Kuwaiti flags came in all shapes and sizes from the establishment of Kuwait until 1961, when on gaining full independence the government decided to replace the old flag with a new design. This was promulgated by a law issued on 7/9/1961 (27 Rabi 1, 1381 AH), some provisions of which were amended on 18/11/1961 (10 Jumuda Al-Akher 1381 AH). The first article stipulated that Kuwait's national flag should consist of a horizontal rectangle which is twice as long as it is wide. This is divided into three equal horizontal stripes, the top one being green, the middle white and the bottom red, with the side next to the flag pole forming the base of a black trapezoid protruding into the stripes. The colours of the flag are derived from a poem by Safie Al-Deen Al-Hili.