World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Bahrain Mean?

Bahrain's national flag was adopted on February 14, 2002.

The Flag Of Bahrain

The flag of Bahrain is made up of two bands of different colors and different widths. The left band is white in color and takes up a little over one-third of the background. The band on the right hand side is red and covers the remaining two-thirds of background space. These two parts are separated by a zig-zag design that is made up of 5 white points, or triangle shapes. This design creates 4 whole triangles and two half-triangles on the red side. In any size, the flag of Bahrain is represented by a height to width ratio of three to five. The current flag of Bahrain was officially adopted on February 14, 2002, although the country gained its independence in 1971.

Symbolism Of The Flag Of Bahrain

The current design of the flag of Bahrain holds significant meaning for this country. The symbolism behind the colors used here date back to at least the early 19th century, when the Arab countries signed the General Treaty of Peace with the UK. According to this treaty, the signing countries should include a band of white to represent their new, peaceful relationship. At this time, the flag of Bahrain (and that of many other countries) already incorporated the color red, which is considered to represent the Kharijite sect of the Islamic religion. By 1932, the government of Bahrain had decided to include a zig-zag design between these two colors so that the flag would be unique from that of other members of the peace treaty. In 2002, the number of white triangle points along this division was changed to five. Each of these points is said to represent the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the basic guiding principles to living life according to the faith.

Variations Of The Flag

As previously mentioned, the flag of Bahrain has changed several times throughout the years. Prior to signing the peace treaty in 1820, this flag had a solid red background. A narrow white strip was added in a vertical position to the left side in 1820. This design remained the national flag for the next 112 years or so, until 1932. It was in 1932 that the government added the zig-zag design to distinguish its flag from others in the area. This zig-zag line had 28 white triangles, although no information is available about what these 28 points might have represented. Between 1972 and 2002, the number of points on the dividing line was changed to only 8 and in 2002, that number was further reduced to 5.

In terms of variations of the current flag, the country of Bahrain also uses a royal standard for the exclusive representation of the monarch and the royal family. This flag looks exactly like the official national flag with the addition of a golden yellow crown in the top left corner. This image is just the outline of a crown with 9 points at the top and 5 circles along the lower band. It has the same height to width ratio. The design of the national flag is also incorporated into the flags of the Bahrain Defence Force and the Bahrain Army.

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