雪山狮子旗 (snow lion flag / xuěshān shīzi qí) was the state and military flag of Tibet. It has six red bands representing the six original ancestors of Tibet, a rising sun over a mountain, the three-colored jewel of the Buddha, and a pair of snow lions, Tibet’s national emblem. Though it was the official flag of Tibet, it was rarely used before 1959, when China took control of the region.
Why it is blocked: After the failed Tibetan rebellion of 1959, the Dalai Lama went into exile. The snow lion flag soon came to represent the Tibetan independence movement and is now a well-known symbol of the Free Tibet movement. The flag is no longer recognized by China, as it is considered an affront to its sovereignty over Tibet.
This post comes from my book Blocked on Weibo, which contains nearly a hundred new entries documenting the kinds of keywords suppressed on social media in China. You can order online now at your favoriteonlinestore or pick it up at your local bookstore next week. Thanks again for supporting this blog!