The flag was adopted just before Qatar gained independence from Britain on September 3, 1971. Qatar modified its entirely red flag with the addition of a white vertical stripe at the hoist to suit the British directive in the mid-19th century. The nine-pointed serrated edge was added to the Qatar flag in the mid-20th century and the maroon color was adopted in 1949, thus creating the modern day national flag. In 1855, Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani already used a flag with similar pattern and purplish-red and white colours. The flag was officially adopted on July 9, 1971, although a nearly identical flag (only differing in proportion) had been used since 1949.
The use of purple coloring in the country dates back several centuries. It has been asserted that Qatar was the site of the earliest known production of shellfish dye during the rule of the Kassites and that the Kassite operated a dye industry which produced purple dye on the coast of Qatar. Qatar was also known for its production of purple dye during the rule of the Sasanian Empire. Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani proposed the creation a flag with a purple-red color in order to unify the state. The flags colours were tinted darker by the sun, thus creating Qatar red. In 1932, the British Navy suggested an official flag should be designed. They proposed that the flag be red, but Qatar refused the red color and instead used maroon.