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Friday, November 25, 2011

History of the National Flag of the UAE, Part III

National Flag of the UAE, Part III:- Pre - Union Phase
By Kenneth Sequeira
Prior to the Union, the seven Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain were part of the Trucial States, which then included Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
 Abu Dhabi FDC prior to the Union

The Trucial States traditionally flew plain red flags.  Early in the 19th Century, the British India vessels were constantly being attacked by the pirates in this region, hence this stretch of coast became known as the "Pirate Coast". In 1819 the British Govt. dispatched a large fleet and within a year they had destroyed and captured every Pirate ships that it had come across and occupied all the major forts in the area, including Ra's al-Khaimah.

Then in 1820 the British Govt. imposed a General Treaty of Peace on all Arab Sheikhdoms along this coast and prescribed them to fly a square "white pierced red" flag instead of the plain red flags they were wearing on their vessels. The white in the flag would signify they had abandoned piracy. This flag was however not acknowledged by all tribes, who changed the designs and proportions.
The treaty with the British Govt. was in 1835 upgraded to the "Maritime Truce" in which Sheikhs agreed to stop all hostilities at sea and this was further revised in 1839 and 1853. Because of this, the area became known as "Trucial Oman" or the "Trucial Coast".
  Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah FDC’s prior to the Union.

In 1960 the Trucial States Council was formed; its flag, with the traditional red and white, included a green seven-pointed star, for the seven Sheikhdoms. Originally a flag was proposed with a nine-pointed star, as it was hoped that Qatar and Bahrain would also join the Federation; this did not happen, so the flag only had seven points. In 1971 the Trucial States Council terminated the defense treaties with the United Kingdom and established a six-member federation; Ra's al-Khaimah joined the following year.

Ajman, Dubai and Fujeira FDCs prior to Union

Air India Inaugural First Flight Covers before and after the Union
Before the Union the each Emirate had individual stamps.
(To be continued)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Flag of the UAE, Part II by Kenneth Sequeira

  National Flag of the UAE
Part II: The Union

With the formation of the UAE, the Federation flag was adopted as the Union of seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah). 
Below are the 1985 issues with then Emirs (Rulers) of the seven Emirates;

Prior to the Union in 1971, below were the flags of the each of the Emirates, when they part of the Trucial States (In reference to a 19th century truce between the UK and several Arab Shaikhs).

Abu Dhabi

Dubai and Ajman


Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah

Umm –Al Qaiwain

Do you see anything in common in all the pre-union flags, all of them were Red and White.

 To know why they were all the same colour, stay tuned for the Part III – Pre –Union Phase