A Tibetan prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are in use to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Traditionally, prayer flags are in use to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception. Rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space.
Tibetan prayer flags are bright and beautiful, but their colors aren’t just for show. Each hue signifies an element and the flags are always in a specific order, from left to right: blue, white, red, green, yellow. Therefore, all five colors together signify balance.
Importance of the Flags
Each hue in the flag signifies an element and the flags are always in a specific order. Blue represents the sky, white represents the air, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. All five colors together signify balance. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to hang prayer flags, but there is a right way to hang them. While stringing your flags up wherever you choose to display them, it’s important to keep good, selfless motivations in mind, in keeping with the flags’ ultimate purpose, which is spreading positivity far and wide.