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Kirat Autonomous State, Nepal

Last modified: 2010-06-18 by ian macdonald
Keywords: nepal | kirat autonomous state |
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Kirat Autonomous State image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 17 January 2010

See also:


About the Flag

In December last year the Maoists declared, among others, the Kirat (Kirant) Autonomous State out of the districts: Solukhumbu, Sankhuwasabha, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Bhojpur and Udayapur. There is no mention of its flag, but there is a "national" flag of the Kirati people which, as some claim, represented the Kirat-Desh (Kirat Country) in the very ancient War of Kurukshetra, described in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata and dated sometime between 5561 BC to 800 BC. If so, it predates, by a long shot, the Dannebrog. It is also claimed, the Kirat flag served as a model for the Nepali flag and some are suggesting it should be adopted as the new national flag for Nepal.

Wikipedia says about Kirati people:
"Kirat-or Kirati- means people with lion nature. It is derived from two words Kira-Lion and Ti- people and it also means people from the mountain. They are indigenous ethnic Kirati group of Nepal. It includes the Limbu, Rai, Yakkha and Sunuwar ethnic groups. The Kirat were the earliest inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. Dhimal, Hayu, Koch, Thami, Tharu, Chepang, and Surel ethnic groups also consider themselves to be of Kirati descent."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirat

The flag can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aYh6zSSdcQ (0:15) and at many other websites of the Kirati organizations.

By no means I'm claiming it is the oldest flag in the world. It's just a suggestion derived from the postings on several Nepali forums.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 17 January 2010


Historical Significance

Historical significance behind the design of Nepal flag
In the ancient War of Kurukshetra, described in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata dating back to some 800 BC, there is mentioned that Yalambar, the first King of Nepal took part part in this great war. There is no mention of its flag, but there is a national flag of the Kirati people which, as some claim, represented Nepal in this great war. It is also claimed, the Kirat flag served as a model for the Nepali flag and some are suggesting it should be adopted as the new national flag for Nepal.
     The origin of the unique double triangle of Kirat flag symbolizes the Kirat and Nepal during vedic age(1500BC - 600BC). That's how the Nepal flag is believed to have derive from as some scholars have uncovered the secret now.

Here's the brief insight into Kirat flag. There are three significant meanings in the Kirat flag.

  1. Color: The saffron yellow (golden yellow) represents that sun will never set in Kiratdesa (Nepal). That Kiratdesa viz Nepal will last as long as the sun. The golden yellow also represents the Mongolian people who are "gold-like" in appearance with this phrase "Kairatam vesam asthaya kancana-druma-sannibham" "Taking up a Kirata resemblance, like unto a tree of gold" (IV,35,2)
  2. Shape: The unique double triangle of Kirat flag symbolizes the Kiratas and Kiratdesa (Nepal) during Vedic age which is over 5000+ years ago. The double triangle also represents the Himalayas which was a homeland of Kiratas (Mongolian people). The border of the flag is in red. The red border symbolizes the brotherhood among the Mongolian. It also symbolizes Kiratas as brave and resilient.
  3. Symbol: Finally the center of the flag is encircle with bow & arrow. The circle represents the universe, both external and internal. The inner circle represents the Mother earth. The outer circle represents the sky or the Father sky. This symbolizes the Kirat as being harmony with nature which is their aspect of their culture & religion. The circle is white symbolizing the purity of their culture & religion. The bow & arrow symbolizes Kiratas as warriors.
The fact this significant piece of Nepali history was hidden from the world was because of the censorship imposed by the previous Hindu Shah-Rana leaders. But with the abolition of last Nepali monarch and the establishment of a federal democratic republic of Nepal in May 28, 2008, this is one of the many facts of Nepali history that is coming into daylight.
Source: Courtesy: New Spotlight & NTY 2011

Sources:
Temples of the Nepal valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2009
Namah Shivaya Shantaya By Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, 2005
Fragile Mountains By MK Limbu, 2005
The brick and the bull: an account of Handigaun, the ancient capital of Nepal By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2002
The ancient settlements of the Kathmandu Valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2001
A Cultural History of the North-East India: [The Kiratas (Bodo etc.) By B. Chakravarti, 2000
"In The Kingdom Of The Gods" By Desmond Doig, 1999
Politics of Culture: A Study of Three Kirata Communities in the Eastern Himalayas by Tanka Bahadur Subba, 1999
Social history of Nepal By Tulasi Rama Vaidya, Triratna Manandhara, Shankar Lal Joshi, 1993
The Kiratas in Ancient India By G.P Singh, 1990
Kirata-jana-krti (The Indo-Mongoloids-The Contribution To The History And Culture Of India) by Suniti Kumar Chatterji, 1974
Ancient Nepal By D. R. Regmi, 1969
History of Nepal By Shew Shunker Singh, Gunanand and Daniel Wright, 1966

Dilip Rai, 30 May 2010
 
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