The flag was designed by Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin, who felt it was significant that Bhutan and Wales each use a dragon in their flag. When they came aacross different combination flags on social media this provided the initial spark for them to create the Drala Jong flag. Ngakma Nor’dzin started with the design process and played around with the number of stripes, the order of the stripes, where they meet top and bottom, the size of yungdrung and the dragons, and so on. The number 9 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 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 outlandish to use an alternate dragon 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, which she improved simply by 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 on and step by step led to the resulting flag which will soon fly over the land of Drala Jong. The whole creative process was evolving in close discussion with the lineage holders Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen. In a similar way many craft projects within the Aro gTer Lineage are realized and this is also the way in which Drala Jong will be developed over the next decades.