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Divehi - Republic of Maldives, Divehi Jumhuriyya

Last modified: 2023-01-07 by ian macdonald
Keywords: maldives | divehi |
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Flag image by Željko Heimer, 30 September 2002

Flag adopted 25 July 1965, coat of arms adopted in 1965.
Proportion: 2:3
Description: A red flag with a green rectangle panel in the middle, charged with a white crescent pointing towards the fly
Use: on land, as the national and civil flag; at sea, as the national and civil ensign.

Colour approximate specifications (Album des Pavillons [pay00] ):

Colour		Pantone	      CMYK (%)

Red		 186c	     0  90  80   5
Green		 348c	   100   0  80  25

On this page:

See also:

Official description of the flag of the Maldives

Construction sheet

Construction sheet of the flag of the Maldives - Image by Željko Heimer, 30 September 2002

Quoting the website of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations:

The National Flag of the Republic of Maldives is rectangular in form, its width being two-thirds of its length. The flag comprises of a green rectangle with a crescent in the centre and surrounded by a red border.
The width of the red border is one-fourth of the width of the flag. The width of the green rectangle is half of the width of the flag while its length is two-thirds of the length of the flag.
The radii of both curvatures of the crescent are one-third of the width of the green rectangle. They are drawn from two points on a centre line across the length of the green rectangle, the first point being 9/16th and the second at 5/8th of the length, measured from the side nearer to the staff. When the flag is hoisted the curvature of crescent should face outward.

The Red Border symbolizes the blood of the national heroes who sacrificed their lives for the independence and the sovereignty of the nation.
The Green Rectangle denotes life, progress and prosperity.
The White Crescent represents the Islamic faith of the nation.

Earlier, Maldivian flag had a black and white strip on the hoist side. This strip containing black and white oblique stripes, was withdrawn on 26 September 1965 (1 Jumaadhal A'akhira 1385).

The colour codes for the national flag are:
- Red: British Admiralty Colour Code No. T1144 for Nylon worsted bunting and No. T818A for other bunting
- White: British Admiralty Colour Code No. T1145 for nylon worsted bunting and No.T819 for other bunting
- Green: British Admiralty Colour Code No. T1143 for nylon worsted bunting and No. T817 for other bunting.


Flag of the Maldives, as shown in Album des Pavillons - Image by Željko Heimer, 30 September 2002

The flag shown in Album des Pavillons [pay00] is slightly different, with a narrower red border. It might be either erroneous or based on a version of the flag predating the adoption of the official specifications.

Jan Zrzavy & Željko Heimer, 30 September 2002

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) 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 Maldives, PMS 186 red, 348 green. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.

Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Origin of the flag of the Maldives

Quoting Crampton [cra90]:

The flag of the Maldives was originally a plain red flag. Later, a band of black and white stripes were placed in the hoist.
By the early part of this century, Prime Minister Amir Abdul Majid Didi had introduced the green panel and white crescent to the flags of the Maldives. Until 1949, the horns of the crescent would point towards the hoist.
Upon the independence of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1949, the Maldives were a separate administrative entity. A Republic was established from 1953 until 1954. At that time, the Maldives had a reorganization of their flag structure. Primarily, the crescent was turned to face the fly and the Government service flag became the national flag. In 1954, the Sultan was reinstated and there were no changes to Maldivian flags. These flags continued to be used through independence in 1965.
Three years after independence, the Sultanate was removed and a Republic was instated again. The current national and presidential flags were introduced officially on 26 July 1968.

Calvin Paige Herring, 2 June 1998

Naval ensign


Alleged naval ensign of the Maldives - Image by António Martins, 12 July 2016

Barraclough's Flags of the World [bar65] says: "The ensign is like the national flag but with a star instead of a crescent".
None of the more recent publications refers to this flag, and Smith [smi80] indicates that the naval ensign is the same as the national flag.

Vincent Morley, 21 May 1997

Alleged war flag

Flag         Flag

"War flag" of the Maldives
Left, as shown by Smith - Image by Željko Heimer, 9 January 2005
Right, as shown by Talocci - Image by António Martins, 9 July 2016

Smith [smi75c] shows the war flag of the Maldives, used on land, as horizontally divided blue-white-green, in approximate proportions 3:5, while Talocci [tal93] shows the war flag as horizontally divided dark blue-yellow-light blue

Željko Heimer & ND, 4 July 2005

I am inclined to believe that these two "war flags" may be misreported colours (ceremonial military unit flags) rather then war flags proper. Under "war flag" we mean version of the national flag used by the military on land, i.e. flag used by "army" instead of the national flag. For what I understood from a quick glance at the Maldives military photos on line - they use the usual national flag and hardly anything else (plus colours).
The current
Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) - which seems to use gray-black flag after all, and white-black - was preceeded by the National Security Service (NSS) (until 2006, according to Wikipedia), also using gray-black flags. However, it may be that prior to 1979 when the precessor of NSS was the National Guard - tricolour flags were used (to denote its three branchs: coast guard, police and customs?) And prior to 1972 there was no police branch in the National Guard... so maybe Smith's version was used them, for whatever reason - certainly, both sources are of the right time to hold this - but it is still nothing more then a speculation of mine. And if it is anywhere near the terget - these "war flags" may have well included some emblem in their centres that the two sources ignored or were unaware of.
In any case, except for the two sources, there seems to be no mention of similar flags used by the "military" of Maldives anywhere else, for what I am aware.

Željko Heimer, 10 July 2016