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Cyprus Flags

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Flag of Cyprus

The flag of Cyprus is a strong symbol of unity. It combines symbols of peace with an undivided image of the country, which offers a strong symbol of hope for the future of the nation.

The Flag of Cyprus came into use on August 16, 1960 under the Zürich and London Agreements, whereby a constitution was drafted and Cyprus was proclaimed an independent state. The national flag features a map of the entirety of the island, with two olive branches below (a symbol of peace) on white (another symbol of peace). The olive branches signify peace between the Turks and Greeks. Before the Republic of Kosovo adopted their current flag, Cyprus was the only country to display its land area on its flag. The map on the flag is a copper-yellow color, symbolizing the large deposits of copper ore on the island (chiefly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in color), from which it allegedly received its name.

  • Capital of Cyprus: Nicosia
  • Area of Cyprus: 9,240 sq. km
  • Languages used in Cyprus: Greek, Turkish, English
  • Religions in Cyprus: Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic

Colors and Symbolism of Cyprus Flags

Cyprus flags feature a white field with an outline of the country in the color of copper in the center above two olive branches. The white field is a symbol of peace that reflects the nation's hope for the peaceful coexistence of the nation's two primary ethnic groups. The olive branches are also strong symbols of peace, and the flag uses two of them in order to represent both of the groups offering peace to each other. The nation's outline represents the wish for a unified and undivided nation, and its color represents the copper which is so common on Cyprus and may have contributed to the island's name in antiquity.

History of the Flag of Cyprus

Cyprus was a part of foreign empires until it gained its independence in 1960, and it used the flags of those empires instead of native Cyprus flags until that year. Cyprus did have a unique colonial flag while it was part of the British Empire, which was a British blue ensign with the Union Jack in the canton and a pair of red lions in place of a coat of arms. Cyprus has also used the flags of Greece and Turkey, which have both claimed the island at different points during its history.

Cyprus has had two flags of its own since it became independent. The first was adopted in 1960 and only used for a few months before the modern flag of Cyprus replaced it. It resembles the modern flag, but the nation's outline was left unfilled. The design was chosen through a national competition that had several strict requirements. The design could not use blue, which was associated with Greece. It could not use red because that color was associated with Turkey. It could not include either a cross or a crescent in order to avoid dividing the nation along religious boundaries. Those requirements were put in place in order to make sure that the flag was a neutral design that could be acceptable for most of the nation's citizens.