If you like the look of any decor item, including an item with a long history of specific cultural use, it's fine to explore its use for good feng shui in your home or garden. It might not be exactly accurate to call the prayer flags a decor item as, in their essence, the prayer flags are anything but decor!
Filled with deep spiritual energy, the prayer flags have their roots in one of the oldest religions of Tibet called Bon, and have been introduced to a wider feng shui use in the West by the practitioners of the Black Sect Tibetan Tantric Buddhist School of Feng Shui.
The Symbolic Meaning of Prayer Flags
The colors of the prayer flags represent the five feng shui elements, even though the specific order is neither the destructive nor the productive element cycle. The first flag is blue (water element), followed by white (metal element), red (fire element), green (wood element), and yellow (earth element).
Traditionally, the prayer flags are used in outdoor places with powerful energy such as the areas around monasteries, in the mountains or other sacred sites; the flags have words (prayers) and images of deities on them. Since the wind, energy, or Chi (universal energy/life force) is believed to carry those prayers far and wide, as well as because the energy is always most powerful in natural versus man-made surroundings, the prayer flags are not used indoors.
This is not to say that if you use the prayer flags indoors you will create bad feng shui. It is always good, though, to find out as much as you can about any specific item you intend to use as a feng shui cure, especially if the item has a long history of spiritual or religious use.
You can find good info online about the history and the use of prayer flags, so I will answer your question by focusing only on the use of prayer flags for feng shui purposes.
Feng Shui Uses of Prayer Flags
- Unblock and activate specific bagua area(s). The bright colors of the prayer flags are a classical cure for temporary activation of any bagua area in need of more energy. Ideally, you would do that in the garden, because flags are activated by wind. However, you can also have them indoors if that suits your taste and your home decor.
- Elevate the energy of your home altar or the area of your spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, etc). The prayer flags naturally belong in a space where you want a concentration of supporting spiritual energy, and a home altar can be the best place to display the prayer flags in your home.
- Energize the energy around your home by using the flags in your garden. This is a classical use of the prayer flags, along with other wind-activated items, such as colorful windsocks, wind chimes, whirligigs, etc. The constant movement of color and sound keeps Chi, or energy, active and fresh, which is one of the main goals of feng shui.
Prayer Flags Dos and Don'ts
- Do treat your prayer flags with respect and take good care of them.
- Do not display in lower energy areas, such as the bathroom, the garage or the laundry room.
- Do not place them on the floor (or anywhere one can step on the prayer flags).
- If you use the flags indoors, be sure to reposition them often or refresh, as they need movement in order to be most effective.
As with the placement of all feng shui cures, it is good to keep in mind that in order to create good feng shui in any space, you also have to work with your own energy, as well as develop the power of your intent.
Place your prayer flags with the full intent of receiving the most benefit from their powerful energy, and be sure to reciprocate that energy with genuine kindness, presence, and gratitude.