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Friday, November 25, 2011

History of the National Flag of the UAE, Part III


National Flag of the UAE, Part III:- Pre - Union Phase
By Kenneth Sequeira
 
Prior to the Union, the seven Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain were part of the Trucial States, which then included Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
 Abu Dhabi FDC prior to the Union


The Trucial States traditionally flew plain red flags.  Early in the 19th Century, the British India vessels were constantly being attacked by the pirates in this region, hence this stretch of coast became known as the "Pirate Coast". In 1819 the British Govt. dispatched a large fleet and within a year they had destroyed and captured every Pirate ships that it had come across and occupied all the major forts in the area, including Ra's al-Khaimah.

 
Then in 1820 the British Govt. imposed a General Treaty of Peace on all Arab Sheikhdoms along this coast and prescribed them to fly a square "white pierced red" flag instead of the plain red flags they were wearing on their vessels. The white in the flag would signify they had abandoned piracy. This flag was however not acknowledged by all tribes, who changed the designs and proportions.
The treaty with the British Govt. was in 1835 upgraded to the "Maritime Truce" in which Sheikhs agreed to stop all hostilities at sea and this was further revised in 1839 and 1853. Because of this, the area became known as "Trucial Oman" or the "Trucial Coast".
  Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah FDC’s prior to the Union.



In 1960 the Trucial States Council was formed; its flag, with the traditional red and white, included a green seven-pointed star, for the seven Sheikhdoms. Originally a flag was proposed with a nine-pointed star, as it was hoped that Qatar and Bahrain would also join the Federation; this did not happen, so the flag only had seven points. In 1971 the Trucial States Council terminated the defense treaties with the United Kingdom and established a six-member federation; Ra's al-Khaimah joined the following year.

 
Ajman, Dubai and Fujeira FDCs prior to Union


Air India Inaugural First Flight Covers before and after the Union
Before the Union the each Emirate had individual stamps.
(To be continued)

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