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The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, commonly known as Western Sahara, uses a national flag consisting of a black, white and green horizontal tricolor charged with a red star and crescent in the center stripe and a red triangle at the hoist. It is used on Polisario-controlled areas, while the Moroccan flag is used on the rest of the occupied territory.

The flag is a combination of the Pan-Arab colors of black, green, white, and red, and the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent. On 27 February 1976 the flag was adopted as the official flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). It was slightly modified in June 1991. It is said to be designed by El Uali Mustapha Sayed, the first president of the SADR. This flag is commonly referred to as the "flag of Western Sahara".

The flag is a tricolor of three equal horizontal stripes (black, white, and green from top to bottom) overlaid by a red triangle issuing from the hoist. These are the Pan-Arab colors. There is a red star and crescent in the middle stripe.

The flag is extremely similar to the flags of the Baath Party, Jordan, Palestine, and the Arab Federation all of which draw their inspiration from the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule (1916–1918). Prior to being the flag of Palestine, it was the flag of the short lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan. The flag of the Arab Revolt had the same graphic form, but the colours were arranged differently (white on the bottom, rather than in the middle).

Its design is based on that of the Palestinian flag, which in turn was derived from the colors used in the Arab Revolt. The star and crescent are considered symbols of Islam, and can be seen on flags of other neighbouring Islamic countries such as Algeria and Mauritania.

In the late 19th-century, Western Sahara became a Spanish colony. After the Madrid Accords of 1975, Spain disengaged itself leaving the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, who split the territory, giving two thirds to the former. The Polisario Front rejected this and declared in exile, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as the state representing an "independent" Western Sahara.

In 1979, Mauritania signed a peace treaty with the Polisario front, and Morocco annexed the part formerly controlled by Mauritania. A U.N.-brokered ceasefire was signed in 1991 between the two parties, but the sovereignty of the territory remains unresolved pending ongoing peace-talks.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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