The flag was originally designed in 1885 by the Colombo Committee, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.It was first hoisted in public on Vesak day(full moon day in the month of May), 28 May 1885 at the Dipaduttamarama, Kotahena, by Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera. This was the first Vesak public holiday under British rule
The six vertical bands of the flag represent the six colors of the aura which Buddhists believe emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained Enlightenment:
Blue : The Spirit of Universal Compassion
Yellow : The Middle Way
Red : The Blessings of Practice – achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
White : The Purity of Dhamma – leading to liberation, timeless
Orange: The Wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings
The sixth vertical band, on the fly, is made up of a combination of rectangular bands of the five other colors, and represents a compound of the other five colors in the aura’s spectrum. This compound color is referred to as the Truth of the Buddha’s teaching Pabbhassara (‘essence of light’).