The flag of Uzbekistan consists of three horizontal blue, white and green bands separated by two thin red fimbriations, with a crescent moon and twelve stars at the canton. Adopted in 1991 to replace the flag of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), it has been the flag of the Republic of Uzbekistansince the country gained independence in that same year. The design of the present flag was partly inspired by the former one. The colors and symbols of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The white stands for peace and purity, while blue represents water and the sky. The latter colour also alludes to the flag of Timur, who ruled over present-day Uzbekistan during the 14th century. Green officially epitomizes "nature and fertility" – though it may also represent Islam – while the thin red stripes represents the "life force" within everyone. The crescent at the canton evokes "the rebirth of" Uzbekistan as an "independent" country. Moreover, it symbolizes the Islamic faith practiced by 88% of Uzbekistan's population. To the right of the crescent are twelve stars, which signify the months of the Islamic calendar, as well as the constellations featured in the zodiac.