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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Some Facts About the Maldives Flag – It's Amazing How Much Can be Discovered in a Symbol
Joanna James Joanna James
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Some Facts About the Maldives Flag – It's Amazing How Much Can be Discovered in a Symbol

The Maldives Islands are one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, but many overlook the story behind the country, and it can even be glimpsed within the nation's flag.


The First Flag and Second Flag

The earliest example of a Maldivian flag was invented during the time of the Huraa Dynasty. It was a completely red flag that had no additional symbols or patterns. Little is known about the story behind the flag at this time. Later on, a black and white vertical pattern was added to the left side of the flag where the hoist would be. This band was named the 'Dhandimathi', and it appeared during the early 20th century.


The Third and Fourth

The crescent on the flag first appeared in 1926, and it was during the rule of Prime Minister Amir Abdul Majid Didi, who is considered the father of modern Maldives. The crescent moon was integrated into the flag since it is a widely recognised symbol of Islam and symbolised the prominence of that faith within the nation of the Maldives. When the crescent first appeared, the tips of it were facing the hoist of the flag. Later on, Amir Abdul added the green rectangle at the centre, with the crescent within it. The colour green was meant to represent peace, which acts as a contrast to the red, which was initially chosen to symbolise the bloodshed that Maldivians endured and suffered in order to obtain independence.


The Era of the Republic

After the Maldives became a republic during the 1950s the crescent was changed so that the tips point to the right. Although the nation remained a republic for an incredibly short time, once the Sultan was reinstated there was no effort made to revert the crescent to its original state. This is why to this day the tips of the crescent continue to point to the right. Be on the lookout to catch a glimpse of the flag be you in the capital Male or holidaying at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo or other similar Maldives resorts. Prices were high for people living in the outlying islands during the late 1950s and eventually, a breakaway state was formed, bearing the name The United Suvadive Republic. This coalition of southern atolls developed its own flag where instead of a green rectangle on a red background, the flag consisted of three horizontal stripes; red at the bottom, green in the middle and a light blue on top, with the crescent in the same position but with a star in the centre. There was a star on the bottom left edge, as well as the top right.


The Final Flag

After the Maldives gained independence from Britain in 1965, the black and white band, the 'Dhandimathi' was removed, and the modern Maldives flag was born. This is the design that persists today as well, with a red background featuring a green rectangle with a white crescent moon in the centre.