The flag of Cyprus features a silhouette of the whole island above two olive branches on a white background. The island is printed in a copper-yellow colour to represent the large amounts of copper found in Cyprus. The olive branches are a symbol of peace, to indicate the desired harmony between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Under British colonial rule, Cyprus used a flag featuring the Union Flag of Great Britain. After gaining independence in 1960, the country decided their new flag should "have a neutral design and colour." They did not want to use the colours red and blue, which feature on the British flag as well as the Greek and Turkish flags - countries that controlled the island in the past. For the same reason, the portrayal of a cross or crescent was also forbidden.

Despite the island's hope for peace, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1973 split the country in half. The northern section belongs to the Turkish Cypriots and is known in Turkey as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. As a result, this part of the country sometimes uses the Turkish flag.

Proposals for a new flag to reunite the Cypriot communities was proposed in 2003 but the plan was rejected by Greek Cypriots.

Cyprus is a Mediterranean island off the coasts of Syria and Turkey. It is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean.

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