The National flag of Afghanistan is designed with great elegance and decent color combination. This flag features three colors band which are red, black, and green. There were almost 25 flags of the country after the establishment of Hotak dynasty.
The Afghan flag is basically a vertically stripped tricolor national flag. The width-to-length ratio of this flag is 1:2. The flag was changed 30 times in 102 years. The internationally recognized tricolor flag has a national emblem centered in white color.
The Taliban group wanted to modify the National flag of Afghanistan according to their requirements. This group intended to introduce the idea of white banner bearing the Shahada. The changes made in the Afghan flag triggered protests in at least two Afghan cities. Three people was killed as a result of this protest in the city of Jalalabad. The protestors tried to place the government flag on the crowded street’s pedestrian bridge after replacing it with the Taliban flag. The Afghan flag has been changed 18 times over the past 100 years.
During the years 1901-1919, the state of Afghanistan was ruled by a British protectorate, Habibullah Khan. He replaced his father’s solid black flag with a seal showing a mosque. The mosque was shown above two crossed swords encircled by a wreath. The depiction of mosque on the flag is responsible for making it sacred. The mosque helps to enlighten the religion of Islam. That is why this Islamic country chose to inscribe the picture of mosque on the flag.
In the year 1921, the country became fully independent from Britain. Amanullah Khan ruled the country in this year. The mosque and crossed swords are both considered as recurring symbols. In the reign of Amanullah Khan, the wreath was replaced with a radiating octagram. In 1926, the flag was modified by including an emblem. A wreath replaced the octagram and the swords were removed. In this flag, the mosque highlighted the Mehrab facing Mecca. Amanullah Khan has made a lot of changes during his reign.
In the year 1929, Amanullah Khan handed over the government to Habibullah Kalakani. In the 13th century, the flag was modified to a tricolor combination. Mohammad Nadir Shah led a tribal revolt in the year of 1929. The tricolor flag in this era represented the state of Afghanistan. Thus, red color basically shows the blood shed for freedom. Green color shows prosperity while the black color depicts the past. The versatile color palette and unique design of the flag makes it an emerging power. The son of Nadir Shah became the king after the assassination of his father. Muhammad Zahir kept his father’s last flag with a slight changes in the seal. The mosque in the flag was surrounded by sheaves of wheat. The cousin of Muhammad Zahir overthrew him in a military coup. Muhammad Daoud Khan made Afghanistan a republic under him. The flag stayed mostly the same for almost a year. Slight changes are made to make the flag more attractive.
In 1974, the color combination remained the same but the orientation of colors were changed. The flag of this era consisted of an eagle in the corner. The eagle spread its wings to represent the mihrab on its chest. It was surrounded by the sheaves of wheat. Nur Muhammad Taraki became the President after Daoud. In the beginning, the seal was dropped from the flag. After sometime, it was changed to a red flag with a seal in the corner. The word Khalq was encircled by wheat and a ribbon. The meaning of this word is people and the ribbon was meant for praising the coup. Although, the people are not satisfied with the rulers and the country became unstable.
Hafizullah Amin killed Taraki in September 1979 and took over the country. The communist regime was supported by the USSR in December. Babrak Karmal became the new President after the assassination of Taraki. In 1980, the flag and seal was changed and the new seal was the sun rising over a mihrab. The mihrab was shown on the green field with an open book. This new and incredible design has a positive impact on the mind of people.
In 1986, Muhammad Najibullah became the President of the state. A force of about 90,000 fighters was grown against the government and the Soviets. The seal was again changed and cog was moved down. Moreover, the red star and book was also removed. In 1979, thousands of troops were sent into Afghanistan. These troops were sent by the Soviet Union. The troops immediately took military and political control of Kabul. The Afghan nation faced a lot of problems due to the invasion of Soviet Union.
Political event of 1997:
After the disputed elections, Karzai became the new President in October 2004. After the elections, the country was regarded as an Islamic Republic with a resilient president. Karzai won another disputed election in 2009. A tweaked flag was unveiled in August 2013 when the Karzai’s rule ended. The large size of Emblem was not acceptable because it overlapped the black and green bands. Some additional details were also incorporated in the flag.
In September 2014, Ashraf Ghani became the new president. He was selected as a president after two rounds of voting in elections. He was bitterly disputed by his rival, Abdullah Abdullah. The whole situation was repeated in September 2019. A treaty for bringing peace was signed by US and Taliban after many years of war. In July 2021, U.S and NATO forces were withdrawn from the country. A power vacuum was left in this way that facilitated a Taliban advance. Ghani escaped from Afghanistan and the Taliban reintroduced the white banner.
Afghan flag is composed of three equal parts. The three parts consist of three colors which are red, black, and green. These colors are juxtaposed from left to right perpendicularly. The width of each color is equal to half of its length. The national emblem is located in the middle of the flag.
The several variations found in the flag of Afghanistan are as follows:
|Color Type||Black||Red||Solid Red||Green||Dark Green||White|
The symbolism of the flag plays a crucial role in understanding politics and society. It is considered as the most condensed and vivid expression of identity. The Afghan flag has a deep message in terms of the history of the country. The color combination used in the flag also gives information about the sacrifices made by the nation.
The interesting design of the Afghanistan flag has a powerful meaning in it. Its colors are the representatives of various traits and history of the country. The black color in the flags enlightens the past era. This color symbolizes the troubled past of the nation. The era when Afghan nation faced a lot of troubles. Furthermore, the red color specifies the fighters who shed their blood for the sake of nation’s welfare and development.
The national emblem and mosque shows the religion Islam. Additionally, the green color in the flag also shows Islam and prosperity. The Shahada inscribed on the flag also shows the firm belief of the nation on the presence of Allah Almighty.
The Afghan flag consists of an emblem which symbolizes the victory of Mujahideen. This symbol is specified for the efforts of Mujahideen. This flag conveys a dense symbolism of present, past, and future. It shows the deep-rooted identity and cause. That is why people are deeply attached to the flag. The flag and insignia are considered as a source of depicting past events. Afghan believes that the nations are developed if they remember the sacrifices of their fighters. That is why they symbolizes the victory and struggles of the warriors in their flag.
Taliban took the control over the Capital of Afghanistan in 1998. It was done in the wake of U.S. forces departure. The Afghanistan government eventually collapsed after this event. The fight for flags started in Jalalabad after the advent of Taliban banner. The protestors flew the tri-color Afghani flag instead of Taliban banner. The conflict started here and three people were assassinated in this contradictory event.
The official flag of the nation is now considered a symbol of opposition against the Taliban. In the 102 years of the state independence, the flag were modified almost 30 times. The variations in the flag were seen 6 times in the year 1919. These frequent variations represent the society in flux with almost consistent instability. The diversity of Afghan society is also illustrated in this manner.
Flags basically focuses on the emotions of a people living in a specific society. The Afghan flag is designed by keeping in mind the unique color combination. The globally dominant red, white, and blue combination is not used here. In all Afghan flags, red color remained dominating. Solid red color was used in the flag during communist government. However, solid white color was chosen by Taliban. This color shows the purity of Taliban’s faith and government. The scripture Shahada is an Islamic oath. This oath is the first pillar of Islam found in the Holy Quran.
Blue color was used once in the flag of Afghanistan. The Shahada was written in blue color on the flag. This flag has a green strip on the top and it was introduced in the year 2001-2002. It consists of a white strip in the middle and a black band on the bottom of the flag. It also contains a yellow insignia encircled by crossed curved swords in the middle. Half blue text is found on the left side and the other half on the right side of the insignia on the white band.
Most of the flags used the three color schemes which are black, white, and green. The black color is for Abbasids, white for Ummayads, and green for Fatimids. This color combination is known as Pan-Arab color scheme. The tricolor flag was originated by a British soldier. The European tricolor shape was followed for distancing the Ottoman Empire.