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New National Flags

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

 

Martinique

On 10 May 2019 the French collectivité territoriale of Martinique adopted an official flag.  Whilst the territory flag officially remains the national flag of France, the new flag will be used to provide a local identity for international sport and cultural events.  The flag design was chosen after a public competition. Eight alternating segments in green and blue evoke the languages historically spoken on the West Indian island, and a circle of 34 Amerindian stars represents the 34 communes.  The central symbol is a giant Lambi conch shell.  The new flag replaces the previous unofficial flag with its four white coiled snakes in each corner of a blue flag with a white cross overall.  Another flag (divided horizontally green over black with red triangle at hoist) is used by independence activists.

     
 

Eswatini

The KIng of Swaziland, Mswati III, announced on 17 April 2018 that the country had been renamed as Kingdom of Esswatini.  The new name means "Land of the Swazis" and the name change marked the 50th anniversary of independence.  A new version of the national flag began to be promoted, with the Assegai spears and fighting stick changed from yellow to white and the feather tassels changed from blue to grey.The tassels now have a more natural looking drawing, and they represent the feathers of the long-tailed Widowbird (Isakabuli).  The medium (or dark) blue stripe has changed to light blue.  This version was apparently adopted on 1 July 2011 and it was used at the 2012 London Olympics. Formal specifications have not yet been finalised, as the King has been considering what shade of blue he prefers.  The flag drawing is the official image supplied by the government of Eswatini.  The flag of Swaziland was first raised on 25 April 1967, prior to indepnedence a year later on 6 September 1968.

     
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

 

Paraguay

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 138 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.

     
 

Belarus

The flag of Belarus was changed slightly on 1 May 2012.  The vertical tapestry pattern was widened, eliminating the two narrow white strips on either side of the tapestry. President Alexander Lukashenko adopted this form of flag in July 1995 after a referendum. The new state symbols were intended to increase the sense of national identity and to reflect Lukashenko's pro-Russian politics.  The design was similar to the flag of the Byelorussian SSR that dates from 1952.  When independence was restored in August 1991 Belarus adopted the same white-red-white horizontally striped flag that was used in the first period of independence in March to December 1918.  Following the disputed Presidential election of 2020, this independence flag has been used in mass protests.

     
 

San Marino

New specifications were adopted on 22 July 2011.  The proprtions were set at 3x4 and a new official drawing of the coat of arms of San Marino was used.  The form of the flag dates from 1862, when San Marino's independence was recognised by Italy, though similar flags date to before 1797.

     
Syrian flag  

Syria

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.  The Civil War has continued.  Islamic State forces have been defeated and the Government has reclaimed substantially all of the territory that had been under rebel control.

     
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.  However, a civil war within South Sudan occurred between December 2013 to September 2018 when a multi-party peace agreement was signed.

   

 

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 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. 

     
   

© 2021

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.