Flag of Egypt
|Design||Horizontally divided red-white-black flag with the Eagle of Saladin. |
Following the Revolution of 1952, the Free Officers retained the flag of the Kingdom, but also introduced the Arab Liberation flag of red, white, and black horizontal bands, with the emblem of the Revolution, the Eagle of Saladin, in the center band. This earlier version of the eagle differs somewhat from the one later adopted. Even when the Kingdom was formally abolished by the declaration of the Republic on July 18, 1953, the flag of the Kingdom remained in official use until the formation of the United Arab Republic in 1958.
In 1958, Egypt and Syria united as the United Arab Republic (UAR) and adopted a national flag based on the Arab Liberation flag, with two green stars (representing the two countries of the union) replacing the Eagle of Saladin in the white band. A modified version of the Eagle of Saladin was adopted as the UAR's coat of arms.
Though Syria withdrew from the U.A.R. in 1961, Egypt continued to use the official name of the United Arab Republic until 1971, when the country was renamed officially as the Arab Republic of Egypt. In 1972, when Egypt formed the Federation of Arab Republics along with Syria, and Libya, the U.A.R. flag (whose design Syria would reuse for their own flag, eight years later) was replaced by a common flag for the Federation, once again based on the Arab Liberation flag. The two green stars in the white band were replaced by the Hawk of Qureish, which had been the coat of arms of Syria prior to the formation of the U.A.R. in 1958. The Hawk of Qureish was also adopted as the Federation's coat of arms. The shade of red used in the red band was lightened slightly.
Whilst the Federation of Arab Republics was dissolved in 1977, Egypt retained the Federation's flag until October 4, 1984, when the black Hawk of Qureish was replaced in the white band (and on the coat of arms) by the Eagle of Saladin (the 1958 version as opposed to the 1952 version). The shield held by the eagle is coloured entirely gold and white, as opposed to the colours seen on the shield on Egypt's coat of arms. In addition, the shade of red in the red band was restored to the slightly darker shade of the red band in the pre-Federation flag. 
The Free Officers who toppled King Farouk in the Revolution of 1952 assigned specific symbolism to each of the three bands of the Arab Liberation flag. The red band symbolises the period before the Revolution, a time characterized by the struggle against the monarchy, and the British occupation of the country. The white band symbolizes the bloodless nature of the Revolution itself. The black band symbolizes the end of the oppression of the Egyptian people at the hands of the monarchy, and foreign imperialism.