The flag of Algeria was adopted on July 3, 1962, when the country gained independence from France. The flag is rectangular and divided vertically into two fields. The left field has a dark green background and the right field has a white background. Intersecting the two fields, in the center of the flag, is a red star and crescent.
The colors of the Algerian flag have symbolic meaning. As with many countries, the white symbolizes peace. The green part of the flag represents nature. The star and crescent were widely used in parts of the ancient Mediterranean regions and also in parts of Asia. Today, the star and crescent combination is most commonly recognized as the emblem of Islam, and the star and crescent appear on the Algerian flag for these reasons. Although the star and crescent are often green, the red star and crescent on the Algerian flag represent the blood of the many soldiers that were killed fighting for Algeria’s independence from France between 1954 and 1962.
The detailed history of the Algerian flag is somewhat unclear. The colors in the flag—white, red, and green—are used in the flags and emblems of many Islamic nations. The best explanation of the Algerian flag’s design is that it is a combination of two flags used in what is now the country of Algeria. The flag of the Algerian Regency, which governed the area from the sixteenth until the nineteenth century, had a red background with a white star and crescent in the center. In the nineteenth century, Prince Abdel Kadir, an Algerian Islamic scholar and political and military leader, led a French resistance movement flying a flag with two vertical stripes, one green and one white. It is also possible that Messali Hadj, an Algerian nationalist, designed the Algerian flag in the late 1920s.