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Dawlat-al-Kuwayt, State of Kuwait

Last modified: 2008-01-19 by ian macdonald
Keywords: kuwait | dhow | falcon | trapezoid | aircraft marking |
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[Flag of Kuwait]1:2  image by Željko Heimer
Flag adopted 7 September 1961 and officially hoisted 24 November 1961; coat of arms adopted in 1963.

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Description of the Flag

Horizontally divided green-white-red flag with a black trapezoid placed along the hoist. Used on land as the civil and state flag and at sea as the civil, state, and war ensign. Approximate color specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Red: Pantone 186 c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 90 - Y 80 - K 5
  • Green: Pantone 340 c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 0 - Y 70 - K 15

Meaning of the flag

"Kuwaiti flags came in all shapes and sizes from the establishment of Kuwait until 1961, when on gaining full independence the government decided to replace the old flag with a new design. This was promulgated by a law issued on 7/9/1961 (27 Rabi 1 1381 AH). The first article stipulated that Kuwait's national flag should consist of a horizontal rectangle which is twice as long as it is wide. This is divided into three equal horizontal stripes, the top one being green, the middle white and the bottom red, with the side next to the flag pole forming the base of a black trapezoid protruding into the stripes. The colors of the flag are derived from a poem by Safie Al-Deen Al-Hili."
Source: the defunct Kuwait Information Center website
Dov Gutterman, 1 April 1999

The official explanation refers to the pan-Arab colours:

  • White: deeds
  • Black: battlefields
  • Green: meadows
  • Red: soaked with the blood of our enemies.

Another explanation says that white signifies honor, black stands for the sand whirled by Kuwaiti horsemen in the battle for freedom, green for the fields and red for gallantry.
Source: Webster's Concise Encyclopedia of Flags & Coats of Arms [mch85]
Jarig Bakker, 21 July 1999

The colors of the Kuwaiti flag are an example of the use of the Pan-Arab colors used in the Arab revolt of World War I. According to the sources quoted there the Pan-Arab colors represent the following:

  • RED- either the Kharwarij sect, or the Sharifin (i.e. Hashemite) family
  • Green- the Fatimid dynasty
  • White- the Ummayad dynasty
  • Black- either the prophet Mohammed, or the Abbasid dynasty
Ned Smith, 18 July 2006

Construction sheet for the flag

[Construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons [pay00] and law #26 on the flag.

National emblem

[Coat of arms of Kuwait]from the website of the Kuwaiti embassy in Argentina

"The emblem of Kuwait consisted of 'a helmet with a falcon and two intersecting flags over it' until the middle of 1963, when the Council of Ministers decided to replace it with a new one. The present emblem of Kuwait is a falcon with outspread wings embracing a dhow (boom) sailing on blue and white waves. It is a symbol of Kuwait's maritime tradition."
Source: the defunct Kuwait Information Center website
The inscription is Dawlat ul-Kuwait (State of Kuwait).
Dov Gutterman, 21 March 2001


[Jack] image by Željko Heimer

Navy blue flag with a white disk containing the naval emblem. The emblem consists of the zaruk ship on waves over a white anchor encircled with a golden wreath and crowned with the Emir's crown.
Source: Album des Pavillons [pay00]
Željko Heimer, 3 April 2002

Missing Kuwaitis tribute flag

[Tribute flag] image by Santiago Tazón

Flag with a yellow background and a circle in the center with the logo formed by two hands in the national colors gripping the bars. The motto, written in English and Arabic, is We will never forget you.
Santiago Tazón, 24 May 2002

This flag is not just for prisoners of war (none of which the Iraqis admit holding) but for all Kuwaitis missing from the 1990-91 war, many of whom are civilians apparently taken to Iraq during the occupation. I believe the logo on the flag is that of the national commission for missing Kuwaitis.
Joseph McMillan, 25 May 2002