Written by Mudit Agarwal
How many times do you think Syria has changed its flags?
Are you confused when it comes to trigonometric formulas? Then you haven’t seen anything yet.
We all know the crisis which Syria is in. It has been torn apart by civil war. The Assad regime has been dominating the country since 1971. According to official figures, more than 210,000 have died in the civil war.
That being said, we try to decode Syria’s colourful history with the help of its flag which has been changed more than an army kid changes schools.
- This flag was adopted when Syria gained independence as a parliamentary republic on 24th October 1945 and became a founding member of United Nations. It was founded as a republic state.
The colours Green, White and Black symbolize the Rashidum, the Umayyads and the Abassids, referring to the first four caliphs (the chief Muslim civil and religious leader). Also, the three red stars represented the three districts of Syria, Aleppo, Damascus and Deir ez-zo.
- Soon, Syria and Egypt formed a union called the United Arab Republic or UAR in 1958 adopting a new flag. This union was short lived under the President, Gamal Abdel Nasser who led to dissolution of all parties in Syria.
The colour red symbolizes bloody struggle for freedom, white represents the bright peaceful future, green stars represent Syria and Egypt, the two constituents of the short-lived United Arab Republic and black signifies oppression.
- In 1961, a secessionist movement caused Syria to break away from the UAR after being disappointed as it destroyed Syria’s traditional politics and economy (imagine breaking up with a girlfriend who doesn’t let you be who you are). This was the flag to represent Syrian Arab Republic.
The flag’s significance being the same.
- Bath Party taking control of Syria in 1963 in a military coup adopted the new flag. Amin al-Hafez becomes the president only to warm the seat. For enters, Hafez al-Assad seizing power in a coup in 1970.
If you find it similar to the earlier flag with the colour red, THINK AGAIN! Slight change in the number of stars. From two stars to three, in order to represent the addition of Iraq to the Federation, as well as three pillars of Ba’athism: unity, freedom and socialism.
- Flag changed in 1972 and 1980 by Mr. Hafez al-Assad during which Syria saw period of economic growth on one hand and atrocities on another. It was a classic double entendre. He was succeeded by his son, Bashar al-Assad who initially sought to present himself as a reformer. But we all know how that turned out.
The green stars in the flag were replaced by what’s known as the Hawk of Quraysh. Sounds Fancy, huh! Well, it’s the symbol of the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad.
- Pro-democracy flag is the same flag adopted when Syria gained independence.
The flag’s significance remains the same.
Roughly, Syria sees a change in their flag around 6 to 7 times. But their fate remains a mystery is still a mystery like many our lives. The UN Security Council has failed to take any action as the propositions have been continuously vetoed by Russia and China.
Will the Assad regime fall? If so, will there be stability? Will the people of Syria find peace in their lives? It is true when they say that when the rich wage war, it’s the poor who suffer.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.