Last modified: 2016-06-29 by ian macdonald
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Source: http://www.defonseka.com/karave_flag.htm and http://karava.org/karava_flags
The image of the flag is according to Mr. E.W.
Perera's extensive monograph
on Sinhalese Banners & Standards.
Chris Kretowicz, 29 March 2003
The Karavas were the only Sri Lankan community traditionally entitled to use
flags. British Government Agents studying Sri Lankan flags during the early 20th
century have noted that not a single flag could be found even in the residences
of Kandyan chiefs, the Radala nobility of the Kandyan Kingdom, as even they were
not entitled to use flags. A large number of Karava flags have survived the
ravages of time and many are illustrated in E. W. Perera’s monumental book
titled ‘Sinhalese Banners and Standards’. However despite the extent of the
Karava collection of flags, he has scattered the Karava flags throughout the
book and not given them a special chapter as they deserve. As such their
significance is missed by most readers of his book.
The symbols on Karava flags are the sun, moon, stars, elephant, fish, white shield, pearl umbrella, swords, lotuses, ship etc. all of which were royal symbols in Sri Lanka’s past. Source: http://www.karava.org/karava_flags.
Esteban Rivera, 25 October 2009
The Karava people (Sri Lanka) have a very nice flag. Now, here are some Konda
Karavas flags. Konda in medieval times signified a group of Karava nobles in Sri
Lanka. Old timers referred to them as Konda Karava another clan of the Karava
similar to the Suriya clans Kurukulasuriya, Warnakulasuriya, Mihindukulasuriya,
Bharathakulasuriya, Manukulasuriya, Arasakulasuriya and Kon Karavas. Konda came
to mean hair in Sri Lanka only after the 15th century
Kotte period. Prior to that hair was referred to in the Sinhala language as
kes, varalasa, dhammilla or muhulasa. Source:
Now, the flags (Source: http://www.karava.org/jaffna_kings):
http://karava.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/800px-Singhe.31634335.jpg - A contemporaneous Sri Lanka flag that closely matches the Sun, moon and lion symbols on the coat-of-arms of the Puvirajasinghe family
http://karava.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Rathalawewa_Karava_Lion_flag.355184315.JPG - A lion flag of the Karava. This one is from Ratalawewa and is illustrated in Raghavan's Karava of Ceylon.
http://karava.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Simha_Flag.355184034.JPG - Another ancient Simha (lion) flag of the Karava community from Manampitiya near Polonnaruwa in the north west of Sri Lanka. Singh is derived from the Sanskrit word Sinha meaning "lion". It is a common title, middle name, or surname in North India, originally used in the 7th century by the Rajputs of the princely states of Rajputana (present day Rajasthan ).
http://karava.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/KandyLionflag.155193104.jpg (Another old Simha Flag from Sri Lanka)
Esteban Rivera, 24 October 2009