhaja) is a piece of fabric of a particular colour or design used for decoration or more usually to represent something. The flag now widely used to represent Buddhism was designed by the American Buddhist Henry Olcott in the 1880’s as a part of his efforts to unite the Buddhists of Sri Lanka in their struggle against foreign missionaries. The flag is rectangular, with six vertical bars – blue, yellow, red, white, orange and finally a combination of all five. These stripes represent the coloured rays that emanated from The Buddha’s Body when he attained Enlightenment (Vin.I,25). See Halo.

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