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National Flag

The soyombo (or soyemba) is the national emblem of Mongolia. Its origins are closely associated with Lamaism, and the various elements of the design were regarded as having mystical meanings. Individually, parts of the design also may be related to brands of ownership placed on horses and cattle. The star at the top of the modern soyombo is a recent addition to the traditional symbol; it represents socialist revolution. Below that, a fire symbol has multiple significance. It represents revival and growth, and also the family hearth and the continuity of the people. The fire has three tongues of flame, symbolizing past, present, and future. Below the fire are symbols of the sun and moon, links to the pre-Buddhist nature religion of the Mongols. In ancient Mongolian symbolism, an arrow or spear pointing to the ground meant death. In the soyombo, two downward-pointing triangles signify death to the enemies of the Mongols. Two horizontal rectangles represent honesty and fairness between rulers and the people. Set between the two horizontal rectangles is the Chinese sign of yin and yang, representing dark and light, fenale and male, cold and hot - the unity of all opposites in the cosmos. In Mongolian symbolism, the figures in the yin-yang circle represent two fish which, because fish never close their eyes, signify reason and wisdom. The two vertical rectangles represent a fortress, recalling the old Mongolian proverb "The friendship of two men is stronger than stone walls." The symbol of the fortress signifies that the unity of the Mongol people is the foundation of the nation's strength. The soyombo was adopted as the official symbol of the Mongolian People's Republic by the first People's Great Khural in 1924. A golden soyombo is emblazoned on the left panel of Mongolia's blue-and-red national flag."

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