Saudi Arabia: One-year prison sentence, SR3,000 fine for violators of Saudi flag law

One-year prison sentence, SR3,000 fine for violators of Saudi flag law.

Riyadh, The Gulf Observer: As the 92nd Saudi National Day approaches, the Ministry of Commerce has clarified the regulations regarding the use of the Kingdom’s flag.

The ministry has warned that those found guilty of “showing disrespect” to the national flag in public will be jailed for one year and/or receive a fine of up to SR3,000 (just under $800).

The ministry confirmed that it is prohibited for “individuals and commercial establishments” to use the Kingdom’s flag — a white sword on a green background and white Arabic writing which translates as “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” — or the state emblem — two swords and a palm tree — or pictures of leaders and officials and their names in commercial dealings, including “publications, goods and products, media bulletins, special gifts and others.”

The ministry said that it is carrying out inspections of markets in all regions of the Kingdom to ensure no violations occur.

On October 1, 2018, a circular was issued to commercial establishments as part of the implementation of Royal Decree No. 3587, which prohibits the use of the state emblem in commercial transactions.

Lawyer Hatoon Jambi told Arab News, “Article 20 of the Saudi Arabia flag law issued by royal decree in 1973 states that whoever drops, executes, or insults in any way whatsoever the national flag, the royal flag, or any other emblem of Saudi Arabia or of a friendly foreign country out of hatred or contempt for the authority of the government or those countries, in public or in a public place or in a place open to the public, shall be punished.”

She added: “These rules and regulations are considered valid until a modified or different law is issued.”