Republic of Somaliland
UseNational flag Reverse side is congruent with obverse side Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
Adopted14 October 1996
DesignA horizontal tricolor of green, white, and red with the Shahada on the green stripe, and a black five-pointed star charged on the white stripe.
Designed byUnknown
UsePresidential standard Reverse side is congruent with obverse side Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
DesignSame as the regular flag, except with a white monocolour version of the Emblem of Somaliland in the canton.

The flag of Somaliland (Somali: Calanka Soomaaliland; Arabic: علم صوماليلاند) was adopted on 14 October 1996. It consists of a tricolour of green, white, and red, with a black star located in the centre. On the green stripe, there is the Shahada in white calligraphic script.

The Constitution of Somaliland, as approved on 31 May 2001 by referendum, states at Article 7, that "the flag of the Republic of Somaliland shall consist of three horizontal, parallel and equal sections, the top section, which is colored green and has inscribed in its midst in white in Arabic language La Ilaha Ill-Allah, Muhammadan Rasulullah (Arabic: لا إله إلاَّ الله محمد رسول الله, 'There is no god except for Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'); the middle section is white and has at its centre a black star; and the bottom section is colored red."


Somalilandic women at an independence day celebration wearing the flag of Somaliland

Due to the importance of the Shahada in Islam, regulations have been made on the usage of the flag. It is forbidden for Somalis to fly the flag at half mast because it has the Shahada (which reads in Arabic "There is no other god except God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God") written on it, and it is seen as desecration. Moreover, if a person is seen lowering the flag to half-mast, they might be charged with flag desecration. Similar rules, for the same reason, also apply to the flags of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Alternative flags

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Some Somaliland flags use unofficial orange instead of the official red
Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagSomaliland flag without the shahada

Although the aforementioned Article 7 clearly states that the bottom of the flag is red, some little versions have been seen with a clear orange color instead. Another variation is the orientation of the star, as many Somaliland flags have the star pointing the opposite direction from other flags.

Green White Red
Pantone 355c 109c 032c
CMYK 1-0-0.97-0.58 0-0-0-0 0-1-1-0.12
RGB 0-109-33 255-255-255 223-0-0
Hexadecimal #006D21 #FFFFFF #DF0000

Most Somaliland flags are of the ratio 1:2. It is based on the official ratio of the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, the former colonial power. Pictures of flags on the internet and elsewhere often erroneously show a shorter flag (of ratio 2:3).[1]

Historical flags

British Somaliland


When the British annexed and occupied Somaliland in 1903, they established a protectorate and made it part of the British Empire. The British adopted a new flag for the region (officially named British Somaliland). Like many Commonwealth countries, the flag had a defaced Blue Ensign: a blue field with the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter of the flag. There was an image of a Kudu (an antelope native to the British Somaliland area) on a white disc. The flag was flown on ships owned by residents of British Somaliland or on government buildings in the territory.


In 1950, the protectorate of British Somaliland's badge and flag changed and thus all flags which bore it. The flag still had the Union flag on the quarter-hoist. The kudu's head and shoulders were retained and taken off to form the most dominant feature on the new arms, although the antelope's face was now looking straight out at the observer. Between its horns, the Royal crown was inserted to symbolize the Royal family and the British Empire in general.

The badge was changed as well; it consisted of an escutcheon divided vertically into green and blue colours, having a chief with a golden Somali shield in front of two spears in saltire, heads downwards, in natural colours. The green portion contained an image of a white minaret. Moreover, on the blue quarter, an Arabian dhow in full sail on waves of the sea, with a golden anchor in the base. The kudu's head was facing forward to the observer instead of facing left on the earlier version. Above, the kudu was the Royal Crown between the horns. Underneath, there was a wreath coloured in green and yellow which formed the crest.

When British Somaliland was granted independence on 26 June 1960 the flag ceased being used.

State of Somaliland

British Somaliland was granted independence as the State of Somaliland on 26 June 1960. The State of Somaliland adopted a flag similar to that used in the Italian-administered Trust Territory of Somaliland, i.e. a blue flag charged with a white five-pointed star, as its national flag. The State of Somaliland would merge into the newly established Somali Republic on 1 July 1960.

Gallery of historical flags

The following are the flags historically used in the territory of present-day Somaliland:

See also


  1. ^ "Somaliland flag variations". Retrieved 29 May 2020.