No I am not insulted at all.
I just tried twice to post a long and detailed reply to you about the prayer flags and their meaning and uses. Both times I lost it when I tried to post. Bummer…. well here we go again third time is the charm.
What can I tell you about the prayer flags? … The first thing that I should say is that I am not a practicing Buddhist let alone a Tibetan Buddhist. I am kind of an eclectic blend of Daoist, Buddhist, New Ager. I grew up in Boulder Colorado which EVERYBODY knows is the New Age Fruitbat Capital of the known Universe. Boulder is the home of the Buddhist University Naropa where my wife received her masters degree. We both have been very influenced by Buddhist thought. I tend more toward Daoism because of the influence of the Daoist martial arts that I do. My wife has traveled in Tibet to Lhasa and to Mt Kailash. She and I are I guess what you would call big fans of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. So this is my basis of understanding you could probably find more accurate info on the internet.
The flags are called “Wind Horses” or Lung Ta in Tibetan. They carry the prayers on the wind to the heavens. They are colored for the five elements: Earth is yellow, Ether is blue, Air is green, Fire is red, Water is white. This is a slightly different set of elements than the ones used by the Daoists by the way. They also have symbolic power animals on them the Lion, Tiger, Dragon and the Garuda a mythical bird. Tibetan Buddhism is rich with archetypal symbology. Each time the wind blows and the flag flutters the prayer is resent to the heavens. They are left until they are blown to tatters.
The flags are hung in sacred places and in places where one needs a prayer, like a dangerous mountain pass or after the pass for thanks. They are hung around homes for protection and health, at business for prosperity and anywhere for peace. They can be a general prayer or for something more specific. You can pray for an individual by printing their name on it. The flags are sort of a general luck charm and prayer to be used in almost any situation.
I have mine because they make me happy and joyful. I find watching them flutter in the wind to be very meditative. They also help me to feel more grounded in my own spiritual path now that I live in Loveland where there aren’t very many of us crazy martial art nut case, Daoist, Buddhist, New Age, Astrological, Eclectics with Pantheistic tendencies.
Ps - for the astrologers out there bees being the messengers that they are are of the sign Gemini and Gemini is also my natal sun sign!
It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.