Flag of Liechtenstein
|Use||Civil and state flag|
(modified June 24, 1937)
|Design||Horizontal bicolour of blue and red with a gold crown in the canton|
The flag of Liechtenstein (German: Flagge Liechtensteins) consists of two horizontal blue and red bands charged with a gold crown at the canton. Adopted in 1921 after being officially enshrined into the nation's constitution, it has been the flag of the Principality of Liechtenstein since that year. The crown was added to the flag in 1937 after the country found out at the Summer Olympics held the previous year that their flag was identical to the flag of Haiti.
Liechtenstein was formed in 1719 as a principality within the Holy Roman Empire, and gained complete independence in 1866. Within this period, the colours blue and red were selected to feature on the flag, instead of the gold and red on the coat of arms that would have customarily been employed instead. These new livery colours were first utilized by Prince Joseph Wenzel I in 1764.
A new constitution for the Principality was formulated and proclaimed in October 1921. It made the blue and red banner the national flag by granting it "official status". Fifteen years later, during the 1936 Summer Olympics, the country came to the realization that its flag was identical to the flag of Haiti. Because of this finding, the government added the prince's crown to the canton. This change served two purposes – to signify Liechtenstein's position as a principality, and to "distinguish" its flag from Haiti's. This modified design was adopted on June 24, 1937.
The colors and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The blue represents the sky, while red alludes to the "evening fires" that are lit inside houses throughout the country. The crown – whose colour is disputed – epitomizes the "unity of the people and their prince". While The World Factbook and Reuters describe it as gold in colour, other sources – such as Whitney Smith in the Encyclopædia Britannica – contend that it is actually yellow.
In February 2004, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Liechtenstein called for the capture of a Falcon 50 private jet that was owned by the former regime of Saddam Hussein and kept in Amman, Jordan. They sought this action due to the fact that the plane flew the flag of Liechtenstein and had a registration number from Switzerland, which keeps the civil aviation records of the Principality. This was carried out shortly afterwards in order to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483. After being transported to Basel and revamped entirely, the Liechtensteiner government returned the plane to the new government of Iraq on December 5, 2005. This marked the first Iraqi aircraft seized under UN sanctions to be given back to the country.
- "Liechtenstein profile". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Smith, Whitney (July 17, 2013). "Flag of Liechtenstein". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2014. (subscription required)
- "History of Liechtenstein". Lonely Planet. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Liechtenstein". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Rainey, Venetia (July 24, 2012). "Flag bearing: a potted history". Reuters. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Kindersley, Dorling (November 3, 2008). Complete Flags of the World. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. p. 148. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Leichtenstein orders seizure of Saddam jet in Amman". Agence France-Presse. February 26, 2004. Retrieved June 26, 2014. (subscription required)
- "Saddam plane handed over". Cayman Compass. Associated Press. December 5, 2005. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
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