The flag was designed by Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin, who felt it was significant that Bhutan and Wales each feature a dragon in their respective flags. When they came across different combination flags on social media, this provided the initial spark for them to create the Drala Jong flag. Ngakma Nor’dzin started the design process, she played around with the number of stripes, their order, where they meet at the top and bottom, the size of the yungdrung and the dragons, and so on. The number nine has a particular meaning for the Aro gTer Lineage, so she decided to use nine rays of each colour. Also the exact choice of colours is slightly different than those in the original flags. One particular problem was that the white dragon tended to look slightly smaller than the red dragon even though technically they were exactly the same size. The solution that Ngakma Nor’dzin found was to slightly distort the shape of the Bhutanese dragon and to make the lines heavier. Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin actually found out that there are various versions of dragons used for the Bhutanese flag, so it is not entirely inappropriate to use an alternate dragon design that has a more substantial feel to it. Finally, Ngakma Nor’dzin thought that the red dragon looked too static in comparison to the dynamism of the white one, which she improved by simply rotating the red dragon a little.
The creation of this flag is a wonderful example of how the creative process works in practice. At the beginning there was an idea which was then elaborated upon, and which step by step led to the resulting flag which will soon fly over the lands of Drala Jong. The entire creative process evolved in close discussion with Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen. In a similar way many craft projects are realised within the Aro gTer Lineage and this is also the way in which Drala Jong will unfold over the next decades.