Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom to everyone. By hanging flags in high places lung ta will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the Mantras.
Prayer flags don't carry prayers to gods, its 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. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life's changes and an acknowledgement that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.
Symbols and mantras printed on prayer flags are believed sacred and they are treated with great respect. They should never be placed on ground or used in clothing. Old prayers flags should be burned.
The prayers of a flag becomes a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements.