Flag of Somaliland

Flag of Somaliland

Infobox flag
Name = the Republic of Somaliland
Article =

Use = 111000
Symbol =
Proportion = 1:2
Adoption = October 14, 1996
Design = A horizontal tricolor of green, white, and red, with the "Shahada" inscribed in white on the green stripe, and a black 5-pointed star charged on the white stripe
Type = National
The current flag of Somaliland, the former British part of Somalia, was introduced on October 14, 1996, when it was approved by the National Conference. Somaliland, which declared its independence on 18 May, 1991, is still not recognised by any other country.

The flag in general contains the Pan-Arab colors of green, black, white and red. On the green stripe, there is the Shahadah in white script, similar to that of the Saudi Arabian flag. The white band contains a black star, "the demise of greater Somalia's dream".

Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland, as approved on May 31, 2001 by referendum:

Article 7: The Flag, the Emblem and the National Anthem

1. The flag of the Republic of Somaliland shall consist of three horizontal, parallel and equal sections, the top section, which is coloured green and has inscribed in its midst in white in Arabic language "La Ilaha Ill-Allah, Muhammadan Rasulullah" (أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله, There is no god except for Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God); the middle section is white and has at its centre a black star; and the bottom section is coloured red.


*Green - Prosperity
*White - Peace
*Red - The blood of the fallen heroes of the liberation.
*Shahadah - Islam
*Black star - The demise of the dream of Greater Somalia.

Rules for the usage of the Flag

The government set out principles on how to use the flag. It should be treated with respect and used very carefully and sensitivity. Because the Shahada has huge importance in Islam, the first pillar of Islam "etc", regulations have specially been made on the usage of the flag.

Half mast

It is forbidden for Somalis to fly the flag at half mast because it has the Shahada (which says in Arabic "There is no other God except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah") written on it so it will be an un-Islamic and disrespectful way to treat the flag. Even if the President or someone with a high Somaliland governmental status dies, the flag does not fly at half-mast. When the second President of Somaliland Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal died, he received a state funeral and thousands of Somalis flocked to witness his funeral and mourn his death but the Flag of Somaliland was raised at full mast instead of the traditional half-mast gesture. Moreover, if a person is seen lowering the flag at half-mast, they might be taken to gaol or to court and it would be considered as a criminal offence. Similar rules, for the same reason, also apply to the flag of Saudi Arabia

Alternative flags

Although the aforementioned Article 7 clearly states that the bottom of the flag is red, many versions have been seen with a clear orange colour instead. Another variation is the orientation of the star, many Somaliland flags have the star pointing the opposite direction from other flags, this upside-down star version is used quite widely.

Some flags have a plain green band, without the holy Shahada script, hence may be exempt from the half-mast rule (although this is unclear), other flags have the Shahada written along the full length of the green stripe.

Most Somaliland flags are of the ratio 2:1. This seems to be a common factor in flags used by the people of Somaliland and people calling for Somaliland recognition. Pictures of flags on the internet etc. often erroneously show a shorter flag (of ratio 2:3 etc). [http://flagspot.net/flags/so-mv.html]

Flags of British Somaliland

1903 - 1950

1903 to 1950]

When the British annexed and occupied the area that encompasses "Somaliland" in 1903, they established a protectorate and made it part of the British Empire. The reason for this was the region was in a major trading zone and it was a crucial trading link with British India and Egypt. The British adopted a new flag for the region (officially named "British Somaliland"). Like many Commonwealth countries, the flag had a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter of the flag. Also, There was an image of a Kudu (an antelope native to the Somaliland area) on a white disc. The flag was flown on top of Somali fleet or Government buildings in British Somaliland.

1950 - 1960

1950 to 1960]

In 1950 The Protectorate of British Somaliland's badge and flag changed and thus all flags which bore it. The flag still had the Union flag on the quarter-hoist, therefore that was unchanged. The Kudu's head and shoulders were retained and taken off to formed the most dominant feature on the new arms, although the antelope's face was now looking straight out at the observer. Between its horns, the Royal crown was inserted to symbolize the Royal family and the British Empire in general.

The badge was changed as well; it consisted of an escutcheon divided vertically into green and blue colours, having a chief with a golden Somali shield in front of two spears in saltire, heads downwards, in natural colours. The green portion contained an image of a white minaret. Moreover, on the blue quarter, an Arabian dhow in full sail on waves of the sea, with a golden anchor in the base. The Kudu's head was facing forward to the observer instead of facing left on the earlier version. Above, the Kudu was the Royal Crown between the horns. Underneath, there was a wreath coloured in green and yellow which formed the very imposing Crest.

When Somaliland attained her independence on 26 June 1960 and was united with the rest of Somalia on 1 July the same year, the flag was no longer used.


External links


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