At 11am today, citizens and residents across the UAE will mark Flag Day. It will be the seventh year in which the annual celebration has taken place.
Flag Day was first celebrated in 2013. The idea was conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, to celebrate the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE in 2004.
It is commemorated every year on the anniversary, November 3. It is not a public holiday.
The day is marked by schools, government offices, businesses and individuals, who hang the country’s banner outside their homes and workplaces. Flag-raising ceremonies, in which the national anthem is played, are also held to mark the occasion.
Who designed the flag?
Abdullah Al Maainah, after entering a competition in Al Ittihad newspaper to design the flag in 1971, inspired by the poet, Safi-u-ddin Al Hali. The young Emirati intended the four colours to represent Arab unity, as described in poetry written by Al Hali.
His submission beat more than 1,000 entries to be selected to represent the new nation. Mr Al Maainah was 19 at the time, and later went on to become the minister of foreign affairs.
Only two flags were raised in December 1971 to mark the formation of the nation – one in Abu Dhabi, the other at Union House in Dubai. On Tuesday there are likely to be hundreds of thousands.
Do the colours of the flag hold any special meaning?
There are three horizontal bands of green, white and black, with a vertical strip of red next to the mast. The flag’s four colours – known as the pan-Arab colours – each represent a different attribute. They are red for courage, green for hope, white for honesty and black for strength of mind. Together, they represent the unity of Arabs.