Soyombo symbol

Soyombo symbol on the gate of the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar

The Soyombo symbol (Mongolian: Соёмбо, ᠰᠣᠶᠤᠮᠪᠤ from Sanskrit: svayambhu) is a special character in the Soyombo alphabet invented by Zanabazar in 1686. The name "Soyombo" is derived from Sanskrit svayambhu "self-created". It serves as a national symbol of Mongolia, to be found on the Flag of Mongolia, the Emblem of Mongolia, and on many other official documents.

In the Soyombo alphabet, the two variations of the Soyombo symbol are used to mark the start and end of a text. It is thought to be possible that the symbol itself may predate the script.


The Symbol has ten elements in the columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric symbols and patterns. They are fire, sun, moon, two triangles, two horizontal rectangles, the Arga-Bilge (yin and yang) and two vertical rectangles. The elements in the symbol are given the following significance (from top):


The two variants of the Soyombo symbol

The Soyombo symbol has appeared on the national Flag of Mongolia since 1911 (except between 1921 and 1924). It served as the Emblem of Mongolia from 1924 to 1940, and was included in the design again in 1992. Mongolian Armed Forces vehicles bear the symbol as a marking.

The symbol is seen all over the country, especially on a hillside outside of Ulaanbaatar.

The flag and coat of arms of Buryatia as well as the flag of Agin-Buryat Okrug in Russia, and that of the Inner Mongolian People's Party display the top elements (Flame, Sun, and Moon).

Flags incorporating Soyombo variants


  1. Pu̇revsambuu, G. (2006). Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Montsame. p. 8. ISBN 99929-0-627-8.

See also

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