Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space.
A Tibetan prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon. In Bon, shamanistic Bonpo used primary-colored plain flags in Tibet.
The red, blue, yellow, white and green Buddhist prayer flags represent elements like air, fire, water and earth. White symbolises air, red is fire. Green is water, yellow is earth, and blue is wind. They also represent directions – North, South, East, West and Center.