Given the distinction as the only national flag in the world to feature a building or infrastructure in its aesthetic appeal, the current national emblem is a return to the once Cambodian flag during the monarchy rule of the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1948. Divided into three parts in the ratio 1:2:1, the flag has top and bottom blue bars that seemingly contain the red center showcasing the silhouette of the Angkor Wat. Very religious and philosophical, the national insignia is a testament to Cambodia’s progressive culture, diverse spiritual beliefs and strength as a country and as a people.
The national flag has undergone several changes because of power shifts in the country brought by different colonizers and eras. However, despite the modifications the Angkor Wat symbol or image remained at the heart of the national emblem. The old standing temple is home to the nation’s dominant religions – first, to Hinduism and then the change towards Buddhism afforded the latter of the opportunity to take the grandeur of the temple. Having five towers and a huge land base, the citadel is known to be the world’s largest religious building. Because of its historical significance and architectural genius, scholars and leaders agree that it is one of Cambodia’s best cultural assets and tourist attraction today. In recent times, Angkor Wat roughly translates to City Tower.
As a strong symbol for a culturally rich country like Cambodia, the blue bars of the flag serve as reminders of the country’s royal lineage as shown in its monarchic rule and the red portion as representative of the people who cling on the their religious beliefs, the white background of the temple’s presence which shows the structure of the universe. Cambodia is truly a spiritual nation of people who seek to find natural balance as well as spiritual enlightenment.