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Siam in World War I

Map of the World showing the Triple Entente participants in World War I. Those fighting on the Entente's side (at one point or another) are depicted in green, the Central Powers in orange, and neutral countries in grey.

Siam, now known as [2] The United States obliged in 1920, while France and Britain delayed until 1925.


Photograph of the Palace Revolt of 1912 key plotters
The Siamese Expeditionary Force with the tricolour flag of Siam in Paris, 1919.

Despite the failed [2]

Siamese war flag (obverse)
Siamese war flag (reverse)

The Siamese monarch, [2] 19 Siamese soldiers were killed during the war.

Rama VI saw this also as an opportunity to promote nationalism. The flag of the Kingdom of Siam shows five horizontal stripes in the colours red, white, blue, white and red, with the middle blue stripe being twice as wide as each of the other four. The design was adopted on 28 September 1917, according to the royal decree about the flag in that year; the Thai name for the flag is ธงไตรรงค์ (Thong Trairong), meaning tricolour flag. The colours are said to stand for nation-religion-king, an unofficial motto of Thailand,[5] red for the land and people, white for Theravada Buddhism and blue for the monarchy, as having been the auspicious colour of King Rama VI. As the king had declared war on Germany that July, some note the flag now bore the same colours as those of Britain and France.[6]

The last member of the Siamese Expeditionary Corps, Yod Sangrungruang, died on 9 October 2003.


  1. ^ The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book for 1922. Chicago: Chicago Daily News Co. 1921. p. 280. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Thailand". Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Greene, Stephen Lyon Wakeman. Absolute Dreams. Thai Government Under Rama VI, 1910-1925. Bangkok: White Lotus, 1999.
  4. ^ Sanderson Beck: Vietnam and the French: South Asia 1800-1950, paperback, 629 pages
  5. ^ "Thailand: A Country Study". Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program, from the Library of Congress. Retrieved 23 July 2011.  
  6. ^ Duncan Stearn (14–20 February 2003). "A Slice of Thai History: Raising the standard; Thailand’s national flags" (in Pattaya Mail). Retrieved 24 July 2011. The prevailing – although unofficial – view of the meaning of the five stripes is that red represents the land and the people; the white is for Theravada Buddhism, the state religion and the central blue stripe symbolises the monarchy. It has also been stated that blue was the official colour of King Rama VI. Another account claims the blue was inserted as a show of solidarity following Thailand’s entry into the First World War (in July 1917) as an ally of Britain and France. 

External links

  • "90th Anniversary of World War I. This Is The History of Siamese Volunteer Crop". Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
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