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A civil flag is a version of the national flag that is flown by civilians on nongovernmental installations or craft. The use of civil flags was more common in the past to denote buildings or ships not manned by the military.
In some countries, the civil flag is the same as the state flag but without the coat of arms, such as in the case of the flag of Peru, Serbia, and Spain. In others, it is an alteration of the war flag.
In Scandinavia, state and war flags can be double and triple-tailed variants of the Nordic Cross flag. Many countries, particularly those with a British heritage, still have distinctive civil flags (technically civil ensigns) for use at sea, many based on the Red Ensign.
- Kamath, Anjali (2009). Flag Book. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan. p. 5. ISBN 978-81-7991-512-7.
- Smith, Whitney (18 April 2016). "Flag of Peru". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Smith, Whitney (30 October 2013). "Flag of Serbia". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
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- Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 2008. Flags of the World. ISBN 978-1-59339-492-9.