Vessels sailing under the Somalia 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 Somalia Country Flag is represented by a sky blue background broken by a single, white five pointed star in the center. The Flag was adopted in 1954 and is designated to hold a proportional ratio of 2:3, height to length, respectively. The blue background is meant to represent the sky over Somalia and is intended in design to emulate the United Nations who provided help to Somalia while empowering the Somali people in their struggle for independence and stability. The white star is intended to represent African liberty and freedom. Each point on the star is indicative of one of the five historically relevant realms that were populated by the Somali people throughout the region and at various times. These realms that are represented under the Somalia Country Flag include North Kenya, French Somaliland, British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland and the Ogaden region of Ethiopea. The lands that are actually united under the current politically independent structure include the former British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. It is said the Somalia Country Flag unites the most homogeneous population in Africa.