The official flag of Yemen features three horizontal stripes with red at the top followed by white in the center and black across the bottom of the flag. The flag was adopted on May 22, 1990 which is a date that’s very significant in regards to Yemen’s history because it was on this day that North and South Yemen were unified. Interestingly Yemen’s official flag is an inverted version of the German Empire’s flag design.
All three of the colors displayed on Yemen’s flag are symbolic. The red refers to the sacrifices, lives lost, and blood spilt by the country’s various martyrs. The white band situated at the center of the flag is symbolic of Yemen’s bright future yet to come. The black at the bottom of the flag is a somber reference to the darker days in the nation’s history. Red, white, and black are also considered to be Pan-Arabic colors which are used in order to symbolize the unity between the various Arab states in the region.
The design for Yemen’s current official flag was inspired by the flags of what were formerly known as North and South Yemen. Before unifying into the present day nation of Yemen the country was split into North and South Yemen, each of which had its own flag. After the 1952 Egyptian Revolution a new Arab symbol of unity was introduced in the form of the Arab Liberation flag. This nationalist flag not only influenced the design of the flags of North and South Yemen but it also inspired the modern flags of Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Sudan.
Because Yemen used to be broken up into two separate countries both regions have flown many different flags. From 1918 to 1962 Northern Yemen, or the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, used a flag design which was completely red. This version evolved to another design which featured several white historic Arabic symbols set against a red background. From 1962 until 1990 North Yemen’s flag consisted of the tricolor horizontal bands of red, white, and black along with a green star set in the center. Throughout its history South Yemen flew the flag of the Colony of Aden (1937–1963), followed by that of the Federation of South Arabia (1962–1967), and the flag of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967–1990) which included the tri color bands along with a large light blue triangle on its hoist side which featured a red star, as well as the country’s coat of arms set on the flag’s upper hoist side.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018