The national symbols of Bhutan include the national flag, national emblem, national anthem, and the mythical druk thunder dragon featured in all three. Other distinctive symbols of Bhutan and its dominant Ngalop culture include Dzongkha, the national language; the Bhutanese monarchy; and the driglam namzha, a seventeenth-century code on dress, etiquette, and dzong architecture. Natural symbols of Bhutan are its national flower, the Himalayan blue poppy; its national tree, the Himalayan cypress; its national bird, the raven; and its national animal, the takin.
These national symbols are established variously by law and tradition. While most laws codifying the national symbols of Bhutan such as the flag, emblem, and national anthem are modern, the tradition behind many of them is much older than the kingdom itself, deriving from Buddhist mythology. The druk thunder dragon is heavily associated with the Bhutanese state religion and has symbolized Bhutan ("Druk-yul") in particular since the late twelfth century. Traditional natural symbols, such as the raven and Himalayan cypress, possess not only admired characteristics, but religious meanings as well.
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