Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid calls on public to mark UAE Flag Day

This year’s event, on November 3, will be particularly special, coming just weeks before the UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has called on the country to mark UAE Flag Day next week.

Wednesday, November 3, will be the ninth time that the annual celebration takes place.

But this year’s Flag Day will be particularly special, coming just weeks before the UAE’s Golden Jubilee on December 2.

“Brothers and sisters, the UAE will celebrate the 50th year Flag Day on November 3. We call on our citizens, organisations and ministries to hoist the flag simultaneously on November 3 at 11am,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.

“This symbolises the state, sovereignty and unity of the past 50 years and shall remain with us for the next 50 years to establish belonging, loyalty and love to the UAE soil.”

The event, which was conceived by Sheikh Mohammed to celebrate the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE in 2004, was first marked in 2013.

It is commemorated every year on the anniversary, which is not a public holiday.

The day is marked by schools, government offices, businesses and individuals, who hang the national flag outside their homes and workplaces.

Flag-raising ceremonies, in which the national anthem is played, are also held to mark the occasion.

The UAE flag was designed by a young Emirati, Abdullah Al Maainah, in 1971, as part of a competition in Al Ittihad newspaper.

The young Emirati intended the four colours to represent Arab unity, as described in poetry written by Safi-u-ddin Al Hali.

These are red for courage, green for hope, white for honesty and black for strength of mind.

His submission beat more than 1,000 entries vying to become the new nation's emblem.

Mr Al Maainah was 19 at the time, and later went on to become the minister of foreign affairs.

Only two flags were raised in December 1971 to mark the formation of the nation – one in Abu Dhabi, the other at Union House in Dubai.

Next Wednesday, there are likely to be hundreds of thousands.

The authorities have released a set of rules people must abide by if they want to fly the UAE flag.

According to the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, flags flown permanently at government buildings or embassies should be rectangular in shape, with its height being half of its width and the colours in the correct order.

The flag’s condition must be checked every 45 days to ensure it is not damaged; it must be changed every six months.

Regulations also exist to govern the short-term use of flags. According to the rules, the flag should be made of nylon and it must weigh more than 122.5 grams for every square metre.

Heavy penalties exist for anyone who is found abusing the flag.

According to Article 176, “anyone who publicly insults the President, flag or the national emblem of the State, shall be punished by detention".

Article 3 of federal law No 2 for 1971 says whoever uses the flag inappropriately will face a jail sentence up to six months, and / or a fine “as the country’s flag should be treated with dignity and respect, and should not be insulted, and not raised below any other flag or banner”.

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 12:39 PM
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