Flag of Maldives

Maldives Flag

Maldives Flag

The current flag of the Republic of Maldives is a relatively simple design consisting of a white crescent moon curved to the left against a green background within a red background in a 2:3 ratio. When analyzing the color symbolism of the Maldivian flag, the red is supposed to signify the boldness and martyrdom of the nation’s heroes; the centered green signifies attainment of peace and plenty and the white crescent moon is a common design element in flags belonging to Islamic nations.

Maldives has had several flags over the course of its existence; while its national flag may have changed frequently, most changes were relatively minor in scale. The nation’s very first flag in recorded history was just a red flag with no patterns, designs, or shapes. The first change to this design lasted until around 1926, and added a “Dhandimathi” to the left border; this is a stripe of alternating black and white angled lines. The next change, which began somewhere along ’26 and ’32, added a white crescent moon which is similar to the moon of the modern flag, except that the image is mirrored-the points faced west. The addition of an Islamic moon to the flag occurred during Abdul Majeed’s tenure as Prime Minister. Abdul’s Majeed’s iteration of the Maldivian flag also served as the basis for its flag as a British Protectorate and the first flag of the Maldive Islands Protectorate is where the green background of the Maldives’ modern banner originates from. These two flags co-existed until 1953, when the country became a republic. Both the national and state flags of this era reversed the moon, giving it an appearance closer to its current design. The last major change to the flags of Maldives occurred in 1965, when the country won its independence from the United Kingdom. After breaking away from the oversight of a monarchy, Maldives discarded the Dhandimathi.

One historical footnote to this particular island nation would be the secession of the Suvedive Islands. Shortly into the year 1959, representatives of the Suvedive archipelago grew frustrated with the Maldivian government and decided to start their own country. The flag of this United Suvedive Republic consisted of a tricolor of sky blue, green and red; a crescent moon with the points facing east and centered within the green stripe; and three five-pointed stars arranged from the bottom-left to the top-right, with each star residing in one of the flag’s tricolor lines. These three stars symbolized the three atolls of Maldives: Addu, Huvadhu, and Fuvahmulah. The Suvedive Islands reincorporated into the nation of Maldives on September 23rd of 1963, after the British crown completely dismantled its government and the sultan abandoned his people.