The United Arab Emirates celebrates Flag Day every year on November 3rd, commemorating the accession of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as President of the UAE in 2004.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, first declared Flag Day an annual occasion in 2013.
The Emirati flag, inspired by the colours of Arab unity - red, white, green and black, is the key symbol of our national identity, representing our core values –loyalty, honour, tolerance, respect, independence, glory and national pride. It also symbolizes our authentic history and rich heritage, promoting a strong sense of patriotism, national unity, belonging and peace.
During the event, the UAE flag is raised across the nation by members of all communities as an expression of gratitude and loyalty to the UAE and its wise leadership. The flag can be seen on schools, institutions, government departments and ministries and helps emphasize the UAE’s values passed down by the founding fathers.
“We want to see [the flag] in our homes, farms and facilities. We want to see the flag in the sky. As high as our ambitions, as noble as our souls, flying over all corners of our nation”. – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai.
Raise it High, Raise it Proud
The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development launched national Flag Day as part of the 37th UAE National Day celebrations in December 2008. This initiative was launched as a testament to the high value placed on the flag in the hearts of local and international residents of the UAE.
The flag flies high and proud like our country and its people, and we believe it is our duty to protect the sanctity and integrity of the UAE flag and always raise it with pride. We should salute it wherever we may be and look toward it with respect and reverence. We must help distribute the flag and take it with us on our journey through life as an expression of our national pride.
The UAE flag was adopted on December 2nd, 1971 at a historical meeting between Their Highnesses, the Rulers of the UAE, at Jumeirah Palace in Dubai. This was a momentous occasion where the Declaration of the Union was also announced and the President and Vice-President of the UAE were elected.
It was on this day that the newly elected President, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, raised the UAE flag for the first time in a ceremony marked by 21 cannon shots fired in celebration.
The Arab World and the international community welcomed the UAE as a sovereign country, which seeks to preserve its independence, security and stability; a nation that strives to overcome any threats of aggression and protect the rights and liberties of its people.
Based on principles laid out in the Charter of the League of Arab States and the United Nations, the UAE supports the interests and causes of fellow Arabs and Muslims, whilst welcoming friendship and cooperation with people from all countries around the world.
The flag was designed by Abdullah Mohammad Al Maainah, who later became a Minister-Counselor in the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Inspired by the colours of Arab unity, green, white, black and red, Mr Al Maainah honoured the poet Safi al-Din al-Hilli whose well-known poem describes the white as purity of motives and deeds, black for battles, green for vast fields, and red for the swords drenched in the blood of the brave martyrs.
Mr Al Maainah’s design, selected from approximately 1,030 entrants in the UAE flag design competition, signifies:
• Green for growth, prosperity, development, splendours, continued growth and progress.
• White for good deeds, giving and generosity, striving to achieve and spread peace.
• Black for power, strength and resilience people.
• Red for the sacrifices of our nation’s sons, the legacy of their bravery, and the martyrdom instilled in the blood of courageous soldiers.
Our flag is our honour and pride – the key symbol of our national identity. As patriotic Emiratis and residents who cherish this kind and giving nation, we raise the flag as an expression of love, loyalty, devotion and pride.
The flag shall be seen raised high on top of government buildings, in front of hotels, above airport control towers, on sea and at land ports, stadiums, schools, universities, institutions, homes and rooftops.
The flag is a national emblem of the UAE. It should be placed on everything produced in the UAE, including all official documents, websites, publications, programs and media channels. It is our declaration of national pride and belonging.
- The flag shall always be clean and ironed.
- The flag shall be routinely changed to preserve its color and sheen. It shall be replaced in the case that it gets torn.
- The flag shall be tested to ensure its integrity after strong winds.
- In the case that the flag was torn, it shall be slowly lowered and folded and either stored in the appropriate place or recycled.
- It is forbidden to tear or insult the flag.
- It is forbidden to hang or raise the flag in a position that is lower than another flag.
- When the national anthem is played and the flag is raised, everyone shall stand up facing the flag.
- The military salute shall be performed by military and security personnel while raising it.
All communities in our society work towards serving the nation, to raise its flag high.
Affirming that the UAE’s flag is its primary identity and the central symbol of unified efforts.
Affirming that peaceful coexistence is among its sons and daughters, and between them and the residents on this land.
Al Bayt Mitwahid
The people of the United Arab Emirates are united in their loyalty to their leaders and their love for their nation.
The United Arab Emirates is a nation of tolerance, as different nationalities come together under its flag.
We are a dignified and independent people. Our independence is the bridge of our unity and the foundation of our strength.
Our country is sovereign in its land, sea and air.
Our pride is an honor that cannot be defeated nor abused; my nation is dear to my heart.
Glorifying the nation is dignity, civilization and nobility. The UAE’s glory is my glory, and its continued progress is my wish.
We are proud of our nation, the United Arab Emirates, and its past glory and present innovation, from cradle to grade.
To raise our flag is a sign of our freedom and belonging to the great nation.