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Dawlat-al-Kuwayt, State of Kuwait

Last modified: 2021-10-16 by ian macdonald
Keywords: kuwait | dhow | falcon | trapezoid |
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[Flag of Kuwait] 1:2 image by Željko Heimer

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Horizontally divided green-white-red flag with a black trapezoid placed along the hoist. Flag adopted 07 Sep 1961 and officially hoisted 24 Nov 1961; coat of arms adopted in 1963. 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

contributor unknown, 1998


"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: Kuwaiti Embassy in Japan, pages 1 and 2
Dov Gutterman, 01 Apr 1999 (relinked 2012)

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 Jul 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 Jul 2006

National Flag at the London 2012 Olympics

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Kuwait: PMS 340 green, 186 red and black. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise. The NOC is marked as 'suspended at publication date'.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Construction Sheet

[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 Kuwait Information Center (website defunct)
The inscription is "Dawlat ul-Kuwait" (State of Kuwait).
Dov Gutterman, 21 Mar 2001