Peace Flag Project is based on the Prayer Flags of Tibet. In
Tibet, the tradition of hanging flags began more than 2000 years ago.
At that time the country was ruled by war lords who carried their banners
into battles. The native people, however, made their own flags to honor
the nature gods of Bon, their shamanistic religion. They used colors of
the five elements: blue for sky or space; white for air or clouds; red
for fire; green for water and yellow for earth. They hung the flags over
mountain passes and rivers to benefit all who would pass underneath.
Buddhism was introduced to Tibet in the 7th century, it brought the ideals
of peace and compassion Within the next century Buddhism largely took
the place of Bon, while absorbing many of its characteristics including
the flags The early flags contained both Buddhist prayers and pictures
of the fierce Bon gods who they believed protected Buddha.. Over the next
200 years Buddhist monks began to print mantras and symbols on the flags
as blessings to be sent out to the world with each breeze. Thus they became
known Prayer Flags.
the ensuing years, Tibet was ruled peacefully by a succession of spiritual
leaders, the Dalai Lamas. Millions of men and women entered the thousands
of monasteries to dedicate their lives to the practice of Buddhism, and
the people of Tibet were thoughtful, daily practitioners of this compassionate,
this came to an abrupt halt when the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959. Since
that invasion, Chinese soldiers have killed and tortured more than a million
Tibetans, mostly monks and nuns, and destroyed six thousand monasteries.
People around the world who had become acquainted with the Prayer Flags
of Tibet were horrified to see the soldiers burning strings of these sacred
of Tibetans, including the 14th Dalai Lama, have had to flee from their
country and live in exile around the world Their Prayer Flags continue
to represent the tradition of sending out prayers, but they also remind
us of a nation of gentle people who have been robbed of their home. Prayer
flags are still stamped with prayers and hung to let the wind carry their
messages in Tibetan refugee villages. Most of the Tibetan Prayer Flags
we see today are made in those communities. And so, people around the
world have adopted the custom of hanging Prayer Flags to commemorate special
events and to transmit their blessings.
has been suggested by contemporary Tibetans that we create our own prayer
flags by imprinting them with poems, prayers and symbols from the great
faiths of the world in hopes of uniting them in a spirit of peace and
harmony. The Peace Flag Project provides the opportunity for people to
make flags that express their wishes for the world. The flags may be hung
indoors, but they are intended to be strung up outside where the wind
will disperse their messages. After some time the prayer flags will fade
and fray (they purposely are not hemmed) symbolizing the natural passing
of all things. When that happens, the flags are to be burned to release
the last of their prayers and then replaced by new flags that contain
our renewed wishes. Or you may simply put new ones over the old ones..
Every time you look at the flags, let them remind
you to continue to send out your own prayers for world peace, kindness
and generosity. As you do so, you will also benefit from their blessings.
!!! MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH !!!