UAE National Day & Flag: What can we teach our kids?
Over 7 Million expatriates from 200 different countries call it home! The United Arab Emirates, ranked as one of the best countries in the world for expats, offers its residents great lifestyle, opportunities, and infrastructure. There is much to be proud of this thriving Arab Nation where expats and Nationals form the pulse of the country, where every resident takes pride in the Nation’s achievements, its multi-cultural identity and visionary leadership.
Each year, December 2 is celebrated as the UAE National Day across the Emirates. Come November, and there is an air of festivity and patriotic spirit all around. We see the UAE National Flag everywhere, proudly hoisted above offices and residences in preparation for the National Day. Expat or National, as parents, we want our children to grow up to become responsible residents, to be able to recognise and honour the culture of the country they reside in. This is in fact the perfect time to teach our children about UAE, the National Flag and how to uphold its dignity.
Formation of a Nation and the National Flag
Prior to formation of the UAE, the Emirates functioned as independent Sheikhdoms along the coast of the Arabian Gulf. On December 2, 1971, the rulers of the six Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah) came together to form a new state called the United Arab Emirates, with Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as its first President and Dubai’s Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum as the Vice-President of the Nation. Very soon, Ras Al Khaimah also joined the union as the seventh Emirate.
The UAE National Flag symbolises the spirit of this Unity between the Emirates. The National Flag of UAE was raised for the first time on December 2, 1971 by HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the presence of other Rulers of the Emirates. The Flag was designed by Mr. Abdulla Mohammed Al Ma’enah who participated and won a competition for designing the UAE National Flag.
According to United Arab Emirates Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, “The designer intended the four colours to reflect Arabian unity, the theme of which appears in the two stanzas of an Arabic poem by Safiul Din Al Holi who described deeds of benevolence, goodness and kindness. The poet wrote about the hard-fought historical battles of the land, with deeds and intentions that were white, meaning benign, but the vigour of the battles were black, meaning strong, while the lands were vast and green, and the gallant swords were stained with red blood of enemies. “
The National Flag of a country is a representation of its history, land and people. As responsible residents of a Nation, we must ensure that the Flag is always treated with due respect. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that we can follow and teach our kids too.
- The flag should always be held high and with pride.
- The flag should never be hoisted upside down.
- The flag should never be left on the floor.
- The flag should not be used as a toy by children.
- The flag should not be used with any other symbol or logo.
- The flag should not be used as a decorative item, or draped as clothing.
- The flag should never be put in places where it could get trampled or damaged.
As we all look forward to the UAE National Day, these little lessons at home can help our children understand and appreciate the very essence and spirit of this united Nation that we call home.