As a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war, there are currently two entities claiming to be the government of Libya, an independent state in North Africa. They are the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Muammar al-Gaddafi and the Libyan Republic led by a National Transitional Council.
The flag of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was adopted on November 11, 1977 and consists of a green field. It is the only national flag in the world with just one color and no design, insignia, or other details. It was designed by Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Green reflects the predominant religion of Islam, is the official national color of Libya and is also symbolic of Gaddafi's "Green Revolution".
The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic, formed on 27 February 2011, adopted the flag previously used in Libya between 1951 and 1969. The flag was initially used by protestors during the Libyan Civil War and is being flown at Libyan diplomatic missions supporting the National Transitional Council. On 10 March 2011, France was the first country to recognize the council as the official government of Libya. On 21 March 2011, the flag was flown by the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations and appeared on their official website.   Some rebels fighting on the frontline have gone as far to remove the green stripe from the Kingdom of Libya flag, which can be seen in video reports from journalists on news websites.
The flag of the Kingdom of Libya was adopted when Libya gained independence in 1951 from Italy. It consisted of a white crescent-and-star on a triband red-black-green design, with the central black band being twice the width of the outer bands. The design was based on the banner of the Senussi dynasty from Cyrenaica, which consisted of a black field and crescent-and-star design, and was later used as the flag of the region. The red represented the region of Fezzan, while the green came from the banner of Tripolitania. The crescent and star was used in the flag of the Ottoman Empire from 1793 and was chosen as part of the flag design by many of the successor states of the Ottoman Empire, beginning with the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918.
Following the coup d'état of 1969, the flag was replaced by the Pan-Arab red-white-black tricolor of the Arab Liberation Flag, first flown after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 (which also formed the basis of the flags of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen).
In 1972 when Libya joined the Federation of Arab Republics its flag was adopted by the country, linking it to Egypt and Syria. It featured a golden hawk (the "Hawk of Qureish"), holding a scroll with the Arabic name of the Federation.
On November 11, 1977 following the country's official renaming as the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the flag was changed to the all-green design, in reaction to Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel. In addition to its symbolism in Islam, green is also symbolic of Gaddafi's "Green Revolution".
During the Libyan Civil War against the government rule of Muammar al-Gaddafi, the 1951–1969 flag – as well as various makeshift versions without the crescent and star symbol, or without the green stripe – came back into use in areas held by the Libyan opposition and by protesters at several Libyan diplomatic missions abroad.
Ottoman Libya (to 1911)
Italian Libya (1911-1943)
Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969)
Libyan Arab Republic (1969–1972)
Flag of the Ottoman vilayet of Tripolitania, attested in the 1860s
Flag of the emirate of Cyrenaica, 1949-1951
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