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Spirit of the Union: Know the national symbols of the UAE and their meaning

National Emirati identity and deeply-felt patriotism complement strong heritage of constituent emirates

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 from formerly individual emirates that came together as a federal union.

Over the years, the strong heritage of the constituent emirates has been complemented by a growing national Emirati identity and deeply felt patriotism that lends its outward expression in an array of symbols. Some, like the national flag and the falcon badge, are formal emblems of the federal government.

Others, like the dhow or the date palm, are more casual symbols drawn from Emirati life and heritage. The government and people also celebrate the UAE’s achievements with special festivals that mark different aspects of the nation’s glory.

An important part of the public expression of the patriotism and engaged citizenship of the UAE people is in the use of these symbols in many different ways.

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The national colours are used in varying contexts as are some of the popular symbols, while the more formal badges of the federal government are used with discretion to represent the authority of the government.




A protective amulet is attached to a bedouin child’s clothing to ward off the ‘envious eye’. The mother observes various rites in order to make her child a member of the household.


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