29 September, 2020

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Denigration Of The National Flag

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Countries have multiple flags. There are national flags and there are regional flags. Clubs and societies have flags. State departments have flags. Schools and universities have flags. The national flag is special because it is something that (ideally) everyone can identify with. It is a unifying symbol, just like a national anthem. It is special because unlike other flags it warrants mention in a country’s constitution. It flies above all else at ‘national’ events. And as a unity-seeker its use is promoted actively by state agencies, knowingly or unknowingly. People rally around it.

However, flags, like all things, are not for all time even though those who design it may dream of unlimited flying time. Nations were not always nations as we understand the word now. They are sometimes made by the amalgamation of regions (each often with flags of their own) or are fractured into several nations. These territorial movements bear upon flag-design. The national flag of Sri Lanka over which there’s controversy did not exist in the year 1947. There were certainly elements of the current national flag that were part of other flags sometimes considered as ‘national’ or if not in flags at least in popular consciousness.

National flagSymbolism of this, that and the other get stitched on to flags. They represent things that are considered extremely important in terms of what a nation is, i.e. the most entrenched elements of history, heritage, ways of being etc. To the extent that people attach themselves to such things, they get hot under the color over their absence or presence in a national flag.

All of it is of course colored by politics and political preferences. For example, many of those who cry out in horror over ‘versions’ of the national flag that have deliberately cut out those strips which represent the Tamil community and other minority communities, were even asking for parity of status for a separatist group that was waving a totally different flag, calling it ‘national’ after ‘Eelam’ and shooting bullets not by way of salute into the sky but into real, live bodies of citizens whose rights the horrified claim to defend.

The key word, however is ‘version’. There cannot be, by constitutional definition, any ‘versions’ of the national flag. There’s one and that’s it. Anything else is not a ‘version’ of the national flag but something else. You can call it a flag if you wish, you can say it’s a handkerchief or serviette but it is not the national flag. For this reason any piece of cloth that is not identical in design (regardless of size) of the national flag as described in the constitution, is just that — a piece of cloth. A piece of cloth, ladies and gentlemen, can be cut into pieces, cut into different shapes and be decorated in any number of ways. You can paint it, embroider it, cut holes in it or do anything you like. You can use the color red, you can print or paint bo leaves or crosses or a crescent moon all over it or, if it’s rectangular in shape in its four corners. You can have a lion on it or a dolphin or any other creature. You can paint a flower on it or a tree or a leaf. You can have a lion that is yawning. You can have the lion carry a sword or an umbrella. Up to you.

The bottom line is, it affirms this thing called freedom of expression. If removing some element of the national flag is called a perversion, then a white flag (theoretically) would be the ultimate perversion of the national flag because it can be ‘read’ as a total erasing of every ‘sacred’ element stitched into it constitutionally.

It is time that the courts or the law-makers sort this out once and for all. Let us reiterate: there is only one ‘national flag’; even the slightest deviation from that particular design does not make the resultant a perversion but a ‘different’ flag. If someone wants to wave a piece of cloth that resembles the national flag but has an elephant in place of the lion, that’s his/her choice. If someone, similarly, wants to cut off the green or the orange strips or both or the tail of the lion, that too is his/her choice. If someone wants to add a couple of testicles to what appears to be a castrated lion on the national flag it wouldn’t amount to a correction of an error but a political, creative or even hilarious expression on the part of the ‘giver’. Someone could replace the lion with a lioness too. That’s not denigrating the national flag. It’s expressing a thought on a piece of cloth. You can’t legislate against that kind of thing, surely?

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Latest comments

  • 18
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    Malinda, I have a question. Is accepting a free computer from Rajapakse and then writing positive comments about Rajapakse, the freedom of speech? You did that then and you are still doing it. Don’t you have an iota of self respect?

    • 6
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      Malinda Seneviratne , Shill and White-Washer of Mahinda Rajapaksa & Family

      So, they had this Flag that was not representative of the Paras who were not living in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      This flag represented only the so-called Para-Sinhala based on Mythology, and it was a Mythology based flag with a lion. No lion geners were found in the DNA of the Paras.

      It did not represent the other Paras in the country, and most of all did not represent the Original Natives of the Land, the Native Veddah Aethho, who claimed the Land, by walking, not floating in illegal boats, Hora-Oru or Kall-Thonis.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

      Ceylon Citizenship Act

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceylon_Citizenship_Act

      The Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 was a controversial law passed by the Ceylon Parliament which denied citizenship to 11% of the population.

      Background

      During the 19th and early 20th centuries the British rulers of Ceylon recruited large numbers of South Indians, primarily Indian Tamils, to work in tea, coffee, rubber and coconut plantations in Ceylon. By 1946 their numbers had grown to 780,000, 11.7% of the population. Their presence was resented by Sinhalese nationalists. There was real fear amongst the Indian Tamils that once Ceylon obtained independence, the Sinhalese, who constituted 69.4% of the population, would take steps to remove them from the country.

    • 1
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      Now or later, THIS joker MALINDA ONE OF THE PUNDITS OF THE PREVIOUS REGIME has to face it.
      He remains as if former Kelaniya Mervin – not reacting to any commentators two cts. These are symptomps of all artists and rural folks that got intoxicated as nothing could help them turn back.

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

    • 0
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      I believe Malinda the kids would not learn it right [Edited out]
      If Malinda got graduated from Harward, he should have a basic kind of mind as to why the many among the educated people of the nation disagree with any come back of MEEHARAKA Rajapakshe. People must not be hallozinated.

      While travelling to the country last week, one of the tuk tuk driver told me MR s sons have [Edited out] enough young women. I really dont know the truth of them. Some said to me poeople of the country are so abusive to vote for Rajanos. But many are in the view that they have more freedom of expression today than had been before Jan 8th.

  • 15
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    Joker is at it again….. He shall be re named as dhoby… as he tries to white washing all dirty linen of MR and Goons

  • 5
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    Malinda Seneviratne

    RE: Denigration Of The National Flag

    Do you mean Denigration Of The Para-National Flag in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho by the Para-deshis or Paras who came from South India, as proven by the DNA in their bodies?

    The Vedda Tribe

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

    Tamil-speaking Veddas of Vaharai await war recovery support

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

  • 14
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    This must surely be Malinda’s defence of Gota, Allahaperuma, et al waving their altered national flag.

    A bit late in the day, but “better late than never”, huh, Malinda?!!

    The only problem with his discourse is that, say, if a group of non-Sinhala people had Malinda’s example of a castrated lion replacing the one on our flag, would he have termed it a “freedom of expression” or called for punishment of the perpetrators?

    Time to get your head examined Malinda!

    • 0
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      Jango, After reading Malinda’s article and your comment I looked closely at the Sri Lankan National Flag..Huh! The lion does not exhibit any sign of male gender differentiation as Malinda pointed out, reminds me of my sister’s dolls from childhood (not the anatomically oh so correct Barby kind of the present day), so clearly Jango you did not read Malinda’s article or perhaps you need your eyes/head examined!

      • 0
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        Inconvenient Truth, I got that ass backwards – my mistake! I’ll get that eye examination done pronto!!

        However, the gist of my comment stands – nitpicking notwithstanding! Or perhaps you (or Malinda?) didn’t get the message???

  • 14
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    In that case is it Ok to have a Tiger in place of the Lion?

    • 3
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      Only if it is flown in the UK by hundreds of terrorist supporters.

      • 7
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        Taraki

        “Only if it is flown in the UK by hundreds of terrorist supporters.”

        These two animals Lion and Tiger never existed in this island except for PEP Deraniyagala’s in his imagination.

        Those two horrible, ugly, …. animals should not represent people, nations and countries.

        Couldn’t you both stupid people find something humane, aesthetically pleasing and cuddly symbols to decorate the both flags.

  • 0
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    [Edited out]

    • 0
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      Another pusvedilla by Jim the Impotent (softy). Get help with viagra next time.

  • 8
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    which country in the world has a flag like Sri lanka. Two strips are separated for minorities means discrimination. They all should be in one group.

    Having Strips in the Flag is a humiliation for Sinhala people too.

    Countries in the west that are made up immigrants never divide their flag based on the immigrant population.

    Sri Lankan flag is designed by idiots.

    • 2
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      Jim,

      Sri Lanka just like India came into being as a country as a direct result of the colonial rule! India got it right with their national flag but Sri Lanka got it totally wrong!

      Examine the UK Union Jack if you want to know how to treat a union of countries under a single flag! You need to learn a lot it seems!

      • 2
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        burning Issue:

        Befire the colonial invasion whole Inbdia and Sri lanka were parts of Tamilnadu ?

        • 0
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          Jim,

          You have a bankrupt mind; I am very sorry to say. You just write whatever comes into your mind without thinking it through! You need to unfetter your mind from this perceived xenophobia; this includes the Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims!

    • 2
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      Two stripes were added as instructed by British to divide the Nation into
      separate entities to ensure continuation of divide and rule.It was also to undermine the sovereignty of Sinhalese over the country.More simply it was to
      deprive the Sinhalese of their ownership of the country.That is the first step to divide the country.If the National Flag is the title deed of the country
      the present National Flag is a fraudulent deed.According to that deed the country has been partitioned.What the Tamils and Muslims are agitating is to hand over their portions according to the Partition deed.All political parties that accept the so called National Flag are in fact accepting the division.and sooner or later they they will divide the country.It is in this wake of imminent threat that Sinhale Flag is coming back.It is the real Flag of the Nation and what ever bullshit politicians are uttering the Sinhale Flag will soon fly in almost every where in the country, as the mode of unification of the country

      • 6
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        Swarna Hansa Foundation,

        Your ignorance is astounding! The British had nothing to do with the flag choosing. It was because the Sinhala insisted on the Kandian flag and to sell it to the minorities, the two stripes were added.

        For your information, Kandians first demanded federalism well before the Tamils used the word.

        Sri Lanka is one country because of the British! India is one country because of the British. Please do not write rubbish on public forums! India chose a flag that unified all Indians and whereas the Sinhala chose a flag that is divisive!

      • 2
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        Swarna Hansa Foundation

        “It is in this wake of imminent threat that Sinhale Flag is coming back”

        What is the imminent threat?

        How do you propose to prevent it? Are you going to wave the Sinhale flag at the imminent threat and beg it to go away?

        You could do it with a white flag effectively.

  • 11
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    Some people trying to distort the national flag with the ulterior motive of creating hatred and uneasyness amongst the minorities.
    The national flag should be respected by all and anyone trying to distort same should be criminally charged and punished.

  • 6
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    Malinda, do you mean to imply, that unless you use the National Flag (as it is today), to wipe your Boots, it is not a Denigration?

    Are Bigots of other Nations, allowed to cut bits out of their National Flag, without Punishment of some sort? Think about it!

  • 4
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    MS: as usual you are barking up the wrong tree! Because a flag, like any symbol is polysemic, and give to multiple interpretations. Hence, it is the CONTEXT in which a flag is used that matters. So, your ideas about court rulings on the authentic flags is IDIOCY COMPOUNDED! A category mistake!

    The CONTEXT of this flag controvery NOW is election season which is also the season of CHAUVINISM and RIOTS- let us not forget in the past.
    Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil chauvinism and Ethnic outbidding during elections season is one of the problems of democracy.

    Politicians fan the flames of ethnic and religious hatred to distract the moda masses from their (politicians) corruption and criminal records, and to win votes when the electorate is STUPID and DUMB (comme toi) is as old as the hills.. These racist politicians should be tried for hate speech, and disturbing the peace and locked up as a public enemy number one in a country recovering from ethnic conflict. Civil society should demand all politicians to stop fanning ethnic and religious antagonisms to win votes.

    Now that we are in election season, ethnic outbidding by various political parties and opportunistic politicians is reaching a height with JVP rejecting TNA’s demand for merged northeast and federal structure to win votes of the Tamil masses that TNA otherwise ignores.. Meanwhile, Mahinda Jarapassa with the BBS is running the SInhala Buddhist nationalism vote-for-me-to-save-Sinhala-culture side show with a distorted national flag..Both TNA and SLFP are opportunists.. talking stupid masses for a good ride. Civil Society must grasp the bull by the horns and EDUCATE the moda Sinhala and Tamil masses on the fact that they should not be fooled by ethnic entrepreneur politicians who promise to “save culture and nation” while spreading ethno-religious hatred in order to win votes. Civil society must challenge JVP’s Anura Kumara to explain to the masses that the demand of the TNA for a Federal State is because of the failure of the Mahinda Jarapassa regime and the UNP to bring GENUINE peace and reconciliation and EQUALITY to the Tamil people and the country after LTTE was defeated… The root issue is equality for all.

  • 12
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    The Flag in the stamp is
    The first flag of the Dominion of Ceylon 1948–1951 (The Royal Standard of the Kandyan Kingdom, the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka) and similar the Royal
    Standard of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha
    In 1951 this flag was modified to what is now the Flag of Sri Lnka, represent all people of the country…after the proclamation of INDEPENDENCE!

    (see how our national flag evolved) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sri_Lankan_flags

    So you want it changed with the times…tomorrow if someone raised a flag with a carrot instead of the lion and the minority colours, nothing should be done about it?!
    So its perfectly fine to Hoist a Flag with a Tiger instead of the Lion at any meeting, building or home?

    Malinda, You are an EFFING MORON of the ultimate kind..
    If Bullshit could fly, you would be Concorde!

    • 5
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      D E M O Krazy

      Here is something that is very useful which is published by karava.org:

      THE ‘LION’ MYTH

      History and Myths

      Many modern myths have been spun around the Lion flag which was adopted in 1950 as the National flag of Sri Lanka.

      Myth #1

      The first myth is that Vijaya, the first King of Sri Lanka, arrived in Sri Lanka in 486 BCE, with a lion flag and that since then the Lion symbol played a significant role in the history of Sri Lanka. It is also claimed that the lion flag was used extensively by monarchs who followed Vijaya and it became a symbol of freedom and hope.

      There is absolutely no historical evidence to justify such claims. On the contrary, none of the Kings and Queens of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa have ever claimed to be Sinhalese. But they have consistently claimed in their inscriptions to be from the Kshatriya race and the Indian Sun Dynasty and Lunar Dynasty (see quotes from ancient Sri Lankan stone inscriptions in Sun & Moon symbols). The ancient Mahavamsa chronicle of Sri Lanka too refers to the ancient kings and queens of Sri Lanka, not as Sinhalese, but as Kshatriyas from the Solar and Lunar dynasties.

      Accordingly their royal symbols were the Sun and the Moon. The Lion was not a royal symbol for these ancient monarchs and they used the lion image on foot-stones at entrances to buildings and on urinal-stones. The lion appears to have been an important symbol only for the Indian born Kalinga kings of Sri Lanka, particularly king Nissankamalla (1187-1196 ) who claimed to hail from Sinhapura (lion city). Nissankamalla and other Kalinga monarchs used the lion symbol extensively and popularised it’s use during their reigns.

      The Karava Singhe dynasty of Jaffna (which succeeded the Kalinga dynasty rulers of Jaffna) too appear to have used the lion symbol as evidenced by the name of the dynasty and the crest of their Karava descendants. Intermarriage with the Kalinga royal families could explain the transfer of their symbolism to the Karavas and explain the existence of ancient Karava Lion flags in Sri Lanka. (see illustrations of ancient Karava Lion flags at the end of the page)

      The lion was also the symbol of the south Indan Pallava kings. Pallava coins with the Pallava lion emblem are found in Sri Lanka too and these coins are knowingly or unknowingly mistaken by some as Sinhalese lion coins.

      The Sinhalese word for “Throne’ , Sinhasana is probably derived from Tamil Singasanam and could have been popularised by the Singha dynasty of Jaffna and the connected Karava Raja-Singhe kings of Kandy. It is interesting to note that Dona Catherina the sole heiress to the Kandyan kingdom is referred to in Sinhalese as Kusumasana Devi (ie queen of the Flower throne)

      Myth #2

      The second myth is that all, or at least a majority, of the Sinhala speaking people in Sri Lanka are descendants of Vijaya and that their original ancestor was a Lion.

      According to history, there was no such Mega Sinhala race in Sri Lanka until the British period. And the fact that most castes have their own origin stories proves this. For Instance the Salagamas caste traces it’s origin in Sri Lanka to Nambudiri and other Saligrama Brahmins who came over from Malabar (i.e. Kerala) at the invitation of king Vathhimi Buvenekabahu of Sri Lanka. The ‘muni’ clan names of the Salagamas bear testimony to their Brahmin origins. The Durava Caste traces its origins from the Nagas and retinues of Pandyan consorts. The Navandanna caste traces it’s origin to Vishwakarma. According to J. Kulatilleka, the Deva Kula (Also known as Wahumpura, Hakuru etc) are descended from a deified ruler of Sabaragamuwa named Sumana. (Ravaya 30 August 1998). According to Warnapurage Lal Chandrasena of Wellawatte, the Sunnakkara Kula (Also known as Hunu) are descended from the traditional architects and Engineers of Sri Lanka (Ravaya 13 September 1998). According to T. Jinadasa Fernando Municipal Councillor of Telawala Moratuwa, Kumbal Kula (Also known as Badal, Badahela etc.) are descended from the first humans to graduate from wild men to humans who cooked their food in clay pots; Cultivating and other occupations are breakaways from this first quantum leap. (Ravaya 18 October 1998). According to I. Gunaratna of Malvana, the Bathgama caste is descended from the original pre- Vijayan, Yakka (also called Yaksha) inhabitants of Sri Lanka; They were expert Artificers. (Ravaya 13 December 1998). The ‘Govi Caste’, according to the Janawamsayaa and other sources, sprung from the feet of Brahma as this fourth category was the lowest of the four caste groups. And the modern Govigama caste is an identity created during the British period by the De Saram Mudaliar family of mixed origins. (see Govigama) Many successful individuals of unknown provenance joined the Govigama group during the British period. Several other castes trace their origin to the guilds that arrived with the sacred Bodhi tree.

      Interestingly not a single caste has an origin story connecting it to Vijaya or a beastly lion ancestor. And according the Mahavamsa the term Sinhala could be applied only to the initial royal family and not to the population at large. And according to the chronicles Vijaya did not father a successor.

      Myth #3

      The third myth is that the legendary King Dutugemunu carried with him a banner with a sword bearing lion when he embarked on his campaign to defeat King Elara.

      However although Dutugemunu is the hero of the Mahavamsa , that great chronicle says nothing about a lion flag or a lion race. Those who believe this myth refer to a mural at the ancient Dambulla cave temple but they fail to realise that although the Dambulla temple is ancient, the particular mural is only about 200 years old and from the British period.

      Myth #4

      The fourth myth is that a Lion flag was the royal banner of the Kotte kingdom.

      There is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim. A fake flag of a whip bearing lion is now being popularized as the ancient flag of the Kotte kingdom but there is absolutely no historical evidence as to the existence of such a flag in the Kotte kingdom.

      On the contrary the literature of the period including the Sandesha Kavya say that the rampart of the Kotte kingdom was adorned with Tiger faces (Puli mukha in Thisara sandesha) and that Makara flags (Muvara dada in the Kau Silumina and min dada in the Thisara Sandesha) of victory flew over the city of Kotte. The Thisara Sandesha says that the Garuda flag was a royal flag of the Kotte kingdom. It is important to note that both the Makara flag and the Garuda flag are traditional flags of the Karava community.

      The coins issued by King Parakramabahu VI for the kingdom of Jaffna did have a Lion on it. But that was because the reigning royal dynasty of Jaffna at that time was the Karava Singha (Lion) dynasty. The lion on the coins probably gave them more acceptability in the region. More importantly we need to note that the coins issued by Parakramabahu Vi for the Kotte kingdom did not have a lion on them. See illustrations.

      Myth #5

      The fifth myth is that a Lion flag was the royal banner of the last King of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815).

      Firstly, King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe and the other Kandyan kings were not Sinhalese. They were Indian Kshattriya Vaduga kings. Secondly there is no historical evidence to say that King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe used a lion flag as his royal standard. The royal grants of the king nor the literary work from the period talk about a lion or a lion flag. European eye witness accounts from the period say that the king’s banner was the Sun and Moon banner and that various other flags with animal motifs were also used. And indeed many flags with animal motifs (swans, peacocks, deer, bears, lions, elephants, leopards, cranes and numerous other birds etc ) have been found in Kandy and elsewhere.

      Percival writing in 1805 refers to flags with the sun emblem being carried before Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (AD 1798 – 1815), the last king of Kandy (Percival, Account of the Island of Ceylon, pp 267, 268). It is interesting to note that the lion flag which is now believed to have been the personal banner of the king is not mentioned by Percival or any others.

      Going back a few centuries to 1639, the reign of king Rajasinghe II, which is a century before the Nayakkar dynasty inherited the Kandyan kingdom, we see that the Sun and Moon flag was the flag carried in the vanguard of royal pageants (Abeyawardana p 145)

      Although the lion was not a heraldic symbol of the Kandyan kings, the Lion was indeed a very important heraldic symbol for the Dutch. The Dutch who were ruling the coastal areas during the Kandyan period. Their heraldic lion is to be found on almost ail Dutch coins (see illustrations further down) issued during that period (17 – 18th centuries). The use of lion imagery by the Dutch had nothing to do with a Sinhala race. The lion was a prominent Dutch royal symbol and it was used by the Dutch also on coins issued by them in other colonies in Asia and even as far as America (see illustration further down). Inevitably the Dutch flags of the period too would have had similar lions on them. One of the few surviving Dutch flags illustrated on the right column confirms this. As such the prevalent use of lions by the Dutch appears to have had an influence on Kandyan flags too. The Kandyan flags with lions and other animals with European style iconography might even have been drawn by European captives living in the Kandyan kingdom or done by local artists who were inspired by the novel Dutch designs.

      Myth #6

      The sixth myth is that the flag had bo-leaves at the four corners from its inception to represent Buddhism.

      The bo-leaves in the four corners replaced the European style finials (‘Banku Kakul’ in Sinhala language) only in 1972. But this myth and the others appear even on government documents and web sites and have been repeated so often that they are now accepted as fact by many.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20120126135918/http://www.karava.org/the_lion_myth

      Development of the ‘Lion flag’ myth

      The opportunities offered by the liquor trade in the 19th century had produced a new class of wealthy Sri Lankans. Some of the liquor dealers to amass large fortunes during this period were Don Spater Senanayake (see his details under Mudaliyars) the Father of D. S. Senanayake and Wevage Arnolis Dep (whose daughter Helena married timber trader Don Philip Wijewardene the ancestor of J. R. Jayawardene and Ranil Wickremasinge)

      At the turn of the century, the second generation of these families were striving hard to gain power and status through divisive means such as religious controversies, temperance movements and anti-Muslim riots.

      The older class of Dutch and British appointed Mudaliyars were disdainful of this class of new rich people who were clamouring to join the ‘Govigama identity’ (see Govigama) created by the Mudaliyar class. Sir Christoffel Obeyesekere the most prominent member from the Mudaliyar class referred to these new rich group; D. S. Senanayake, his two brothers F.R and D.C and others as “a few who are nobodies, but who hope to make somebodies of themselves by disgraceful tactics”. It’s this outburst by Sir Christoffel that gives Kumari Jayawardena the title for her insightful book on this period, ‘Nobodies to Somebodies – The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka’.

      The search for a ‘Sinhala’ racial flag by this group led to E. W. Perera’s so called discovery of three Kandyan flags in England. These were flags taken away by Captain Pollock in 1803, and hung at the Chelsea Royal Hospital alongside other captured flags, colonial trophies from many other colonies. Perera was neither a historian nor an expert on flags but had been sent to England by the Wijewardene / Senanayake cabal to promote their political agenda. However permission for Perera’s trip to England had been obtained by saying it was for ‘research at the British Museum’ .

      As such on his return, in 1916 E. W. Perera published the book ‘Sinhalese Banners and Standards; with a commercially designed, spurious lion flag as it’s frontispiece. The book promoted a concocted case to accept that flag as the national flag.

      The three Kandyan flags “discovered” by Perera at the hospital were hopelessly faded and could be identified only by the name plates on the wall. Perera admits that the flags were too faded even to get a sketch from them. He says that he sketched the lion flag not by looking at the flag but from the identifying plaque on the wall. However the official colour copies of these flags procured by the crown agents for the Colombo Museum had been rejected by Perera saying they were inaccurate and useless. (Perera 3). In their place Perere chose the commercially designed and drawn spurious lion flag.

      Bishop Edmund Peiris who also saw the flags confirms that that all three flags were hopelessly faded. According to him two of the flags hung by the second window on the left as you enter and the third hung from the organ loft which then contained lumber. In the office of the Chelsea Hospital Bishop Peiris had seen the record of colour sketches of all the flags in the Hall. This record had been titled “Collection of trophies deposited in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea / copied from the original book of Drawings and Descriptions arranged and compiled in 1841 by S. Ford, Captain of Invalids / 1861” (Peiris 271).

      As such it is indeed surprising that E. W. Perera chose to reject the official colour copies of the lion flag procured by the Crown Agents and instead readily accepted an illustration privately commissioned by D. R. Wijewardene. A commercial artist had drawn it for a private firm in London and E. W. Perera used it as the frontispiece for his book on ancient flags and it was used as the Flag of Ceylon from 1948-1951

      It should also be noted that according to the wall plaques at the Chelsea Royal Hospital, the royal standard of Sri Vickrama Rajasingha was not the flag copied by Perera but the martial flag illustrated on the right column here. Perera has totally omitted this flag and has not even include an illustration of this flag in his book.

      Further, the lion on the Sri Lankan flag does not resemble any of the lion motifs from Sri Lanka’s history(see examples below). The lion on the flag is clearly a design inspired by European heraldic lions. (See European heraldic lions below). As admitted by Perera himself in his book , it is a design drawn by a commercial British artist. As such the European nature of the lion is to be expcted.

      On March 2, 1915, D. R. Wijewardene issued a special edition of his Sinhala newspaper Dinamina, to mark the centenary of the so called ‘end of Sinhala independence’, and promoted this Lion flag in colour on the front page with portraits of the last King and Queen of Kandy. Ironically neither the king nor the Queen were Sinhalese. They were The Vaduga king Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe and his Chief Queen Rengammal. The main purpose of E. W. Perera’s ‘Sinhalese banners and Standards’ published in 1916 too appears to be the promotion of the spurious Lion Flag as the royal flag of Sri Lanka.

      However after preparing the background for adopting this flag as the flag of independent Sri Lanka, the Wijewardene / Senanayake cabal enlisted the obliging Muslim Mudaliyar , A. L. Sinnelebbe, the Member of Parliament for Batticaloa to move a motion in parliament calling for the adoption of this flag.

      As such this was the flag hoisted by D. S. Senanayake at the independence festivities on February 04, 1948. This Lion flag has been a bone of contention from day one and is still an obstacle to national integration and peace.

      REFERENCES

      Abeyawardana H. A. P. 1978 Kadaim Poth Vimarshanaya (A critical study of Kadaim poth) Department of Cultural Affairs Sri Lanka

      Paranavitana Senerat 1967 Sinhalayo Colombo

      Perera E. W. 1916 Sinhalese Banners and Standards, Colombo
      Peiris Bishop Edmund 1976 The Drum Flag Malalasekera Commemoration Volume, Colombo

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        Native V,
        Thank you for the insight .. very interesting!

        “This Lion flag has been a bone of contention from day one and is still an obstacle to national integration and peace.”

        Maybe its time to consider a change, for the better, maybe a flag with equal proportions of colour (equality) for the different religions, replace the lion with the Jungle fowl (Gallus lafayettii – the national bird) or the Blue water lilly (Nymphaea nouchali – national flower) with a white border for purity!

        Open for comment! please keep it civil…

        • 2
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          D E M O Krazy

          I have no objection to your suggestion.

          How about peacock, a beautiful bird soon to near extinct?

        • 0
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          I’d also suggest the Elephant or Leapord…

    • 1
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      The Lion on the SL Flag is just a Native Leopard who changed His Spots!

      • 1
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        How about a Native Veddah?

  • 4
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    Taking down the Sri Lankan flag and replacing it with another certainly is just that – denigrating the national flag. When the LTTE did that it was a blow at the sovereignty of the nation, the same applies here too.

    • 2
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      Sumudu

      “When the LTTE did that it was a blow at the sovereignty of the nation, the same applies here too.”

      What is sovereignty and when did this island first enjoy such thing in its entire history?

  • 2
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    What to say of this ‘intellect-defying’ invention of Malinda S? Malinda, yours is the real flagpost to Sri Lanka becoming a mental asylum soon.

    Your remark that using different versions/flags is ‘freedom of expression’ is welcome. At least, your article talks about freedom of expression now.

    When one uses the word ‘versions’, the question that arises is ‘versions’ of what? This takes you to national flag automatically. When you say there can not be versions of that flag, you are right. Then, in your usual fashion, you proceed to make the point that there are versions/flags, and that there is
    freedom to use them. Your comparison with handkerchief or serviette
    doesnot fly. It is the belief that a particular verson or flag is the real National Flag – and the underlying intent to use it in expression of that belief- is all what matters. You fall flat on that score alone, Malinda S.

    There are many flaws -quite naturally expected of an article by you- but hope this would suffice.

  • 2
    6

    We will need not one, but four Flags soon, ‘It could be as early as Augusr 17…

    When I read it in a Web Rag which gives extensive coverage to the Election,, I thought it was just an idea.

    Now it is Official. And comes from the UNP Heavy, Mr Kiriella who hails from Mahanuwara.

    He said in Mahanuwara itself that Ssrilanka was ruled by three kings in the past

    They were in charge of the 3 Provinces namely Uthuru, Maya and Pihiti

    And they reported to the main King

    Kirra said that it will be a blast from the past, and it is the model they will introduce after the 17.under Yahapalanaya.

    No wonder King Ranil from Batalanda has already signed a MOU with future King Sambandan from Wellala Gardens..

    And that is what I read in that web rag..

    King Sambandan will have total control of all Land and the TNA Police,And no Military presence.

    Vellala CM only reports to King Sambandan.

    Sounds cool.

    But I am busting my balls to work out how our Southern inhabitants are going to get ruled.

    King Sambandan controlling one third of the Island’s land mass is fair enough.

    Because he has been saying all along that the Tamils inhabited that land since Adam was in Huggies.

    So the rest two third can have only two kings , although 95 % of the inhabitants have to share it.

    Now who are these two kings in charge of this 95 %?..?.

    Could it be King Kabir HHussain from Akurana, .

    Or could it be King Baththudeen from Wilpattuwa

    Or King Hakeem from SLMC to rule the East or is it Pihiti?…

    Then of course there is the third spot which the Big King has to fill.

    Could it be King Kiriellala, King Mangala or King karunanayaka?.

    I mean no sweat,,

    Our Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant population will be blessed to have any of the three as their king.

    No Wonder the Boss King Ranil Wickremasinghe from Batalanada said it will be a different country in 60 Months.

    • 3
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      KASmaalam K.A Sumanasekera

      “We will need not one, but four Flags soon, ‘It could be as early as Augusr 17…”

      Okay, would you like to change the Bengali lion flag to Aryan National flag of Germany from 1933–1945 which was designed by non other than the homeless one Anagarika Dharmapala’s hero Adolf Hitler.

      Black Swastika in white circle on red background.

      A word of caution the Nazi flag could give you feeling of arousal every time you raise your right arm to salute the flag in Nazi style.

      • 1
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        Dear Native

        It is an accepted fact that most Sinhalese have some Aryan genes,

        Which is not a surprise considering the fact, our Kuveni descendants were visited by Pyramid builders to Zulu Killers , with many others in between , the likes of Alexander the Great , Prince naughty Vijaya and even Genghis Khan.

        We know the Austrian took our Swastika .

        But now we should come up with a new one to reflect the diversity which we will have only on less than 2/3 of our Sinhala nation.

        That is assuming that Batalanada Ranil become the King and appoint a good Sinhala Buddhist leader at least for our part of the land.

        Even then who knows.

        King Wickremasinghe from Batalanda might import a another mate as the King to rule us in the South..

        And nothing we would be able to do about it.

        So it is premature to plan a flag.Don’t you think….

  • 1
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    Fellow CT commentators please welcome MR’s Lawyer and champion of freedom under MR rule none other than [Edited out] Malinda Seneviratne

    • 4
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      Peace Lover

      “Fellow CT commentators please welcome MR’s Lawyer and champion of freedom under MR rule none other than [Edited out] Malinda Seneviratne”

      If so, is MR planning to appoint Off the Cuff (OTC) as Chairman of the Advisory Panel of international lawyers replacing Sir Desmond De Silva.

      It would be good for Independent Investigation into War Crimes.

  • 2
    1

    Why did they arrest those tourists, who were sitting on a towel,, which had Buddha’s image on it?

  • 3
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    Seriously, what do people like Malinda and Mahindapala think when they s(#)it to write ‘articles’ for the greater world?

  • 3
    1

    I think our national flag must be respected by all, but I have a problem with that. There is a sword which signifies violence and an animal on that. When we look at flags of all countries, ours may be the one ( among one or two) flag which symbolises violence. Should we have an animal. Or are we supporting the myth that our ancestor is a lion. Should we have a ferocious animal with a sword. What is the reason behind it?

    • 2
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      Maali, the sword symbolising violence is just your interpretation. Someone else might claim the sword symbolises protection. In this old news article a sword represents justice.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6250396.stm

      So it can mean many things to many people.

  • 2
    1

    To carry the said distorted flag in place of the national flag is a deliberate or symbolic insult to the minority communities living in the country. Our present day National flag was first introduced in 1972 when it was first known as the flag of the Dominion of Ceylon. In this instance they are pervertedly carrying the earlier flag of the country, valid between 1948 and 1951 when it was the Royal Standard of the Kandyan Kingdom, the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. There was even a flag before that, which was the period from 1875 to 1948 which was the flag of Ceylon’s colonial government. It bears the emblem of the Union Jack and the Arms of the then Ceylon Government. What would happen if someone were to carry that flag, or even the LTTE flag, they would soon get arrested and produced in Courts and punished for desecrating the National flag. Similarly, the law must be applied to all equally, irrespective of their public standing and not permit them to mislead the people and take them for a ride. How can we ever build a unified Lanka if these misfits were allowed to reign over us. No amount of justification from this writer in support of a superfluous freedom of expression, can ever change any of the colors nor style of our National Flag. Go fly a kite instead.

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