August 28, 2015

1857 MONGOLIA - The Nine Base White Banners

The state banner flown by the Mongols, the "Yöson Khölt tsagaan tug" or the "Nine Base White Banners", is composed of nine flag poles decorated with the tail hair of 1000 white stallions from all over the country, hanging from a round surface with a flame or trident-like shape on the top. It was a peacetime emblem used exclusively by the Khans in front of their yurt, while a black banner was for wartime. The central banner is larger in size than the rest and is placed in the center of the other eight. The modern Mongolian Nine White banners are kept in the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar.

The original white banner disappeared early in history, but the black one survived as the repository of Genghis Khan's soul. The Mongols continued to honor the banner, and Zanabazar (1635-1723) built a monastery with the special mission of flying and protecting the black banner in the 17th century. Around 1937, the black banner disappeared amidst the great purges of the nationalists, monks and intellectuals, and the destruction of monasteries. 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.

Tug Banner - Wikipedia

Sender: Christina
Sent from Ulan Bator (Mongolia), on 10.04.2014
Photo: D. Turbold

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