Abu Dhabi: Forty years ago this day, a new flag was hoisted for the first time at the Jumeirah Palace in Dubai. Its colours — red, green, white and black — were all colours traditionally associated with the states that made up the new nation, the United Arab Emirates, without being specific to any particular emirate.
On a fine December day in 1971, the UAE flag was added to the line of banners fluttering in the breeze outside the United Nations building in New York.
Today the UAE cele-brates 40 years of independence and union. The 40th National Day has evoked unprecedented excitement and pride across the nation. Most houses, high-rise towers, cars and people have flown the flag and decorations in UAE colours.
The UAE flag has three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white and black, with a wider red band on the hoist side.
"The UAE flag incorporated colours associated with all the emirates that comprised the new union, without being specific to any particular one," said Abdullah Mohammad Al Maeena, ambassador of the UAE to Chile.
Al Maeena was 19 years old when he designed the UAE flag. "I was inspired by a poem by the well-known Arab poet Safi Al Deen Al Hilli when he spoke of the noble qualities of the Arabs … their bravery, strength and valour, represented in the red colour… their hope, joy and love, represented in the green colour… their peace and honesty, represented in white and the defeat of enemies or determination, represented in black," he said.
Al Maeena's entry was presented in the last hour of the deadline of the flag-designing competition.
Al Maeena said the red and white bands, which were used in the flags of all the Trucial States before the Union, embrace other bands, to portray the unity between the emirates.
He said he was impressed by the Emiratis' display of national confidence and pride in their Federation and flag.