The flag of Gibraltar has two horizontal stripes, with white at the top and red at the bottom. There is a castle at the center of the white stripe. The two-tiered castle consists of three towers each with a black door and a black window. A golden key is suspended from the middle tower and extends into the red stripe. The flag was officially adopted on November 8, 1982, after receiving royal approval. However, it has been in use since 1966.

The white band on the flag is a symbol of peace and represents the unity of the nation. The red stripe signifies the resilience and revolutionary spirit portrayed by the natives during their struggle for sovereignty. The red castle stands for the fortress of Gibraltar while the golden key hanging from it denotes the strategic position of Gibraltar at the gateway of the Mediterranean.

The flag of Gibraltar as we know it today is an extended version of Gibraltar’s coat of arms. The coat of arms was first embraced as the official ensign of Gibraltar on July 10, 1502, through a royal warrant issued by Queen Isabella I of Castile. Unlike other flags of British Overseas Territories, the flag of Gibraltar does not have the Union Jack which is commonly connected with Great Britain.

Before the adoption of the official flag in 1982, the flag of the governor, who is also the commander-in-chief, was used alongside the government ensign. The governor’s flag was a union flag with the badge of Gibraltar in the middle of a white circle enclosed in a green laurel leaf garland. The government ensign, on the other hand, was the British Blue Ensign with the Gibraltar’s badge on the fly. From 1870 to 1982, the badge in the flag of the governor as it appears today was different. It featured a red ornamental shield bordered in gold. At the center of was a light brown castle with three towers having black windows, and two black arrow-slits. A golden key was suspended on a gold chain in the middle of the gate positioned at the center of the towers. Below the shield was a golden scroll with the motto ‘MONTIS INSIGNIA CALPE,' which translates to “The Badge of Mount Calpe” inscribed in black.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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