The National Flag of Bhutan is based upon the tradition of the Drukpa Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and features Druk, the Thunder Dragon of Bhutanese mythology. The basic design of the flag by Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji dates to 1947. A version was displayed in 1949 at the signing of the Indo-Bhutan Treaty. A second version was introduced in 1956 for the visit of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk to eastern Bhutan; it was based upon photos of its 1949 predecessor and featured a white Druk in place of the green original.
The Bhutanese subsequently redesigned their flag to match the measurements of the flag of India, which they believed fluttered better than their own. Other modifications such as changing the red background color to orange led to the current national flag, in use since 1969. The National Assembly of Bhutan codified a code of conduct in 1972 to formalize the flag's design establish protocol regarding acceptable flag sizes and conditions for flying the flag.
The First Schedule of the Constitution of 2008 legally describes the flag:
The upper yellow half that touches the base symbolizes the secular tradition. It personifies His Majesty the King, whose noble actions enhance the Kingdom. Hence, it symbolizes that His Majesty is the upholder of the spiritual and secular foundations of the Kingdom. The lower orange half that extends to the top symbolizes the spiritual tradition. It also symbolizes the flourishing of the Buddhist teachings in general and that of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions in particular. The dragon that fully presses down the fimbriation symbolizes the name of the Kingdom, which is endowed with the spiritual and secular traditions... The white dragon symbolizes the undefiled thoughts of the people that express their loyalty, patriotism and great sense of belonging to the Kingdom although they have different ethnic and linguistic origins.