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State of Libya

Last modified: 2024-05-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: libya | tribar (horizontal) | crescent | star |
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Libyan flag] 1:2, image by Abdul-Jawad Elhusuni, 13 December 2011

Libya: Index of Pages

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The Flag of Libya

At the Fourth Contact Group Meeting on Libya (a one-day meeting), held on July 15, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey "more than 30 Western and Arab countries, agreed to recognise the rebels" as the "legitimate governing authority".

The recognition comes from a total of 32 countries and seven international organizations (including: NATO, United Nations, African Union, European Union and Arab League, as well as the Libyan rebel TNC).

For the full official statement of the meeting please go to:

For additional information please see:
Esteban Rivera, 15 July 2011

Date of introduction of the flag

The date could be:
- first use in the uprising (could be 17 Feb 2011 as Wikipedia says...)
- date of any act of the National Transitional Council (or any predecessor of such body) that declared this as the flag of the movement
(in whatever form, order, declaration, guideline...) if there was such at any time (as far as I am aware, there was none, the use of the flag was so far not regulated)
- date of first official hoisting of the flag, if there was such ceremony made in the capital or something similar
- date of first official hoisting at the UN (which is not relevant for first hoisting/adoption, but still of general vexillological interest)
- date of any new legislation adopting the flag, probably still to come - probably we shall have to wait for the new Constitution to make the new flag official and then there may be a separate law as well.
- there might also be a legislative act regarding the flags on ships
Željko Heimer, 27 October 2011

Construction sheet

Libyan flag construction sheet] 1:2, image by Abdul-Jawad Elhusuni, 13 December 2011 [Click on image for full size version.]

I constructed the flag according to some of the pictures I found and made a construction sheet and placed my version of the flag on Wikipedia.
Abdul-Jawad Elhusuni, 13 December 2011

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012) 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 Libya: PMS 485 red, 348 green and black. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 11 October 2012

Coat of arms

The NTC has a new emblem as coat of arms, seen here: For additional information please visit: NTC (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 18 July 2011

Re-introduction of the flag in 2011

As a result of the 2011 Libyan uprising, there are currently two entities claiming to be the official government of Libya. The English Wikipedia refers to the "Transitional National Council". The council refers to the state as the Libyan Republic. The 1951-1969 Libyan flag has been used by most flag-bearing protesters as an opposition symbol.
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2011

A common thread seems to be that most of these flags are homemade. Many variants are in use. We can probably attribute any irregularities to that. Here's an interesting phenomenon though: Multiple people carrying printouts of some digital image of the old flag. Note the equal-width stripes:
I wonder where that image comes from. Presumably there's a source online somewhere but it doesn't look like anything from Wikipedia or FOTW.
Brendan, 21 February 2011

The red-black-green flag is also being raised at at least some Libyan embassies in foreign capitals:
BBC television news reported that "tonight in London another extraordinary scene, a protester scales the front of the Libyan embassy to pull down the Gadaffi flag and replace it with the emblem of the previous monarchy. The fact he's unchallenged by Libya's diplomats inside suggests they too sense profound change in the air."
Dave Fowler, 21 February 2011
Colin Dobson, 22 February 2011

The 2011 Libyan uprising began as a series of protests and confrontations occurring in the North African state of Libya against Muammar  Gaddafi's 42-year old rule. The protests began on 15 February 2011 and has since become a widespread uprising that continues to the present. Inspiration for the unrest is attributed to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, connecting it with the wider 2010–11 Middle East and North Africa protests. On 22 February, The Economist described the events as an "uprising that is trying to reclaim Libya from the world's longest-ruling autocrat." Gaddafi has referred the opposition variously as "rats", "cockroaches", "al-Qaeda" and "drugged kids". He has asserted that he will chase and hang them."

The opposition forces (Anti-Gaddafi forces) are:

  1. National Transitional Council (political body). They use the Kingdom of Libya flag (Arabic: المملكة الليبية‎) originally called the United Libyan Kingdom came into existence upon independence on 24 December 1951 and lasted until a coup d'état led by Muammar al-Gaddafi on 1 September 1969 overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic. The National Transitional Council was established in the city of Benghazi on February 27, 2011.
  2. NCLO (National Conference for the Libyan Opposition) (official website: ) (logo:, taken from their Facebook profile: An umbrella organization that is credited as one of the entities who helped organize initial protests during the 2011 Libyan uprising, as well as armed struggle.
    Within the NCLO are:
    2.1 Libyan Constitutional Union (official website:
    2.2 Libyan League for Human Rights (official website: (logo:
    2.3 Libyan Tmazight Congress (official website:
    2.4 FNSL (Front National pour le Salut de la Lybie) (official website: It's worth mentioning that on the FNSL website, the Kingdom of Libya flag is displayed throughout all its content.
  3. Committee for Libyan National Action in Europe
  4. Libyan Youth Movement
  5. Part of the Libyan Armed Forces who have defected to the opposition
  6. Part of the Libyan police who have defected to the opposition
  7. Tribal groups who have defected to the opposition, which are:
    7.1 Warfalla tribe
    7.2 Tuareg tribe
  8. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Esteban Rivera, 2 March 2011

Today the red-black-green flag was hoisted on the Libyan Embassy in Budapest. Image:
Zoltan Horvath, 21 March 2011

Discussions in 2017

The flag of Libya is under discussion. See these two newspaper articles:

The Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) said it had received a letter from HoR members urging for the replacement of the current national anthem and flag in the country because, they said, they are slowing down the current efforts for achieving nationwide reconciliation.

The HoR members told the Speaker of the HoR, Agilah Saleh, that changing the flag and the anthem has become mandatory for the reconciliation to stay in effect, adding that a number of Libyan conflict parties have seen it obligatory for the flag and anthem to be replaced to attain reconciliation and end conflicts. They also said they wanted to have this decision taken by the Constitution Drafting Assembly, but since it is experiencing some setbacks now, they found the HoR the best place where such a decision can be made.

According to analysts, this gesture by the HoR members hints at a desire to bring back the former regime followers and allow them to change the February revolution gains, such as the flag and the anthem.
Jos Poels, 11 January 2017

Naval Ensign

Libyan ensign] image by Martin Grieve, 9 January 2012

Libya has a new naval ensign. See (final frame).
Martin Grieve, 9 January 2012


Libyan roundel] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 November 2011

The roundel of the aircrafts of rebels fighting against Ghaddafi had the pattern of the former Libyan flag. As during the time of presentation of the roundel a no-flight-zone had been established by NATO treaty it is not for sure that this roundel had been in use then.
Source: presentation of Roman Klimes held in Rastatt on 24 Oct 2011
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 November 2011

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