Flag of Cyprus
|Design||An outline of the country of Cyprus above twin olive branches on a white field. |
The current flag was created as the result of a design competition in 1960. Under the constitution, the flag should not include either blue or red colours (the colours of the flag of Greece and the flag of Turkey), nor portray a cross or a crescent. All participants deliberately avoided use of these four elements in an attempt to make the flag "neutral".
The winning design was based on a proposal by İsmet Güney, a Turkish Cypriot art teacher. The design was chosen by Makarios III, the first President of the Republic, with the consent of Fazil Küçük, the first Vice-President.
Despite the attempt at a neutral design to promote unity amongst the constituent communities, this flag is most often used only by the Greek Cypriots, since it is associated by the Turkish Cypriots with the Greek-dominated Republic of Cyprus. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the establishment of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkish-Cypriots use the Flag of Northern Cyprus. 
The state 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. The map on the flag is a copper-orange colour, symbolizing the large deposits of copper ore on the island (chiefly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in colour), from which it may have received its name.
The flag deliberately chose peaceful and neutral symbols in an attempt to indicate harmony between the rival Greek and Turkish communities, an ideal that has not yet been realized.