“Remember, you have no companions but your shadow”
– Genghis Khan, 1st Khagan of the Mongol Empire,Khan of the Mongols and King of Kings ( 1162-1227 )
In the 13th Century, Genghis Khan established the Great Mongolian State and initiated the Nine White Banners as symbols of ceremony.
Mongolia’s Nine White Banners or, “Yoson Kholt Tsagaan Tug” was composed of nine flag poles decorated with white horse tail hairs hanging from a round surface with a flame or fork-like shape on the top.
The Nine White Banners was a peacetime emblem used exclusively by the Mongol Khans in front of their yurt. The Mongolian people have been honoring the banners ever since.
The central banner was larger in size than the rest and was placed in the center of the other eight; The Nine White Banners are made up of the tail hair of a thousand stallions from each of the provinces in the country.
The white and tawny colors, as well as the horse hair are symbolic of the power and strength of the state.
Eight 2.62 meter high white banners are placed around a larger white banner, measuring 3.62 meters.
The tops of the banners are called ‘gilbers’ symbolize the past, present and future, while the spire crowning the bigger banner represents the growth and pride of the state.
Interestingly, the banners are cleaned only with rainwater because ancient Mongolians used to pray to the sky and believed that water produced from the heavens was clean and pure.
The Nine White Banners came into renewed significance in Mongolia after democracy was adopted in the early 1990s as a symbol of the traditional Mongolian state, replacing the previous communist red flags.
The banners are usually stored on the third floor of the Government House, but every year they are carried out to the Central stadium for Mongolia’s National Naadam Festival.
Courtesy : The Mongolian tourist / pilgrim I had the honor of meeting, talking and knowing in Dharamshala ( Tibet in Exile ) Himachal Pradesh, India in 2005, too bad we lost touch as I was not very active on social media back in those days!
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