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Libya's Flag Change: World Loses the Only Single Colored National Flag

Updated on January 24, 2012

Libya's Old and New Flags

Libya's Old and New Flags
Libya's Old and New Flags

Death of the Living

Another endangered species has gone extinct. No we are not talking about the animal or plant kingdom but the national flag of the Libyan kingdom (agreed technically it was not a kingdom but it was no democracy either).

With the demise of their king (read Muammar Gaddafi) comes the demise of a symbol that became the reason why primary school kids know of the existence of a nation called Libya.

(If you have been on a sail-around-the-world-tour and are wondering what am I talking about, I suggest you take a tour of Wikipedia before returning to this land.)

Libya's plain green (ex) flag, which was the only national flag of its kind, has been replaced by the original flag of 1951 that was adopted when the Kingdom of Libya came into being. One will no longer be able to ask what may have been one of the favorite GK questions in the domain of flags.

Rebirth of the Dead

The new (or original) flag has a design typical of Islamic nations. It consists of a horizontal tricolor of red, black and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black center stripe. To give credit to the designer, the flag was designed by Omar al Fayek Shennib who was the Minister of Defense along with being Chief of the Royal Diwan and Vice-President of the Libyan National Assembly under the reign of King Idris al Senussi.

The flag which became a symbol of protest in the Libyan Revolution leading to the ousting of the military regime was officially notified to the United Nations by the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya on 3 August 2011.

Evolution History

The earlier plain green design with no symbol or insignia was adopted by Muammar Gaddafi in 1977. If you are wondering why did a colorful person like Gaddafi adopt such a simple design then this had to do with his Green Book on Third International Theory which was proposed as an alternative to capitalism and communism for third world countries.

Gaddafi adopted the flag after he had overthrown the king in a military coup in 1969. But history has a knacky way of repeating itself. The military ruler had come to power after a bloodless coup but his end of rule was not to be so peaceful. He was captured and brutally murdered by NTC revolutionaries.


The revolutionaries have succeeded in their efforts. The new flag flies proudly all over Libya. Muammar Gaddafi is gone. And so is the flag he gave Libya for the world to admire. May both of them rest in peace.


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    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Interesting. I did not hear anything about this until. Thank you for information and the thoughts behind it!