The flag of the Republic of Maldives is red with a large green rectangle in the center bearing a vertical white crescent; the closed side of the crescent is on the hoist side of the flag. It was adopted on July 25, 1965.
The red rectangle represents the boldness of the nation's heroes, and their willingness to sacrifice their every drop of blood in defense of their country. The green rectangle in the center represents the many coconut palm trees in the islands. The white crescent moon symbolizes a state of the unified Islamic faith.
The earliest flag of the Maldives consisted of a plain red field. Later, a black and white striped hoist called the Dhandimathi was added to the flag.
This version of the flag was used until early in the 20th century when Abdul Majeed added a crescent to the national flag. At the same time, a distinct state flag was made, which had the crescent on a green rectangle. These changes were made sometime between 1926 and 1932, during Abdul Majeed's term as Prime Minister.
In 1953, the Maldives became a republic, resulting in another flag change. The national flag was dropped, and the crescent of the state flag was reversed so that it faced the hoist. The Sultanate was restored in 1954, but the flag was not changed back. Instead, Muhammad Fareed Didi created a new flag specifically for the Sultan, with a five-pointed star next to the crescent. A version of this flag is still used today as the Presidential Standard.
When the Maldives gained independence in 1965, the black and white hoist was removed, giving the flag its modern form.