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Tamil (Sri Lanka)

Tamil Eelam

Last modified: 2008-06-28 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sri lanka | tamil | sun | tamil eelam | tiger | guns | plote |
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[Tamil] image by Željko Heimer

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

Tamil Tigers

[Tamil Tigers] image 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

An extensive article about the Tamil Tiger flag is carried on the Asian Tribune, dated 15 January [2006].
Ron Lahav, 27 January 2006

Some salient points from the article in the Asian Tribune include:

Ian MacDonald, 15 March 2006

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

People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE)

[People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 January 2008

At one sees the organisations flag, a red over black bicolour with a yellow 5 pointed star on the red part in the fly.  At one find a short description of PLOTE and other dissident Tamil Eelam groups, which no doubt might be vexillologically interesting.
Knut A. Berg, 3 April 2006

Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)

[Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization] image by Eugene Ipavec, 24 November 2007

Horizontally divided medium-red/white/green, with a darker-red seal in the center, covering maybe 80% of the white stripe. Can also be seen at the bottom of; a plain tricolor is also shown in the header:

[Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization] image by Eugene Ipavec, 24 November 2007

Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal party (TMVP)

[Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal party] image adapted by Eugene Ipavec from BBC website, 11 March 2008

There's an article on BBC News reporting the existence of a breakaway faction within the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), which is called the Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal party (TMVP) which "is made up of former Tamil Tiger rebels, and they have not laid down their arms."

So far the logo has been located at, and there's some background info as well at I believe the flag is all yellow background with logo on the middle, but his is not confirmed.
Esteban Rivera, 10 March 2008

There is a photomontage, which seemingly shows the flag on this image in context at
Ned Smith, 12 March 2008

[Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal party]

The flag is very approximate but I believe that it has a narrow vertical green stripe at hoist and a narrow vertical red stripe at fly according to the attached image.
Esteban Rivera, 12 March 2008

Eelam People's Democratic Party

[People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 January 2008

At is what seems to be the flag of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party. More info about this Tamil party at
António Martins-Tuválkin, 14 January 2008