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 the colour red and white. The flag's colour was tinted darker by the sun. Thus the color was adopted, creating Qatar red. The flag was officially adopted on July 9, 1971, although a nearly identical flag (only differing in proportion) had been used since 1949.