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Vessels sailing under the Ethiopia country flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Ethiopian flag is made up of three horizontal stripes that are equal and features the Pan-African colors. The topmost line is pure green in color equated with development, labor and fertility of the land. It is followed by a yellow stripe that stands for the peace, justice and love of the Ethiopian people. The bottom band is red in color symbolizing the strength of the Ethiopians and their freedom sacrifice. On February 6, 1996, a middle blue disk with a yellow outlined and straight rayed star was adopted and added to the flag as the country's coat of arms. It is the Ethiopian emblem with a diameter approximately half length of the hoist inscribed, and the golden pentagram symbolizes the unity of the people. The national Ethiopian flag has a ratio of the width-to-length of 1 to 2. The Emblem is set in the Flag's middle in a manner that the circumference curves on the width mid-points of both the red and the green colored stripes. Sometimes it can be seen without the blue circle and emblem.
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