Red is the traditional colour for flags of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The white is on the hoist side; the five points represent the five pillars of Islam. It is very similar to the flag of Qatar, which has more points and has a darker red.
The white colour comprises 32.5% of the flag area, while the red colour comprises 67.5% of the area.
The colour specification is red: Pantone 186 c / CMYK (%) C 0 – M 90 – Y 80 – K 5
The flag is used on land and at sea as a national, civil and war ensign. In 2002, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, issued Decree by Law No.(4) for 2002, which pertained to the flag:
- Article 1: The Flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall take a rectangular shape, and shall be divided into two main sections; the first in red, and the other in white color.
- Article II: The King shall have his own flag, for which a royal order shall be issued to determine its shape, measures, and places.
- Article III: The Flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall be hoisted on the Royal Court, Palaces, governmental buildings, public establishments, embassies, Bahraini bureaus abroad, and Bahraini ships.
- Article IV: Each non-Bahraini ship entering the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall hoist the Flag of the Kingdom, and shall keep the flag hoisted till it departs from the territorial waters of the Kingdom.
- Article V: The Flag shall be hoisted on governmental buildings, public institutions during public holidays and occasions from sun-rise to sun-set.
- Article VI: The Flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall not be hoisted on vehicles, except on the official protocol vehicles.
- Article VII: The Flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall be hoisted half mast at the state of mourning.
- Article VIII: The Flag of the Kingdom of Bahrain shall not be used for commercial purposes.
- Article IX: In case the Flag is used otherwise, and not as stipulated in the above law, a punishment of one month of imprisonment as a maximum, or a fine not exceeding than BD 100, or both shall be inflicted.
The oldest known flags of Bahrain were plain red. In 1820, Bahrain signed a treaty with the United Kingdom, and a white stripe was added to the flag to indicate the truce. In 1932, a serrated edge was added to distinguish the flag of Bahrain from those of its neighbours.
The flag originally had twenty-eight white points, but this was reduced to eight in 1972. On 14 February 2002, the number was again reduced to five, so that each of the points could stand for one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Royal Standard since 2002.
- "National Flag of Bahrain". Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Historical flags of Bahrain at Flags of the World
- Bahrain at Flags of the World