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Tamil (Sri Lanka)

Tamil Eelam

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by rob raeside
Keywords: sri lanka | tamil | sun | tamil eelam | tiger |
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[Tamil] by Zeljko Heimer

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The flag is red with a golden rising sun with nine sunrays.
Zeljko Heimer, 15 May 1996

Tamil Tigers

[Tamil Tigers] by Marcus Wendel

According to, the Tamil Tiger flag is the national flag of Tamil Eelam. It was adopted on 27 November 1990, the second national heroes day. The tiger was chosen by the Tamil Tiger leader as the national symbol because of it's historically deep roots in Dravida civilisation. It was chosen to illustrate the heroism of Tamils. The tiger also symbolises the characteristics desired in the freedom fighters of the Tamil Tiger movement, that is bravery, fearless heroism, an ambitioin of freedom, agility and agression.

The yellow in the flag was is seen as reflecting the belief that the fight for liberation and self-government is based on humanity and human honesty. The red colour stands for equality, fairness and social justice - the ideal complete liberation of the Tamil people beyond self-government. The black in the flag stresses the death, destruction and other hardships involved in the fight for freedom.

In the centre of the flag, the freedom struggle is compared with a jumping tiger, with the head and legs of a tiger representing aggressiveness, and the surrounding rounds of ammunition and knives express that the freedom struggle is armed.
Collected by Dov Gutterman, 7 July 2000 Summarised by Jonathan Dixon

Other banners or flags

There was a photo yesterday on Reuters, but it's gone now. It was of a road in Sri Lanka lined with flags in the Tamil colors twice as wide as long, red over yellow, commemorating the anniversary of the first Tamil Tiger suicide bombing. The flagpoles were also painted in these colors banded - I wonder if this flagpole coloring is unique. I'm not sure if some might count these as banners or something - I don't know their official status - but they certainly flew as flags.
Richard Knipel, 6 July 2004

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