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Akha People (Thailand)

Last modified: 2013-11-24 by ian macdonald
Keywords: thailand | politics | akha | quartered: saltire | star (blue) |
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[Akha People (Thailand)] 3:5
image by Jaume Ollé, who also designed the flag

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From the Akha Heritage Foundation website:

Villages of these colourful people are to be found in the mountains of China, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and northern Thailand. There are approximately 20,000 Akha living in Thailand's northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai at high altitudes. This tribe originate[s] in Tibet.

Santiago Dotor, 25 January 2001


I looked at your flag site and see that you don't have a flag for the Akha people and probably not for many of the other hill tribes and ethnic groups either. There are a score of them. (...) There are many Akha flags used in the fight for Akha people to retain their land in the face of forestry plantations. (...) I just made a cloth flag, the first one, of the attached style [qv. image above], the only difference is that the star is a Zion star, not a five point [one]. Also the gold stripes are equal in size to the black ones.

Matthew McDaniel (of the Akha Heritage Foundation), 7 and 9 January 2000

The designer [of the Akha flag] is well known, Jaume Ollé with the collaboration of Matthew McDaniel from the Akha foundation. More details in Flag Report no. 16. The Akha live in Burma and Thailand.

Jaume Ollé, 16 January 2000

[The] Akha flag is based in the national wear. The star simbolize the nation. In the central part of the flag (that is as national wear) I want to simbolize also: with the white the freedom and the peace; with the red the strugle against opresors (Thai and Burmese). The upper and lower ribbon black with golden line was added because is included in all the traditional akha national wear (it didn't exist in first submission).

Jaume Ollé, 20 January 2000

First submission was more simply. From the national wear I made the background and I added a green stripes above and below that symbolize the land (between Myanmar and Thailand). The star was placed in center. After consulting with some chiefs they suggested the additions of the traditional ribbons in the wears instead the green stripes. I see a small photo and they seems me black and then I changed the green stripes to black. They say me then that the ribbons bear a narrow golden broderie. Then I submited the image posted. At the end for aestetic questions they preferred that the narrow gilded stripe was from the same size that the black ones, and they prefer the six-pointed star from the five-pointed one (no explanation, but perhaps because the six-pointed star is used by other Christian ethnic groups).

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2000

Akha people : approximatevily 700,000 souls, living in China (450,000 in Yunnan), Thailande (60,000), Burma (60,000) and also Vietnam, Laos. Linguistically they belong to the loloish branch of the burmese-lolo family, itself a branch of tibeto-burman (which is a branch of sino-tibetan).

Jean-Marc Merklin, 13 May 2003

The flag of Akha people was designed by our own Jaume Ollé y Casals and accepted by the elders of Akha Nation in 2001.

Chrystian Kretowicz, 13 May 2003