History of UAE Flag
The History of the UAE flag, from ancient flags to current flags, is interesting as it has seen some major changes. The UAE flag evolution is noteworthy due to the major design developments the old UAE flag has gone through to become the flag we all know. Let’s look at the major flags that have represented the UAE over the years.
The Achaemenid Empire was founded in 550 BC that was the first Persian Empire. It was the largest empire in the history of the world. There were many states that covered 5.5 million square kilometers. It held nearly half of the population of the world. The United Arab Emirates was one of them as well. The flag above having a royal falcon is a sacred bird according to Persians, that God sent to help them. The old UAE flag consists of three colors, each representing a different element. Red represents courage, white represents peace, and green color represents the Islamic religion in the empire.
Sasanian Empire was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire that is known as Iran now. This empire lasted till 224 CE. After that, it was overthrown by the Arab Rashidun Caliphate. This Empire used the banner that has the meaning of Standard of Jamshid or the Royal Standard. Sasanian Empire advanced the civilization through great achievements that were unparallel and held. They had an army of over 150,000 and held the emirates that are part of the UAE now. At that time, a war occurred in which Kaveh, the hero, wore an apron for the fight. After winning the war, people decorated the apron with jewels. The yellow color on the flag represents those jewels of the apron. There is a lotus flower in the middle that represents the royal stars of Persia.
It was 11,100,000 square kilometers big, and they took over the Sasanian empire this is when Islam spread across the Middle East. Umayyads, or “Banu Umayya” was the leading clan of the Quraysh tribe present in Mecca. This old UAE flag that they used was all white because Islam is all about simplicity and the plain color flags signify this. The Umayyad chose the color white to distinguish them from the Abbasid, who used a plain black flag. The two caliphates established after Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) were The Abbasid and The Ummayad.
Bani Yas is the high tribe of Southern Arabia whose origins trace back to Yas Bin Amer. It is a historical coalition between several tribes in the United Arab Emirates; the tribes start from Dubai and extend to Qatar, they have their headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the present day, and in the past, it was in Al Dhafra. The leaders of this coalition are from the Al Nahyan, the six most powerful and ruling families of the UAE. They have a red flag that signifies the importance of unity.
Al Qasimi is an Arab dynasty which is currently ruling Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. In the Arabian peninsula, it is the longest reign of a royal family. The flag was waved in 1820 during wartime only. The flag has popular verses from the Quran (61:13), which told the Prophet (PBUH) that the victory for all his struggles is near. The color green in the flag signifies hope, the color red signifies unity, and the color white is a sign of peace.
Between 1820 and 1892, the Trucial states were under the British government, and they signed many treaties with the Britishers. They became under their protection in one way or another till 1971. Before the inception of the United Arab Emirates, the states had tried to make a federation of the Arab Emirates, which also had proposed members of Kuwait and Bahrain, and this was also their flag. This old UAE flag’s colors include white to show the anti-piracy treaties signed with Britishers. The seven-pointed star was for the 7 sheikhdoms of the federation.
The Current Flag
Abdulla Mohammed Al Ma’enah, a 19-year-old designed the UAE’s current flag in 1971. The Al Ittihad newspaper at the time advertised for the competition to design a flag for the nation. Abdulla won the competition, defeating 1000 other competitors. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, chose this flag from the competition. Looking at the UAE flag evolution, it is interesting to note what all the colors mean. The red color represents bravery, courage, strength, and hardiness. Green showcases joy, love, hope, and optimism. The black color indicates the strength of the mind and the defeat of the enemies. As for white, it represents honesty and peace.