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This question may come up as a bit strange, but rest assured, it is about culture and symbolism.

During the first few minutes of Batman Begins (at 06:25), there is a scene of Bruce Wayne wandering to the top of the mountain (location unknown to me, but it is mountainous and it does have some Asian flavor to it). In this particular scene, Bruce reaches a plateau filled with a lot of flags (see the attached image):

Flags

My question is: what do these flags represent? I.e. is there a function to them, a cultural background, a custom, etc?

As a Europe-centeric historian, I'm completely clueless about these. Therefore, some explanation (and a few external links) would come in handy.

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I don't see how flags in a movie that is set in a modern fictional near-future have anything to do with history. –  Lennart Regebro Jul 21 '12 at 8:12
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@LennartRegebro - If the flags were made up, I'd agree. However, they do have cultural (and historical) relevance. –  T.E.D. Aug 14 '12 at 18:01
    
@T.E.D.: Then reasonably the question should be about Tibetan Prayer flags, not "The flags in Batman begins" which may have historical relevance or may not. –  Lennart Regebro Aug 15 '12 at 9:45
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

They are tibetan buddhist prayer flags. More info here.

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If you look carefully, it looks different than prayer flags. –  Sławosz Jul 18 '12 at 10:08
    
@Sławosz: that may be true! These tibetian vertical prayer flags look like to be composed of several square-ish fabrics with prayers/mantras written on them, whilst the fabrics on the movie flags are just single long pieces. And the tops of the poles look different as well. –  Johnny Jul 18 '12 at 11:26
    
For me it is some [fantasy] war flag, because of top? –  Sławosz Jul 18 '12 at 11:30
    
Some darchor flags have long single piece, some have multiple fragments. As an example for ones with a single piece, see here. Also the poles look similar in this image. –  Abhilash Jul 18 '12 at 12:05
    
That's a fair enough explanation ;) . Thanks! –  Johnny Jul 18 '12 at 12:32
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