Friday, May 6, 2011

Old emblem of Ratchaburi province

Again my reader Ian has provided me with something interesting he discovered while traveling around in Thailand. In the National Museum in Ratchaburi he discovered an old version of the provincial seal, showing a snake instead of the Royal regalia shown in the current version. The description at that emblem states and the unique Tinglish grammar
The symbol of the province firstly was the motif of snake laying around the mountain that King Rama VII, in 1924 A.D.,1 had given to the Wild Tiger Corps2 in Ratchaburi. Wild Tiger Corps where the camp was set up at Ngu3 Mountain. Later, the symbol of the province was changed to be the Royal Regalia of His Majesty the King that was designed by the Fine Arts Department.
When I wrote about the provincial emblems of the Thai Scouts, I already mentioned that Ratchaburi is one of four provinces where the Scouts emblem and the official provincial emblem differ, I knew no details about the Ratchaburi case. Sadly the text does not state which year that emblem became the emblem used by the province as well, and in which year the change was done. As far as I know, the provincial seals were officially adopted in 1940, that being the reason why the Cambodian and Lao provinces annexed in World War II also had one.

The only book I have on this topic - ธงไทย เล่ม ๑ - only features the Boy Scout Monthon flags, which in the case of Monthon Ratchaburi is very similar to the provincial emblem, only the sword is missing. One possible explanation of this old emblem in relation with the 1940 adoption of provincial flags might be a misunderstanding, and it in fact just shows the Boy Scout emblem for Ratchaburi, and the real provincial emblem was the one taken from the Boy Scout Monthon flag. Or was the Monthon emblem adopted after 1940? Too bad Ian did not photograph the Thai description of that emblem, maybe that contains more information than the English translation. Another question is when were the Boy Scout provincial emblems actually adopted? If that was done contemporary with Monthon flags, there were emblems for the abolished provinces, though not official province emblems as those came in 1940. A lot of speculation at this time.

But one thing is for sure now - I really have to visit the town center of Ratchaburi to visit the museum myself, in past I only made a short stop at the city pillar shrine on the other side of Mae Klong river. Maybe already later this month when I will be in Thailand again.

1 1924 was still the reign of King Rama VI, who died in 1925. Either the name of the King is wrong, or the year.
2 Must mean the Wild Tiger Cubs, or Boy Scouts, as the Wild Tiger Corps only existed shortly 1911-12.
3 Ngu (งู) is Thai for snake

Update: Ian sent me the Thai text now as well, which confirms that Rama VII was a translation mistake, as the Thai text lists the full name of King Rama VI. It also says that the current emblem was adopted in 1966, so this emblem was the official one from 1940 till 1966.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I agree about the scouts, when I wrote a piece on scouting in Thailand I came across some history of their formation.

It may not help here but this is a link to what I wrote(feel free to delete if you think it is inappropriate).