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Subnational Flags (United Arab Emirates)

Constituent Emirates' Flags

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by ian macdonald
Keywords: united arab emirates | kalba | khwor kalba | fujairah-sharjah federation | stars: 2 (white) |
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Album des Pavillons 2000, page EM 1.1, shows a rare case of subnational flags in this book. I wonder whether these emirates' flags are frequently used at sea? They are not indicated as ensigns, but that doesn't mean that they are not used as "signals" in some other place of the vessel (...) from the point of view that Album des Pavillons 2000 is primarily directed to sea flags.

For both Sharjah and Fujairah flags there is a footnote that they are "often replaced by the Union flag" [i.e. UAE flag].
Željko Heimer
, 11 January 2001

The flags of the emirates are flown on private ships and also from buildings and houses, mostly next to the federal flag, but sometimes alone.
Ralf Stelter, 11 January 2001

Kalba Emirate 1921-1952

[Kalba (United Arab Emirates)] 1:2
image by Mark Sensen

Kalba is mentioned in an article of G. Nonneman about Sharjah. It says that the Emirate of Ras al-Khaymah was ruled (nominally governed) by a collateral branch of the Sharjah Kawasin dynasty, and was recognized independent by Britain in 1921. The same occurred for Kalba, which was recognized independent by Britain in 1936, when the British needed an airport in the zone. Kalba was merged into Sharjah in 1952. That same year the sheik of Sharkiyyin, vassal of Sharjah, was recognized independent Emir of Fujairah. The Emir, which was not among the signers of the treaty with Britain, kept the traditional plain red flag of the Ibadites. An oasis near Fujairah still recognizes Oman's sovereignty. The three Emirates of Sharjah, Ras al-Khaymah and Kalba (or Khwor Kalba) used the same flag: red, all bordered white.
Jaume Ollé
, 8 December 1996

The Kawasin was a clan devoted to piracy. After 1830 two branches established in Sharjah and Ras al-Khaymah. About 1937 a branch of the Sharjah line, with British help, created a independent emirate with capital in Khwor Kalba (the emirate is generally called Kalba), but after 1952 he accepted the sovereignty of the Sharjah emir and certain autonomy was granted.
Jaume Ollé
, 9 June 1999

Enclaves' Flags

The most recent creation is Fujairah. After this only Kalba was created. Manama is a smaller enclave claimed by Ajman; the Shaikh recognizes Ajman's sovereignity but Sharjah claim also the enclave. No flag.

According to an article by Whitney Smith quoted by Jorge Hurtado the sheiks of Diba and Khwor Fakkan also use the Kawasin flag. None of the other dependencies (Najarain from Dubai, Falaj Ibn Mualla from Fujairah, and Jebel Hatta from Ras al-Khaymah) have flags of their own. In the zones with sovereignty of several states (Sharjah/Fujairah, Sharjah/Fujeira/Oman, Aman/Oman, and Dubai/Oman) the two or three flags are hoisted, except in Dibah, where only the Kawasin flag flies.
Jaume Ollé
, 14 June 1999

Reported Flag of the Fujairah-Sharjah Federation, probably non-existent

[Reported Flag of the Fujairah-Sharjah Federation, probably non-existent (United Arab Emirates)] 1:2
image by Željko Heimer

Whitney Smith's first Flags of the World chart (1965) shows a flag of Fujairah-Sharjah Federation (not the United Arab Emirates, formed 1971), which has three equal horizontal white-red-white bands and a green trapezoid with two white five-pointed stars at hoist. Does anyone know how long the federation and the flag existed?
Nozomi Kariyasu
, 26 March 1998

Fujairah was historically part of Sharjah but evolved to de facto independence around 1900 after a few rebellions. De jure independence did not come until Britain recognized Fujairah as a separate state in 1952. Fujairah remained linked to Sharjah by a cooperative agreement in 1960. They joined the United Arab Emirates at founding as fairly equal partners in 1971. I am not aware of any other form of federation leading up to independence. I am afraid I cannot add to our flag knowledge.
T.F. Mills, 2 April 1998

Some members may remember my query about the flag shown on Smith's 1965 chart a few months ago and I could not confirm whether even the federation really existed. I have just received response from Whitney Smith:

The flag was described to us by a European living in Lebanon. We published it on our flag chart without confirming details. It is very difficult to get information from the area, but in retrospect I believe that the flag was only a proposal created by our correspondent and never in actual use. Indeed we have not been able to substantiate that the federation itself actually existed, although it may have been discussed. We value your continued interest and support.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 5 May 1998