Akrotiri and Dhekelia is a British territory on the island of Cyprus. The island of Cyprus was a colony of Great Britain, but when it regained its independence in 1960, The United Kingdom retained Akrotiri and Dhekelia as military bases. Officially, they are called the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Akrotiri and Dhekelia is actually the only British Overseas Territory without its own unique flag. There are several different flags which are occasionally used by people who live on the bases.
The flag of the United Kingdom is used for all official purposes on Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The flag, which is commonly called the Union Jack, is a red cross of Saint George, superimposed on a cross of Saint Patrick, superimposed on the flag of Scotland. The overall effect is of red crosses edged in white going diagonally and vertically over a blue background. The Union Jack is flown at all government buildings and the border check points of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
The old flag of British Cyprus is still occasionally used, even though the colony officially no longer exists. The British Cyprus flag had the Union Jack in the upper left quadrant, a blue background, and two red lions on the right side. The red lions are the coat of arms of King Richard I of England, who conquered Cyprus.
The flag of the Dhekelia Garrison is often considered to be the unofficial flag of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. It is commonly displayed throughout the territory, at schools and sailing clubs. This flag is a modified version of the British Cyprus flag. It has a green background, and the two lions from Richard I’s coat of arms are displayed on the left side in gold. Though it is strictly a military flag, it is often used since so much of the population of the territory is military.
The other flag that often appears on Akrotiri and Dhekelia is the flag of the Republic of Cyprus. Though Akrotiri and Dhekelia are not officially a part of the Republic of Cyprus, they are still on very good terms with the nation that surrounds the bases. Therefore, some of the local residents will fly that flag. The flag of Cyprus is a copper colored silhouette of Cyprus above dark green olive branches on a white background.