Flag of Malta

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Flag of Malta.svg
UseNational flag and state and naval ensign
Adopted21 September 1964
DesignA vertical bicolor of white and red with the representation of the George Cross edged in red on the upper hoist-side corner of the white band.
Civil Ensign of Malta.svg
Variant flag of Malta
UseCivil ensign
DesignA red field with a white border, and a white Maltese cross in the center.

The flag of Malta (Maltese: Bandiera ta' Malta) is a bicolour, with white in the hoist and red in the fly. A representation of the George Cross, awarded to Malta by George VI in 1942, is carried, edged with red, in the canton of the white stripe.[1]


The red hue in the Maltese flag is officially documented as Pantone 186 C, RGB (207,20,43), Hex #CF142B or Spot Colour - 50% rubine red • 50% warm red.[2]

Tradition states that the colours of the flag were given to Malta by Roger I of Sicily in 1090. Roger's fleet landed in Malta on the completion of the Norman conquest of Sicily. It is said that local Christians offered to fight by Roger's side against the Arab defenders. In order to recognise the locals fighting on his side from the defenders, Roger reportedly tore off part of his chequered red-and-white flag. This story has, however, been debunked as a 19th-century myth, possibly even earlier due to the Mdina, Malta's old capital, associating its colours with Roger's in the late Middle Ages.[3][4]

The flag of the Knights of Malta, a white cross on a red field, was a more likely source of the Maltese colours, inspiring the red and white shield used during the British colonial period.

The George Cross[edit]

The George Cross originally appeared on the flag placed on a blue canton (see List of flags of Malta). The flag was changed on 21 September 1964 with Malta's independence when the blue canton was replaced by a red fimbriation, the intention being that the Cross appear less prominent.

The George Cross (National War Museum, Malta)

Civil ensign[edit]

The civil ensign shows a red field, bordered white and charged with a blank Maltese cross.

Historical flags of Malta[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article 3 of the Constitution of Malta
  2. ^ Graphical Specifications for the National Flag of Malta
  3. ^ Buhagiar, M., Tale of Count Roger and the flag
  4. ^ Gaul, Simon (2007). Malta, Gozo and Comino. New Holland Publishers. p. 25. ISBN 1860113656.
  5. ^ Paper trail retraces a 400-year-old murder

External links[edit]