The need for a national flag was acknowledged much before Srilanka attained its independence on 4th February 1948. D.S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of Srilanka, had appointed an Advisory Committee for the formulation of a national flag. In 1950, the committee approved the design of the national flag and it retained the lion symbol with the sword, the Bo-leaves and the green and yellow vertical stripes.
The contemporary National Flag of Srilanka is an improvisation of the civil standard of Srilanka's last king, Sri Wickrama Rajasingha. With the exception of the new Bo leaves, the current Srilankan flag is the same flag that was suggested by the National Flag Formulation Committee on 2nd March, 1951. On March 3, 1950, the National Flag was hoisted for the first time.
Since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1948, the design of the Srilankan flag has been modified several times in an attempt to accomplish national unity.