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According to the official description, the red stands for the bloodshed of martyrs and unity; the white for a bright future; black for the dark past. However, there are some controversy about the flag as it was just the reverse version of the German Empire's flag.
The North used the flag on the right (the flag of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen) from 1927 to 1962, when it became the Yemen Arab Republic. The flag of the Yemen Arab Republic was the Arab Liberation Flag with a green star in the center of the white band.