The country's flag is a symbol of national pride, the municipality said, and must therefore be hoisted high and properly maintained
Municipality calls on public to 'protect UAE flag'
Old UAE flags must be replaced to protect the appearance of the city and maintain the country's national pride, officials have said.
Abu Dhabi Municipality has called upon the public and all government and private entities hanging the country's flag publicly to protect and replace it when it becomes worn away by the weather.
The country's flag is a symbol of national pride, the municipality said, and must therefore be hoisted high and properly maintained.
The warning came following a round of inspections in Al Shahama, where municipality workers came across a "significant number" of damaged flags on the roofs of houses, at ranches and on farms.
Flags that do not meet uniform standards and are "incompatible with the required designs in shape, pattern and design" must be removed, the municipality said.
"The protection of the UAE flag is the responsibility of everyone and it is a true manifestation of patriotism and loyalty to the nation."
Municipality workers frequently inspect the quality of publicly hanging flags and carry out campaigns to replace those that do not meet requirements.
Flags tend to be hoisted outside government buildings and some businesses throughout the year but Emiratis and residents are prompted to hang the country's banner outside their homes every year on Flag Day. This is held on November 2 and celebrates the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President.
Last year, ahead of the occasion, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology warned people to handle the country’s banner with care or risk heavy fines and jail time.
Some of the conditions of owning and displaying a flag include that the owner check its condition every 45 days to ensure it is not damaged.
The flag should be rectangular in shape, it’s height half of its width and the colours in the correct order.
A flag on display should also be changed every six months, according to Esma.
Approved main measurements should be used and the flags should be made from materials that can withstand the hot climate.
The country’s federal penal code lists fines and jail sentences as potential punishments for those who abuse the UAE flag.
According to Article 176: “anyone who publicly insults the President, flag or the national emblem of the state, shall be punished by detention”.
Similarly, Article 3 of federal law No 2 for 1971 says whoever uses the flag inappropriately will face a jail sentence up to six months, and/or a fine; “as the country’s flag should be treated with dignity and respect, and should not be insulted, and not raised below any other flag or banner”.