The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Dar Cho. "Dar" meaning to increase life and "cho" means all sentient beings. Each color corresponds to the five elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space, The fundamental building blocks of both our physical bodies and our environment. Famous Buddhist masters created most prayer flag designs. Most prayer flags imported into the West today are woodblock printed and made by Tibetan refugees or Nepali Buddhists from the Tibetan border regions. The purpose of hanging prayer flags is to raise the good fortune energy of the beings in the vicinity of the flags. Flags are to be hung in horizontal displays. Either between two trees, house columns, or along the eaves of roofs. Placing prayer flags in and around ones home or business imparts a feeling of harmony, increases spiritual atmosphere, and brings to mind the teachings of enlightenment. By placing the flags outdoors, their sacred mantras are imprinted on the wind, generating peace and good wishes. When raising prayer flags, the proper motivation is important. If they are strung up with the attitude "I will benefit from this" - that is an ego-centered motivation and the benefits will be small and narrow. If the attitude is "May all beings everywhere receive benefit and find happiness" The virtue generated by such motivation greatly increases the power of the prayers. Tibetan tradition considers prayer flags to be holy. Because they contain sacred texts and symbols they should be treated respectfully. They should not be placed on the ground or put into the trash. When disposing of them, the traditional way is to burn them so that the smoke may carry their blessings to the heavens. May your prayer flags bring you joy and peace!