The national flag of Oman was adopted on December 17, 1970 when the new Sultan Qābūs ibn Sa ʿ īd attempted to modernize the nation. Until 1970 Oman used a plain red banner to represent the indigenous people, the Kharijite Muslims. The flag contains three red bands coloured white, red and green. On the hoist is a red vertical bar coloured red with the national emblem at the top. The white on the flag symbolizes peace and prosperity. The green colour represents the green mountains and the green fertile lands. The red was the colour of the former flag and also represents the battles against foreign invaders.