Flag of Bahrain
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Red is a flag color with great tradition and widespread in the Indian Ocean area, from the coasts of Arabia, to Zanzibar, to the Maldives. It has a close relationship with Islam, as red is the color of: 1.) the Sharifs of Mecca, 2.) the Kharijites and Ibadites, and 3.) the descendants of Caliph Ali. Before 1915, many Arab countries used a solid red flag. In 1820, some emirates in the Persian Gulf area signed a General Maritime Treaty with Great Britain, which was intended to stop piracy in the region. As a sign of acceptance, many Arab emirates added a white stripe to their traditional red flags, or added other white structures, borders, etc. Thus, the flag of Bahrain also carried a white stripe in the red flag at the flagstaff. The present flag of Bahrain was probably introduced in 1932. The red flag cloth was separated from the white stripe by a zigzag line, but allegedly the old version is still used occasionally. This flag was slightly changed on 22.02.2002. The number of white prongs in the flag was reduced from eight to five.
Red with a white band or five white prongs pointing to the right on the left side.
The white band dates back to 1820, when the states of the Persian Gulf, formerly known as the 'Pirate Coast', established a maritime agreement among themselves and consequently added white components to their flags. The jags were added to the band only in 1932. The five prongs represent the five pillars of Islam. The flag of Qatar is very similar in design, but contains more jags and is reddish brown or maroon compared to the ('British') red in the flag of Bahrain. The colors red and white are traditional colors of the Gulf States.
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