A simple, explicit formulation of the stiffness matrix for an anisotropic, 3-node, thin triangular flat shell element in global coordinates is presented. An Allman triangle (AT) is used for membrane stiffness. The membrane stiffness matrix is explicitly derived by applying an Allman transformation to a Felippa 6-node linear strain triangle (LST). Bending stiffness is incorporated by the use of a discrete Kirchhoff triangle (DKT) bending element. Stiffness terms resulting from anisotropic membrane-bending coupling are included by integrating, in area coordinates, the membrane and bending strain-displacement matrices. Using the aforementioned approach, the objective of this study is to develop and test the performance of a practical 3-node flat shell element that could be used in plate problems with unsymmetrically stacked composite laminates. The performance of the latter element is tested on plates of varying aspect ratios. The developed 3-node shell element should simplify the programming task and have the potential of reducing the computational time.