The Flag of Western Sahara is used in any area controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, consisting of a black, white and green horizontal tricolor charged with a red star and crescent in the center stripe and a red triangle at the hoist. It is used on Polisario-controlled areas, while the Moroccan flag is used on the rest of the occupied territory.

Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg
Use National flag
Proportion 1:2[1]
Adopted February 27, 1976
Design A black, white, and green horizontal tricolor charged with a red star and crescent in the center stripe and a red triangle at the hoist
Designed by El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed

The flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a combination of the Pan-Arab colors of black, green, white, and red, and the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent. On 27 February 1976 the flag was adopted as the official flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). It was slightly modified in June 1991.[citation needed] It is said to be designed by El Uali Mustapha Sayed, the first president of the SADR. This flag is commonly referred to as the "flag of Western Sahara".


The flag is a tricolor of three equal horizontal stripes (black, white, and green from top to bottom) overlaid by a red triangle issuing from the hoist. These are the Pan-Arab colors. There is a red star and crescent in the middle stripe.

The flag is extremely similar to the flags of the Baath Party, Jordan, Palestine, and the Arab Federation all of which draw their inspiration from the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule (1916–1918). Prior to being the flag of Palestine, it was the flag of the short lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan. The flag of the Arab Revolt had the same graphic form, but the colours were arranged differently (white on the bottom, rather than in the middle).

Its design is based on that of the Palestinian flag,[2] which in turn was derived from the colors used in the Arab Revolt. The star and crescent are considered symbols of Islam, and can be seen on flags of other neighbouring Islamic countries such as Algeria and Mauritania.

Flag of Morocco

Flag of Morocco, used by supporters of Moroccan rule in Western Sahara

Morocco has not adopted a flag for Western Sahara and uses the national flag of Morocco.

On May 8, 2010, a Moroccan flag with a size of 60,409.78 meters squared, weighing 20 tonnes, was set in Dakhla. It was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest flag ever draped until it was bested by a Lebanese flag.[3][4][5]


In the late 19th-century, Western Sahara became a Spanish colony. After the Madrid Accords of 1975, Spain disengaged itself leaving the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, who split the territory, giving two thirds to the former. The Polisario Front rejected this and declared in exile, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as the state representing an "independent" Western Sahara.[6]

In 1979, Mauritania signed a peace treaty with the Polisario front, and Morocco annexed the part formerly controlled by Mauritania. A U.N.-brokered ceasefire was signed in 1991 between the two parties, but the sovereignty of the territory remains unresolved pending ongoing peace-talks.[6]

Historical flags

Moroccan regional flags (1976–1997)

In the 1976–1997 provincial division of Morocco, three provinces included parts of Western Sahara. The provinces were, however, reorganized in 1997. Consequently, some of these flags are no longer in official use.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Protocol Section of the Office of the President of the Republic (June 1987)
  2. ^ Znamierowski, Alfred (2000). Flags of the world: An illustrated guide to contemporary flags. London: Southwater. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-84215-337-6. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 
  4. ^ Alice Lefevre. "Guinness World Records challenged over Moroccan flag stunt – Afrik-news.com : Africa news, Maghreb news – The african daily newspaper". Afrik-news.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  5. ^ "Largest flag draped". Guinnessworldrecords.com. 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  6. ^ a b "CIA – The World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Subnational flags of Morocco". Flagspot.net. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 

External links