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The present flag is that of the United Arab Republic, used from 1958 to 1961 in both Syria and Egypt. In 1972 Egypt, Syria and Libya formed the Federation of Arab Republics, with a common flag. The policy of reconciliation between Egypt and Israel caused Libya to withdraw from the Federation in 1977, and Syria followed suit in 1980. The Syrian authorities changed the flag because they felt that the Federation flag had been disgraced when it was dipped to the Prime Minister of Israel by an Egyptian guard of honour.