About UAE Flag Day: The History, Meaning and How to Celebrate | ExpatWoman.com

About UAE Flag Day: The History, Meaning and How to Celebrate

Learn all about the history of the UAE's flag, the meanings of each colour and the reasons behind why it has it's own day

Posted on

2 November 2015

Last updated on 25 July 2019
About UAE Flag Day: The History, Meaning and How to Celebrate

Created in 1971 for the country's formation, the flag of the UAE is a symbol of much pride for Emiratis. 

Way back on December 2nd, 1971, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan declared the establishment of the United Arab Emirates as an independent country. On this day, he hoisted the new UAE flag to commemorate. 

Living in the Emirates, it's no surprise then, to see them raised high in the sky on homes, skyscrapers, pillars across the country. It's also not an unusual sight to see expats living here to adopt the flag and display it with pride. 


All about UAE Flag Day

In fact, the UAE flag has its own day dedicated to it... November 3rd every year is marked as UAE Flag Day. It's a day to restore the flags values, which is a symbol of the country's unity and greatness, and represents the aspirations for a better future for the people of the UAE. 

Did you know? UAE Flag Day on November 3rd also coincides with the accession anniversary of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the presidency of the country.

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The history of the UAE flag

The flag that we've all grown to love and respect was actually the result of a competition entry! Back in 1971, a young Emirati, Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah designed the flag after reading an advertisement announcing a competition for designing the UAE flag. Over 1030 designs participated, and only 6 were short-listed and finally the current flag won. 

What does the UAE flag stand for? 

There are four colours that make up the flag's design, each with their own unique meaning. 

  • Red represents bravery, hardiness, strength and courage. It can also be intepreted as binding all the other colours, or meanings, together in unity as it is vertical to the side. 
  • Green represents hope, joy, optimism and love, and can also symbolise the country's prosperity. 
  • The colour white represents peace and honesty. It is the purest colour, and to some is interpreted to symbolise cleanliness. 
  • The last colour, which is black, stands for the defeat of enemies and also strength of mind. 

How can we celebrate on UAE Flag Day?

Normally celebrations occur on November 3rd every year, and Emiratis across the UAE will sing the country's national anthem.

However, for 2017 - the UAE Flag Day will instead be celebrated on the 2nd November.

The lyrics to the UAE's national anthem are:

Live my country, the unity of our Emirates lives
You have lived for a nation
Whose religion is Islam and guide is the Quran
I made you stronger in God's name oh homeland
My country, My country, My country, My country
God has protected you from the evils of the time
We have sworn to build and work
Work sincerely, work sincerely
As long as we live, we'll be sincere sincere
The safety has lasted and the flag has lived oh our Emirates
The symbol of Arabism
We all sacrifice for you, we supply you with our blood
We sacrifice for you with our souls oh homeland

Is there guidelines to using the UAE flag?

Yes there is, but unfortunately we can't find a copy ourselves! However, what we can tell you is that the flag can be and is used at all national events, religious, social, sports events and others, internally and externally beyond the UAE. 

There is a flag charter that you may read from 1971, which offers a basic guide to how the flag should look and be used by individuals. 



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