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Royal Standard (Thailand)

Maharaj Yai

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: royal | king | maharaj yai | garuda |
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[King's Flag (Thailand)] 1:1 | 2:3
image by Calvin Paige Herring and Eugene Ipavec
Flag adopted 1911

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From the Singha Beer source:

Maharaj Yai
The "Maharaj Yai" is a rectangular flag [similar to th-r-kng.gif above but with smaller Garuda], in the center of which is a red garuda set against a yellow background.

King Rama VI initiated the use of these two flags [the "Maharaj Yai" and the "Maharaj Noi"] as Royal Standards in B.E. 2454 [1911 AD]. The flying "Maharaj Yai" indicated the presence of the King, although the "Maharaj Noi" would be flown in its place whenever no 21 gun salute was ordered. These two are still in use — even to this day.

Santiago Dotor, 27 Oct 1999

[There is] reference of 2:3 version [in Album 2000]. In what circumstances would this be used?

Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2003

To answer the question by Željko Heimer on 30 Mar 2003, the 2x3 ratio was most likely an error by Album 2000 or confusing with the personal flags. Also, as we saw during Kimg Rama IX's funeral, a rare 2x3 version was used to escort his body.
Zachary Harden, 31 August 2018

Use at King Rama IX's Funeral

[King's Flag (Thailand)] 2:3
Reconstruction; image by Phanuwit Woonchoom and Zachary Harden, 30 October 2017

October 17, 2017 photo (see below) of Thai royal funeral, from this AP story. It shows the Thai royal standard in what looks like 3x5 format instead of square.
David Phillips 29 October 2017

image from the Associated Press, 17 October 2017

From October 25th until October 29th, it was the elaborate funeral for King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) and it took place in Bangkok after a year of preparation and building of the temporary crematory for the funeral. This flag, which was seen on October 26th during the formal cremation ceremony, uses the Garuda (Phra Khrut Pha) generally awarded to businesses who hold Royal Warrant of Appointment from the monarch. The main difference between this and the Garuda from other royal flags is the one for this flag is the wings being outstretched instead of it being square-ish. However, this flag that was used during the cremation was created specifically for it; the square flag is still used for the vehicles for King Rama X and also at sea and at the main residence Dusit Palace. Also, this style banner is used for stationary purposes during ceremonies. You can see Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn (now King Rama X) in this May 9th, 2016 royal ploughing ceremony at a stand with this banner in place.

The formal ceremony to invest King Rama X as the King of Thailand is still forthcoming; all plans for the coronation were put on hold until the cremation took place. In August, government officials said that the coronation would most likely take place in 2017 but gave no firm dates. We might see the updated flag again then, but as of this point, it is unknown. I am also trying to find out who made this flag, but hints provided that it was done by the Royal Thai Army.
Zachary Harden, 30 October 2017