If the world was a simple place, I’d be able to say that this was the flag of Kuwait from 1914 to 1961 and leave it at that. But the world isn’t simple, and neither were Kuwait’s old flag laws. There were actually six different versions of this flag, all with very specific uses. The available information about them is spotty, occasionally contradictory, and not always in the best English, but here’s what I can gather.
The text in the centre of the national flag just says “Kuwait”. On special occasions (i.e. weekends, holidays, and official ceremonies) the shahadah was written along the hoist side of the flag. The Seif Palace flew a flag with both the shahadah and a talon symbol representing the House of Sabah (shown on the 1956 arms). That flag was also flown by the Kuwait Security Forces, but only on special occasions. And after 1956 it became the Emir’s standard.
There were also triangular versions of all three flags. The triangular version of the plain national flag was flown by most government buildings (except for border stations and customs houses, which used the rectangular version). But on special occasions those government buildings flew the triangular version of the shahadah flag. That flag was also flown at Naif Palace but only on days that weren’t special occasions. On special occasions they flew a triangular version of the Seif Palace flag, which also happened to be the flag that was flown by the Security Forces on non-special occasions.
Ready to get more complicated? I haven’t even mentioned the naval flags yet. There were four of those, and they were distinguished by a serrated (or possibly wavy) white bar at the hoist of the flag. They could either be rectangular or triangular and they could have a shahadah or not. Their usage varied based on whether it was a state or civil ensign, whether it was a special occasion or not, and whether it was flown on land or by a ship at sea. How exactly it varied I’m not quite sure, and the rules might even have changed in 1950 or 1956. Oh and it looks like at least some ships flew flags without the white bar.
You know what? Screw it. This was the flag of Kuwait from 1914 to 1961.