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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 10:57 GMT
Tiny Gulf state unfurls huge flag
Bahrain - the smallest Gulf state - has unfurled the world's largest national flag at a sports stadium car park.

The flag measures 169.5 metres (555 feet) by 97.1 metres (318 feet) and has been checked by a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records.

The venue was chosen because the red and white banner was too big to fit inside the stadium itself.

"It's a great flag for a great country," said Information Minister Nabeel al-Hamer.

The flag has been an international effort. It was donated to the king of Bahrain by a Kuwait-based telecom company, MTC-Vodafone, and it was made in China.

Seventy people worked for 400 hours to make the 16,458.45 sq-m flag and the finished product weighs 3,200kg.

It beat the previous record holder - a Pakistani flag displayed at a cricket ground in August - by 359 sq m.

Guinness representative Laura Hughes, who flew from Britain to measure the flag, described it as "spectacular". She said the achievement would be recorded in next year's record book.

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