Congratulations Kuwait…

Reshmy Krishnakumar
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Kuwait starts its new year in a festive mood when she begins preparing herself for the National Day and Liberation Day celebrations in February. Even the landscape starts reflecting the flag colours. Expatriate community of Kuwait, which is a real cross section of world, joins with the Kuwaiti nationals in the national celebrations. They never leave a chance to express their gratitude towards their second home. The happiness multiplies when it becomes an occasion for the country to celebrate one of its proud moments.

On February 10th, under the patronage and presence of the Minister of Education, Hamid Al-Azmi, Kuwait witnessed the world’s longest flag getting unfurled. The Kuwait National Flag measuring 2019 meters, carried by 4000 students, got recorded in the Guinness Book of World Record; indeed, a delightful moment for everyone who loves Kuwait.

A national flag symbolises not only that respective country, but also the emotion which creates a feel of oneness amongst the citizens of that country. It proclaims the values and culture of the country and reminds us of its prestigious history, which often forms a strong foundation for its constant progress over years. Kuwait is no different. Records say that it was in 1961, the four coloured national flag, which we see today, came into existence in Kuwait. The poet of that time ?afi ad-Din Al-?elli defined the colours of the flag white, red and green as representing deeds, swords, and land respectively. The black trapezium represents the historical battles they fought.

Historians record the evolution of Kuwait flag as the determination of its rulers to have a unique identity for the State of Kuwait. Maritime history marked the usage of red Al Salami flags by Kuwait in their ships as an identification during the reign of HH Shaikh Abdulla I Bin Sabah in 17th century. In 1871 this red flag gave way to Ottoman flag as a strategic move to bypass the then existed harassment of Kuwaiti ships by Ottoman naval force. Kuwait became a British protectorate in 1899 after the treaty signed between Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah and the British government in India to safeguard itself from the aggression of Ottoman Empire.

Even though Kuwait flag took various versions during this period, the Ottoman flag was still used for various reasons. In 1914 at the outbreak of World War I, it so happened once that a Kuwaiti ship with Ottoman flag was stopped by the British force and they had to prove the Kuwaiti ownership to continue its journey. This prompted the ruler to have a flag unique for Kuwait. Thus, it was in 1914 that the first national flag of Kuwait, a red one with “Kuwait” written on it in white bold Arabic letters, was adopted. Kuwait celebrated the 100th anniversary of its first National Flag in 2014.

In 1961, Kuwait freed itself from the protection treaty with Britain and declared itself an independent nation and later during the year issued the decree on a new flag with the four colours. On the 55th year of the adoption of new flag, in 2016 during the time of national festival, Kuwait had set a world record of longest flag; a remote-controlled plane unfurled the flag in Mina Abdullah.

On the occasion of national festival of Kuwait, when we are reminded of the milestones faced by the yester generation of Kuwait and their sacrifices along the progress witnessed in last 18 years of independence, Kuwait Flag dancing in the cool gentle breeze across the sea is sight for sore eyes; the accolade adds to its beauty.

Reshmy Krishnakumar is working with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) as Research Assistant. Having done her post-graduation in Statistics, she worked as lecturer at St.Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, until her relocation to Kuwait. As a freelance writer, she is contributing to various magazines, blogs, and websites. Her passion includes classical dance, writing poems in Malayalam and Hindi. She is a member of the Writers’ Forum, Kuwait and the Indian Women In Kuwait (IWIK)
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