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Kuwait: Laws on the flag

Last modified: 2013-11-27 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: law |
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Law #26 (1961) about the national flag of Kuwait

We, Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah,
Emir of the state of Kuwait,
with the agreement of the General Council,
enact the following law:

  • Article 1.

    The national flag of the state of Kuwait shall be horizontal, its length being twice its width. He shall be divided in three horizontal parts, coloured in green, white and red ; at hoist, a black trapezoid whose large basis equals the width of the flag and whose small basis equals the width of the white stripe, the height of the trapezoid equals 1/4 of the length of the flag.

  • Article 2.

    The national flag shall be hoisted on the buildings of the government of Kuwait, on private places where the Emir of the state of Kuwait is housed, on Kuwaiti embassies, legations and consulates, and on ships of Kuwaiti nationality.

  • Article 3.

    The flag shall be hoisted on public buildings for official feasts and other instances, from sunrise to sundown.

  • Article 4.

    The flag shall be half-staffed for official country mournings. It shall also be half-staffed on embassies, legations and consulates during official mournings in the corresponding countries.

  • Article 5.

    It is the duty of the district chiefs to enforce the present law from 1st January 1962.

Signed:
Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah
Emir of the state of Kuwait

Promulgated the 27 of Rabi the first of year 1381, corresponding to the 7 September 1961.


Law #31 (1961), amendment to the law #26

We, Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah,
Emir of the state of Kuwait,
According to the law decree #26 of 1961, about the national flag of the state of Kuwait
with the agreement of the General Council,
enact the following law:

  • Article 1.

    To be added to article 3 of the law #26 of 1961.
    The national flag shall also be hoisted on private buildings for public and private feasts and ceremonies.

  • Article 2.

    To be added to the law #26 of 1961 as article 5.
    In case of infringement, the most severe punishment stated by the penal code shall be a maximum of three months of imprisonment and a maximum fine of ten dinars:

      - if the flag is hoisted permanently on private buildings,
      - or if the flag is used as commercial or advertising banner,
      - or if a torn flag is used.
  • Article 3.

    Article 5 of the law #26 of 1961 is suppressed and replaced by the following:
    The chiefs of districts shall enforce the law from the 16 Joummada the second of year 1381, corresponding to 24 November 1961.

Signed:

Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah
Emir of the state of Kuwait

Promulgated the 10 Joumada of year 1381, corresponding to the 18 September 1961.

Source: Michel Lupant. 1999. Drapeaux et armoiries de l'état du Koweit. In: Flags in South Africa and the World [icv97]

Sheikh Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah was Emir of Kuwait from 1950 to 1965.
The date of 1st January 1962 sometimes reported as date of official hoisting was in the original law but was brought forward to 24 November 1961 in the amendment.
Ivan Sache
, 30 April 2000


Significance of flag hoisting

In the Persian Gulf a flag flown from a pole set in the ground is, or was, of greater significance than a flag flown from a building.
In 1927 the British Political Resident wrote that,
"Persians and Arabs consider that a flagstaff in the ground with a national flag flying conveys some claim to the ground in which the flagstaff is embedded", and added that Shaikh Muhammerah in Bushire allowed consuls to fly their national flag only from the top of a house.
David Prothero, 1 May 2000

This regional sensitivity ran crosswise with USA and United Kingdom sensitivities during the 1990-91 Gulf War, when the Saudi government declined to allow US and British troops to fly their respective national flags over portions of Saudi military installations where they were quartered. Most Americans, at least, couldn't fathom that the Saudis saw such display as an assertion of sovereignty over the area where the flag was flown, and many were enormously offended. This led to a whole bunch of vexillological urban legends to the effect that the Saudi mail wouldn't handle letters with US flags on the postage stamps, or that US troops had to remove the flag patches from their uniforms. (At least one battalion commander actually believed the latter legend and his men were photographed cutting off the patches as they deployed to the Gulf, which of course only made matters worse!)
But the sensitivity is not confined to the Persian Gulf area. As I recall, A.C. Fox-Davies, a noted British heraldist of some decades back, denied the right of private British subjects to fly any national flag on land; his guidelines were that individuals should fly banners of their arms, corporations their corporation flags, and only HM government should use the Union Jack or its derivatives. I can't help wondering, given the historic British influence in the Gulf region, whether the Kuwaiti law reflects British practice during the protectorate period.
I have seen the Kuwaiti flag displayed quite freely by private individuals in Kuwait since the Gulf War, which generated a good bit of patriotic sentiment in the country. Certainly it flies in front of hotels and the like with no apparent official objection.
Joe McMillan, 1 May 2000

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!):
Bahrain: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/bahrain-to-fly-gcc-flag-alongside-its-own-1.811541
Kuwait: http://alwatan.kuwait.tt/ArticleDetails.aspx?Id=113125
Oman: http://www.arrouwad.net/news/2011-01-17-21-12-19/2011-01-17-21-16-01/6324-2011-05-25-23-45-28.html
Qatar: http://www.alarab.com.qa/details.php?docId=189552&issueNo=1257&secId=16
Saudi Arabia: http://www.aleqt.com/2011/05/25/article_542200.html
UAE: http://www.alittihad.ae/details.php?id=50338&y=2011
Various pictures: http://www.3rabpet.com/vb/showthread.php?t=310995&page=1
Jalal Muhammed, 11 February 2012



 
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