The flag of Laos was adopted on December 2, 1975. The flag had previously been used by the short-lived Lao nationalist government of 1945.
The flag consists of three horizontal stripes, and the middle blue strip is twice the height of the top and bottom red stripes. In the middle is a white disc, the diameter of the disc is 0.8 times the height of the blue stripe. The flag ratio is 2:3. The national flag of Laos was adopted in 1975 when the country became a people's republic. It is one of the few Communist flags that does not use the five-pointed star as an emblem. This flag replaced the original flag of Laos, which was red, with a triple-headed white elephant on a pedestal beneath a parasol. This expressed the ancient name of the country, "Land of a Million Elephants," and dated from the 19th century. From 1953 onward the royal government waged war with the Pathet Lao, whose flag was blue with a white disk and red borders at the top and bottom. From 1973-1975, the Pathet Lao formed part of the government coalition, before assuming power directly and prompting the abdication of the king. Their flag was adopted as the national flag. In the center is a white disk symbolizing the unity of the people under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the country's bright future. It is also said to represent a full moon against the Mekong River. The red stripes stand for the blood shed by the people in their struggle for freedom, and the blue symbolizes their prosperity.