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Historical Flags (Qatar)

Last modified: 2019-06-03 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: qatar | asia | serration | zig-zag | indented | persian gulf | diamonds: 10 (red) | text: arabic (white) |
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Overview

The first flag of Qatar was plain red. It was used until about 1860, when a narrow serrated white stripe was added at the hoist (some sources claim the stripe was not originally serrated). Around 1916 a white flag with a red square in the center and a yellow (some say red) crescent in the canton was in use. It seems this flag was short-lived and was soon replaced by the previous flag. Around 1932, the vertical serrated stripe was changed to a wavy stripe taking up about 1/5 the length of the flag, which was in ratio 1:2). and the red was then changed to dark red or violet. (William Crampton reports the undulated stripe was light yellow, probably because the original white color faded to light yellow because the use and the sun.)
Jaume Ollé, 14 Apr 2000


?-1860

[Qatar ?-1860]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

The first flag of Qatar (used until about 1860) was plain red.
Jaume Ollé, 14 Apr 2000


1860-1916

[Qatar 1860-1916]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

In about 1860, a narrow serrated white stripe was added at the hoist (some sources claim the stripe was not originally serrated).
Jaume Ollé, 14 Apr 2000


1916

[Qatar 1916]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

Around 1916, a white flag with a red square in the center and a yellow (some say red) crescent in the canton was in use. It seems this flag was short-lived and was soon replaced by the previous flag.
Jaume Ollé, 14 Apr 2000

This sounds a lot like the "white pierced red / No. 2 flag" of the Maritime Treaty of 1820, but why would it have been adopted so late?
Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012


1932-1936

[Qatar 1932-1936]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

1:2

Around 1932, the vertical serrated stripe was changed to a wavy stripe taking up about 1/5 the length of the flag, which was in ratio 1:2, and the red was then changed to dark red or violet. (William Crampton reports the undulated stripe was light yellow, probably because the original white color faded to light yellow because the use and the sun.)
Jaume Ollé, 14 Apr 2000

In a collection of documents from the Qatar Digital Library (http://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000000282.0x0001ad) is a series of letters from the 1930s sent between various British officials on the subject of the flags of Qatar, Bahrain, and the Trucial States. It includes sketches, written reports, photos of fabric swatches, and what looks like the first use of "No. 1" and "No. 2" labels for the Trucial flags.

In 1929 the flag of Qatar was described as "exactly like Bahrain's flag but dark red", with an accompanying drawing that shows the serrated edge. This means that Bahrain adopted the serrated flag before 1932. That same letter also described a second variation of the flag, with a white star and downward-pointing crescent on the red field. Later letters specifically describe this as the flag flown by Qatari boats.

In 1932 all British Ships in the Persian Gulf were issued the wavy-line "1932" Qatar flag. In November 1933 a British ship visited Doha and saw the Sheikh flying a different flag, like the "1936" flag but without the name of the state on it. The Sheikh was shown the "1932" flag but didn't recognize it. He gave the Commanding Officer one of the flags from his dhow to use. There's an included sketch and a fabric sample which is definitely maroon. It's probably safe to conclude that the "1932" flag never existed.

In 1936 the Sheikh of Qatar explicitly told the Political Agent for Bahrain that there is only one Qatari flag, flown both by him and his subjects. The flag he described is the "1936" version.
Brendan Hennessy, 21 May 2017


1936-1949

[Qatar 1936-1949]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

11:30

In about 1936 the violet field was changed to maroon with 9½ serrated points and 10 diamonds in the serration. The name of the state was written in white on the field. The ratio was 11:30.
Jaume Ollé, 14 April 2000

I have circa 1938 for the more elaborate flag...
Christopher Southworth, date unknown

As Depicted In 1939 Flaggenbuch

[Qatar 1939]
image by Željko Heimer, 26 February 2012

1:2?

Flaggenbuch 1939 [neu92] shows the flag with the hoist at viewer's right and a red field. Flaggenbuch uses more or less the same shade of red for all of the Gulf Arab states' flags (Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, the Trucial States), but the shades differ slightly among pages, probably due to printing or facsimiling process).
Ivan Sache, 02 May 2001


1949-1971

[Qatar 1949-1971]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 Feb 2012

11:30

In 1949 the shade was slightly modified and the serration reached 1/3 of the fly. The diamonds were discarded.
Jaume Ollé, 14 April 2000


1971-

In 1971 (at independence) the current version of the flag was adopted, practically identical but with ratio 11:28.
Jaume Ollé, 14 April 2000