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The History of the Iranian Flag

iran _ flag

The Four-Cornered Flag in Qajar Era

When Muhammad Khan Qajar was the head of the Qajar dynasty, a few basic changes were made in the shape and color of the flag. For the first time, the flag shape was changed to a four-angled instead of the old three-cornered shape.  S e c o n d l y, due to Agha Mohammad Khan’s hostility with Nader Shah, the three colors on the flag - green, white and red- were all replaced with the sole color red. Instead a white circle was designed in the middle of the flag, with the regular image of the Lion and the Sun; yet with a major difference; there was

a sword in the lion’s hand.

During Fat’h Ali Shah Qajar, Iran possessed two different flags. One was a red flag with a lying lion and the sun behind it and rays covering this design. The interesting point is; during peace time the lion had a sword in its hand, yet during the war this was not the case.

It was during the kingdom of Fat’h Ali Shah, that using a white flag for diplomatic and political purposes became a custom. Years later, Amir Kabir used this feature related to the flags of the mentioned era to design the pattern of the modern flag. For the first time in Muhammad Khan’s time a crown was placed above the sun. On one of the flag’s of this era there is Imam Ali’s two-edged- blade sword, while the other flag bears the pattern of the sun and the lion. The first one was the royal flag and the later a national and military flag.

Amir Kabir and the Flag of Iran

Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir always advised Naseredin Shah to read Nader Shah’s biography. Amir Kabir accepted the basic elements of Nader Shah’s flag, though he ordered a rectangle shaped flag with a green band sewed on the top corner and a red band sewed on the bottom part, with the design of the lion and sun in the center; without the crown above the sun. That is how the modern Iranian flag found its shape.

The Constitution and the Flag of Iran

The fifth principle of the constitution law explains: "the official colors of Iran’s flag are green, white and red with the emblems of the sun and the lion." There were also some interpretations on the lion and the sun and why they should be there on the flag.

the history of the iranian flag

Reza Shah Pahlavi and the Flag

Basic changes were made in the Iranian flag after the coup which occurred in 1920, which brought about a change in the kingdom. During the Qajar era, it looked, as if the lion had a woman’s face, but then Reza Shah gave a clear order; draw the lion with a violent and solid expression. There were three flags in his time;

- The Official Flag: in green, white and red with the lion and the sun, the royal crown and the sword.

- The Military Flag: in green, white and red together with the sun and the lion, and the royal crown surrounded with date leaves and the sword.

- The National Flag: in green, white and red without the sun and the lion which was raised in celebrations in administrations and institutions.

The Flag after the Islamic Revolution

In the eighteenth principle of the constitutional law of the Islamic Republic of Iran, approved in 1979, it is said that the flag is constructed of green, white and red and the emblem of the Islamic Republic (made with the letters of Allah O Akbar ( Allah is Almighty) is put in its center.

Hamid Nadimi is the designer of the flag whose design was won through a competition. The present flag has 22 Allah O Akbar (Allah is Almighty) on it as a sign of 22nd of Bahman; the independence date in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Source: Zamzam magezine

Other links:

Kabisa: part 1

Kabisa: part 2

Median Empire (part 1)

Median Empire (part 2)

A short history of high buildings in Iran

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