There are many misconceptions around the Qatari flag but also some very interesting facts about the country revealed through its flag’s history and how it came to be.
Being one of the most recognizable Qatari symbol, it is only natural to be interested in the nation’s emblematic flag. The current flag design dates back to 1971 when it was adopted shortly before the country declared its independence. However, the Qatari flag has been around since 1929 although its design has evolved through the years.
The flag’s current ratio is of 11:28 and it features a maroon colored side on the right with a white band on the left separated by nine white triangles, which act as a serrated line. It is worth noting that the Qatari flag is the only national flag having a width more than twice its height.
The design dates back to the 1960s but before that, Qatar used a very similar flag. The British Navy suggested a design with the color red and the nine points representing Qatar as the ninth Trucial Sate.
Qatar used maroon instead because of its symbolism to the country’s heritage and culture while diamonds and the word ‘Qatar’ in Arabic were featured on the flag at the time. Several changes were later made when the Emir Sheikh Ali bin Abdulla Al Thani removed the diamonds and the text but maintained the maroon color.
People still believe to this day that the white and maroon colors represent peace and wartime bloodshed but the choice of the colors is actually more practical. It is actually based on the purple dye extracted centuries ago from seashells on Al Khor islands but when it is exposed to the burning sun for a long period its color fades to a maroon shade. This color is known as ‘Al Adaam’, which is today the official name of Qatar’s national flag.