Monaco's original flag, which was similar to its current state flag but bore an older version of its coat of arms, was in use from the principality's early days (except during its annexation to France from 1793 to 1814) until the present, simpler design was adopted in 1881.
Another design (below), the banner of the state arms (lozenges in the Grimaldi family colors, in heraldic terms "lozengy argent and gules"), was used at various times, particularly in the 17th century, as an unofficial flag, and still appears in some royal photographs. However, it has no designated use, and does not represent any Monegasque official in particular.
Monaco's state flag, which consists of the full achievement of the coat of arms on a white background with a red line, is flown at government offices, the Prince's palace, in the presence of government officials, and as an ensign on the Prince's yacht.
The princely standard, which consisted of the Crown of Monaco over two opposing letters A on a white background, is the personal flag of Prince Albert II, and is only used in his immediate presence, particularly on cars in which he travels. It is often seen with a gold fringe on the top, bottom, and right, which is one-ninth the height of the white field.
Except for its proportions, the flag of Monaco is identical to the flags of Indonesia, the German state of Hesse, the Austrian city of Vienna and the Dutch city of Kerkrade (all of which are longer). It is also similar to the flags of Singapore (which has a crescent and five stars in the top left), Greenland (which has a counterchanged disk and order of colours reversed), Poland and the German state of Thuringia (the order of the colours is reversed on the latter two).