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south sudan at UN
  Montenegro independence

New National Flags

National flags change over time and it is difficult for flag books to stay current. New national flags of the past ten years are shown below.  All artwork is by Ralph Kelly unless otherwise stated.

Mauritania flag  

Mauritania - Islamic Republic of Mauritania

The 1959 flag was modified on 17 August 2017 by the addition of two red stripes as a tribute for the resistance fighters fallen in the national struggle against the colonizer and those who have sacrificed their lives in defence of territorial integrity. The change was proposed by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and approved in a referendum that changed the Constitution. The final step in the formal adoption was its first official raising on 28 November 2017, the anniversary of independence.


Paraguay flag 2013

Paraguay arms 2013



The flag of Paraguay was altered on 15 July 2013 to show new drawings of the emblems. The front of the flag has the coat of arms, which has been simplified, and the reverse shows the revised Treasury arms. The introduction of new arms was one of the last acts of outgoing President Federico Franco. The drawing of the Paraguay arms has been altered on at least four occasions over the past 100 years and the latest change is intended to bring the design closer to its original form.

Ascension flag  

Ascension Island

New flag first flown 11 May 2013 on Ascension Day. The British blue ensign displays the new Coat of Arms granted by the Queen in August 2012. The shield has a green chevron representing Green Mountain and three Wideawake birds with two turtles as supporters.

Palestine flag  

Palestine - State of Palestine

On 29 November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state. This represented a milestone in international recognition of the independence asserted on 15 November 1988 when the State of Palestine was proclaimed. Currently 136 UN members recognise the State of Palestine and most others recognise its leaders as sole representatives of the Palestinian people. Not a new flag, but a new state. The flag was first adopted by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964 and the design was modified 17 February 2006.

Syrian flag  


Opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad developed into civil war during 2011, which is continuing.  A National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed in Doha, Qatar on 12 November 2012 to represent most of the opposition forces in Syria. This grouping has been recognised as "the legitimate representative of the Syrian People" by the Arab League, EU, France, Turkey, UK, USA, Australia and about 16 other countries. The flag being used by the rebels is that used by Syria from 1932 to 1958 and from 1961 to 1963.

Malawi flag  

Malawi - Republic of Malawi

The original Malawi flag was restored by the Malawi Parliament in May 2012 following the death of President Mutharika. The design had been adopted upon independence in 1964. 

Southern Sudan  

South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011 and it is the 193rd member of the United Nations.  This followed a 99% Yes vote in a referendum held on 9 January 2011 for the region to secede from The Sudan.  The new nation's flag is the design used by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement from 1983. The design now signifies one nation of black Africans united in the struggle to perpetuate peace and prosperity for all the people of South Sudan.  Autonomy was granted from 9 July 2005 under the terms of a peace agreement that ended 22 years of conflict between the north and south.



Libya 2011  

Libya - State of Libya

A civil war occurred in Libya during 2011, ending with the death of Muammar Gaddafi on 20 October 2011.  A Transitional National Council had been formed formed in Benghazi on 5 March 2011 to represent the liberation movement in the east and other parts of Libya. The flag of the former Libyan Kingdom in use from 1951 to 1969 was adopted by the National Transition Council and it is now the national flag of Libya.  Many hand-made variants were in use during the civil war.   International military intervention was sanctioned by the United Nations, resulting in the rebel forces capturing the capital, Tripoli in August 2011. 

Myanmar new flag 2010  


Myanmar raised a new flag on 21 October 2010.  The design is contained in the new Constitution (adopted 29 May 2008) that came into effect after elections in November 2010.  The design revives the colours of the triband used during the Japanese occupation of Burma in 1943-45. The large white star symbolises the Union of the states and was part of the Burmese flag used from independence in 1948 until 1974.

New Malawi flag  

Malawi - Republic of Malawi

The Malawi flag was modified by legislation signed by President Bingu wa Mutharika on 29 July 2010.  The order of the stripes was changed and the red rising sun replaced by a white fully-risen sun with 45 rays. The change was intended to symbolise the social and economic progress achieved since independence in 1964.  There was considerable criticism of the flag change from opposition political parties and the Malawi media from its proposal in December 2009.

Following the death of President Mutharika in April 2012, the Malawi Parliament voted to restore the former flag.

New Caledonia Kanak  

New Caledonia

The Congress of the French territory of New Caledonia on 13 July 2010 decided to officially adopt a local flag to be flown jointly with the French Tricolore.  The flag had previously been used unofficially in parts of the territory and is the same as that used by the Kanak independence movement since 1984. The emblem depicts a traditional carved wooden roof spire (a flèche faîtière) and tutut conch shell.

African Union flag  

African Union

A new flag for the African Union was adopted on 31 Janaury 2010 at its Assembly of Heads of State in Addis Ababa.  The new flag was the result of a competition that prescribed a green background to symbolise hope of Africa and stars to represent the 53 member states.  South Sudan joined the AU on 15 August 2011 and Morocco was readmitted 30 Jan. 2017. The number of stars has been increased to 55 stars.

Bolivia Wiphala  


The Wiphala was declared to be a national symbol in Article 6 of the Bolivian Constitution in February 2009.  From 5 August 2009 the Wiphala is required to be flown on all public and private buildings, jointly with the Bolivian national flag.  The Wiphala reflects the diversity of the Bolivian people.  The flags has its origins (possibly from the 1980s) as a symbol of Inca heritage and the indigenous people of the Andes.



Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand.  In May 2008 the General Fono (legislature) agreed on the design for a new flag for Tokelau, and this was formally adopted on 21 October 2009, after the grant of a Royal Licence in August. The flag features a stylised outrigger canoe (vaka) sailing towards the Southern Cross (Manu).  The design was the result of a national symbols competition held in two stages in 2004 and 2006 - 07. 







Kosovo - Republic of Kosovo

Independence, declared on 17 February 2008, has been recognised by the United States and a majority of EU nations, but it is not recognised by Serbia, Russia and China.  Kosovo was a province of Serbia, but has been under United Nations administration since 1999 after NATO intervention to protect the Albanian ethnic majority. The Albanian flag, without differencing, is widely used by the Albanians of Kosovo.


Iraq - Republic of Iraq

New flag 29 January 2008 with stars removed.  Script reads: Allahu Akbar - “God is Great” - The Takbir.  Form of flag from 1963 with three green stars, Takbir added 1991 and calligraphy changed to Kufic script in 2004.

    © 2018 Material Copyright to the Flag Society of Australia Inc and Pennant Advisory Services Pty Limited. Text and illustrations by Ralph Kelly. Web Design by Elizabeth Kelly of ELK Prints.