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Kuwaiti ambassador explains flag colour mix-up

Shaikh Azzam insists poor quality material to blame for controversial orange hue

  • Kuwait fans cheer their team during their Gulf Cup tournament football match against Yemen.Image Credit: Reuters
  • Kuwait fans cheer their team during their Gulf Cup tournament soccer match against Yemen in Isa Town January 6Image Credit: REUTERS
Gulf News

Manama: The Kuwaiti ambassador to Bahrain has been forced to explain why some Kuwaiti flags raised before the nation’s Gulf Cup Group B opening match with Yemen on Sunday appeared to be orange in colour.

Shaikh Azzam Al Mubarak Al Sabah explained that the low quality material with which the flags — that were supposed to be green, white, red and black — were made of inadvertently resulted in an orange reflection under the dusk conditions and the Khalifa Stadium’s floodlights.

Shaikh Azzam insisted no political connotations were intended and added that pictures shared on social media websites were misunderstood and did not reflect the reality of the situation.

The Kuwaiti Times reported shock from viewers watching at home as it appeared similar flags waved by supporters had also mysteriously changed colour.

Kuwaiti Member of Parliament Nabil Al Fahdl even said the alleged colour change on fans’ flags was “a criminal act of foolish impudence” that should be punishable by law. Al Fahdl asked Azzam to take legal action against those who showed disrespect to their nation’s flag — called the Allam Baladii Derti — and even asked the interior minister to arrest the supporters upon their return to Kuwait from Manama.

Orange is a sensitive colour in Kuwait because it represents a group of youth activists called The Orange Movement, who have previously lobbied the government for political reform.

The meanings behind the colours in the Kuwaiti flag originally derive from a poem by Safie Al Deen Al Hali. The red represents the colour of blood on Kuwaiti swords, green is for fertility of the land, white is for purity and deeds, and black represents battle and defeat of the enemy.