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قطر, State of Qatar, دولة قطر,

Last modified: 2023-06-24 by ian macdonald
Keywords: qatar | asia | serration | zig-zag | indented | persian gulf | diamonds: 10 (red) |
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[Qatar] 11:28 image by Zachary Harden, 31 May 2013

Official Name: دولة قطر [Dawlat Qaṭar], State of Qatar
Short Form: قطر [Qaṭar], Qatar
Capital: Doha
Flag Adopted: 09 Jul 1971
Coat of Arms Adopted: 1976

See also:


Description: Maroon flag with a white serrated (zigzag) stripe at the hoist
Proportions: 11:28 (very often 2:3 or 3:5)
Use: On land, national, civil and war flag, at sea, national, civil and war ensign.
Colour-approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Maroon: Pantone 222 c / CMYK (%) C 0 – M 100 – Y 15 – K 60
Timeline: Basic design adopted 1949; current flag adopted 9 July 1971, coat ot arms adopted in 1978.
contributor and date unknown

The flag was defined in 1949 as being "Qatar Maroon" - this being an official confirmation of of the the (previously unofficial) effect of strong sunlight on the local red dyes - but no enquiries I have made over the last few years have yielded anything further in the way of either an official colour definition or confirmation/otherwise of the original reason for its adoption?
My own spec sheet follows the Albumís suggestion of Pantone 222C, but I have absolutely no idea of its accuracy?
Christopher Southworth, 14 February 2012

It looks like 102:0:0.
Eugene Ipavec, 25 February 2012

A few items about flags found here and there in Arab newspapers and websites:
Since 25th May 2011 the six GCC countries decide to fly the GCC flag alongside their national flags according to the decision by the origanization.
News with/without pictures, from Arabic websites (can be translated!):
Saudi Arabia:
Various pictures:
Jalal Muhammed, 11 February 2012

Flag Law

Qatar has adopted a new law protecting the national flag.
"Qatar has issued a new law that stipulates heavy fines and prison terms for failing to show due respect to the national flag. The flag law was issued by the Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani one day [17 December] before Qatar celebrates its National Day. "The law stipulates that without prejudice to a more severe penalty provided by another law, a person shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding three years, and a fine not exceeding 200,000 Qatari
riyals, or either of them," Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.
The legal action covers "all those who insult the national flag publicly in any way by tearing it or by any act suggestive of contempt or hatred or lack of due respect," the official agency said.
The law prohibits adding words, images or designs to the flag or using it for commercial purposes or as a brand or for the purpose of advertising.
The national flag should be saluted by military personnel during hoisting or lowering and during military parades, QNA said. [...]"
Source: - "Gulf News", 18 December 2012
Ivan Sache, 06 January 2013

Law 14 (2012) "On The Flag of Qatar" (passed 12/16/2012 or 02/03/1434 in the Islamic calendar) contains a very detailed specification sheet for the flag. It still uses 11:28, but further defined the size of the nine serrations on the flag. The Pantone color of the flag was further defined as 1955 C (past government publications used 222 C, so these are the most current I can find). The sheets (Arabic) also contains specifications for flags that are made for indoor or outdoor use, and when they are made in other ratios for overseas use (1x2, 3x5, 2x3) and have specifications for all of those ratios. Another interesting note is when the flag is made for other odd ratios (6x13 for Rwanda, 10x19 for the US or 5x8 for others), the flag is required to be trimmed.
Zachary Harden, 31 May 2013


I was just looking up information on Qatar's flag on the Ministry of Information page. The page is in Arabic and hasn't crossed over into English, but you can verify it if you know another Arabic linguist. According to the Ministry, the white symbolizes peace. The maroon (literally the color of jujube) symbolizes blood that was shed in Qatar's past wars, especially in the second half of the 19th century. The nine points symbolize Qatar's position as the 9th emirate of Trucial Oman under British rule. (Generally only those 7 that did unite to form the United Arab Emirates are considered Trucial Oman. The eighth would be Bahrain.)
Chris Steinitz, 22 February 2006

I am wondering from when this interpretation is? The number of points has certainly changed over time (image from Flaggenbuch [neu92] shows 10 white points, for instance), and this kind of interpretation of symbols (red for shed blood and white for peace) is probably rather new. Since when is the colour known as "colour of jujube", and why? Is the number of points fixed anywhere in a regulation, and since when?
Marcus Schmöger, 22 February 2006

Christorpher is righ enough... none out of my few sources gives a clearly explanation whether points and maroon.
Here your are what my sources says about the matter:
"Due the Qatari flag was too alike to that of Bahrain, about 1949 it  was officially approved to change the flag from red to chestnut-redish (brown). The tooth-like form of the white stripe has no meaning in particular, it corresponds to decorative things only".
Source: Banderas y Escudos del Mundo, ED. América SA. Spain, 1986. P. 183a.
"(...) Her flag was then very similiar to that of Bahrain, but in 1949 the problem was solved by Qatar replacing the red by a curious deep maroon. This may have been a matter of official recognition following long after the fact, since the red vegetable dyes used to colur the flag may well have faded to a shade like this in the heat of the deser sun."
Source: Flags of the world, Eve Deveroux, Cescent Books, NJ 1992.
"The serrated border [after the Bahrain flag] is still there, but the colour of the red has become deeper, to a shade now know as 'Qatar maroon', (...) These changes were made official in 1949. (...)".
Source: Flags of the world, William Crampton, Dorset Press, NY 1990.
"In 1949, the plain flag came into use, and the color was alteredfrom red to maroon. This color is based on the way in which red pigment made from local vegetable dyes reacts to the sun. The color and shape are official."
Source: Flags, Ken Alexander, Flag Research Center, Winchester, 1992.
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 22 February 2006

National Flag at the London 2012 Olympics

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Qatar: PMS 222 purple. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Construction Sheet

Construction Sheet (Qatar) image by Željko Heimer and Eugene Ipavec, 07 December 2002 and 19 February 2012

Album des Pavillons [pay00] provides the construction details as 11:(8+2+18). There are nine white points in the serration.
Željko Heimer, 07 December 2002

The Qatar / Bahrain Similarity

Despite the near-vilification of this flag over its individualistic approach to proportions (11:28, a reflection of a "do your own thing" view of national policy?), there is a fascinating story here.
At first glance, the Qatar flag seems remarkably similar to the flag of Bahrain. Both have the distinctive serrated margin between the white band at the hoist and the "red" fly. The proportions set them apart (Bahrain 3:5) and the colors differ, with Bahrain being a standard "British" red (they, after all, had a strong and "involved" British adviser throughout the 1930s) and Qatar the distinctive "maroon." This similarity reflects an intertwined history.
To make a long and involved story very short, the histories of the two states have overlapped and occasionally collided since the 18th century. The distinctive Qatari flag emerged in the 1930s (official adoption of the maroon color came about 1949).
Bahrain's flag as we know it now was formally adopted in 1932 and the Qatari differences in size and color (said to be what becomes of red as it fades in the Gulf sun – a fanciful tale) seem to be largely an effort to make the Qatar flag different from the Bahraini banner.
Ed Haynes, 29 January 1996

Unofficial Variants

3-5 Variant (Qatar) 3:5 image by Eugene Ipavec, 28 February 2012

Unofficial Qatari flags with more conventional proportions than the official 11:28 are in common use, like this 3:5 example. This is photo of a (very large) 3:5 flag of Qatar. Our page already notes that more conventional proportions than the official 11:28 are in common use.
Eugene Ipavec, 28 February 2012

National Emblem

National Emblem (Qatar) image by Wikipedia User:Tonyjeff