- Flag of Saudi Arabia
The flag of Saudi Arabia is the flag used by the government of
Saudi Arabiasince March 15, 1973. It is a green flag featuring in white an Arabic inscriptionand a sword.
The script on the flag is written in the "
Thuluth" script. It is the " shahadah" or Islamic declaration of faith:
:لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله:"la ilaha ill allah muhammadun rasul allah":"There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Messenger"
sword, symbolizes the importance of the inscription by underlining it.
Green flags bearing this or other Arabic scripts are frequently seen in
Islamand should not be confused with the Saudi national flag. These other flags normally do not bear the sword symbol.
The flag is manufactured with differing obverse and reverse sides, to ensure the "shahada" reads correctly, from right to left, from either side. The sword points from hoist to fly on both sides. The flag is sinister hoisted, meaning that the obverse side (front) has the hoist side (flagpole side) to the right.
Because the "shahada" is considered holy the flag is not normally used on T-shirts or other items. Saudi Arabia protested against its inclusion on a planned football to be issued by
FIFA, bearing all the flags of the participants of the 2002 Football World Cup. Saudi officials said that kicking the creed with the foot was completely unacceptable. Similarly, an attempt by the US militaryto win favour with children of the Prost region of Afghanistanby distributing footballs adorned with flags, including that of Saudi Arabia, ended in demonstrations [cite news|first=Alastair|last=Leithead|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6964564.stm|title='Blasphemous' balls anger Afghans|work= BBC News Online|date= 2007-08-26|accessdate=2007-08-26] .
The flag is never lowered to half-mast as a sign of mourning.
The normal flag cannot be hoisted vertically according to Saudi legislation. Special vertical flags are manufactured where both the inscription (the creed) and the emblem (the sword) are rotated, although this is rare as most Arab countries lack the tradition of hoisting flags vertically. [http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/sa.html]
A green flag with the "shahada" has been connected with the
Wahhabireformist movement since the 18th century. This movement was associated with the Al Saudfamily's rise to power, and when Abdulaziz ibn Abdulrahman as-Saudbecame King of the Nejdin 1902, he added a sword to this flag. The design of the flag was not standardized prior to March 15 1973, and variants with two swords and/or a white vertical stripe at the hoist were frequently used. By 1938, the flag had basically assumed its present form.
The precursor states to Saudi Arabia were
Nejdand Hejaz. The state flag of Nejd followed today's Saudiflag pattern very closely. The state of Hijaz followed the patterns seen in countries like Western Saharaand Sudan. A possible solution to the FIFAflag controversy could had been to use Hejaz's last flag or one of Nejd's from the early 20th century. From 1744 a crescent was present.Fact|date=January 2008 From 1902 until 1921 a different Arabic inscription was used.
civil ensign, for use by merchant vessels at sea, is a green flag with the state flag in the canton with a white border. The royal standard is the state flag with the palm tree and swords in the canton.
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