Flag of Egypt

The flag of Egypt (علم مصر [ˈʕælæm mɑsˤɾ]) is a tricolour consisting of the three equal horizontal red, white, and black bands based on the Arab Liberation Flag of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. In the centre of the middle band, the flag bears the Eagle of Saladin, the national symbol of Egypt since 1952, and an emblem of Arab nationalism that also serves as the national symbol of Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen, and previously of the United Arab Republic, North Yemen, South Yemen, and the Libyan Arab Republic.

Flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt
UseCivil and state flag, civil and state ensign
Proportion2:3
AdoptedOctober 4, 1984 (1984-10-04)
DesignHorizontally divided red-white-black tricolor flag with the Eagle of Saladin.
Variant flag of Flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt
UseWar flag
Proportion2:3
AdoptedOctober 4, 1984 (1984-10-04)
DesignNational flag with two white crossed sabres in canton.
Variant flag of Flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt
UseNaval ensign
Proportion2:3
AdoptedOctober 4, 1984 (1984-10-04)
Designed byNational flag with two white fouled crossed anchors in canton.
Variant flag of Flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt
NamePresidential Standard of Egypt
Proportion2:3
Designed byNational flag with gold outlined Eagle of Saladin in canton.

Since the toppling of the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan in the revolution of 1952, all four iterations of the Egyptian flag have had the same fundamental horizontal red-white-black design of the Arab Liberation Flag, with the only difference being the appearance of the eagle in the middle band of white, and the presence or absence of the colour green in that same band. In the original Arab Liberation Flag, all four of the Pan-Arab Colours of black, white, red, and green were present, representing the original four caliphates of the Arab World (Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, and Fatimad), with the green included via the flag of the Kingdom of Egypt and Sudan being emblazoned on the breast of the Eagle of Saladin. During Egypt's time as part of the United Arab Republic, the eagle, whilst still being used as the national symbol, was replaced in the middle band by two green stars representing the members of the union, namely Egypt, and Syria. The third iteration of the flag came via Egypt's membership of the Federation of Arab Republics, with the two green stars on Egypt's flag being replaced by the Hawk of Quraish. The flag was modified most recently in 1984, when the Eagle of Saladin was restored to the middle band in place of the Hawk of Quraish, however, the colour green was not similarly restored. As such, unlike the flags of Iraq, Syria, and Sudan, all of which were likewise derived from the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the current flag of Egypt lacks one of the four essential colours of the Arab Liberation Flag.

Symbolism

The Egyptian Free Officers who toppled King Farouk in the Revolution of 1952 assigned specific symbolism to each of the three bands of the revolutionary and liberation flag. The red band symbolizes the Egyptians’ blood in the war against colonization. The white band symbolizes the purity of the Egyptian's heart. The black band below the white, symbolizes the manner in which darkness is overcome.[1]

Egypt's Revolutionary and Liberation flag was then an inspiration to several Arab countries and was adopted by many Arab states. The same horizontal tricolour is used by Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen (and formerly Libya), the only difference being the presence (or absence) of distinguishing national emblems in the white band.

Colours scheme

Light Marron White Black Gold
RGB 206/17/38255/255/2550/0/0192/147/0
Hexadecimal #ce1126#FFFFFF#000000#c09300
CMYK 0/92/82/190/0/0/00/0/0/1000/23/100/25

History

The development of the modern Egyptian flag was determined first by the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, under whom Egypt was united with Sudan, and later by the rise of Egyptian nationalism and revolutionary ideas among the Egyptian Army.

Muhammad Ali Dynasty (1805–1923)

When Muhammad Ali successfully seized power in Egypt, the country was officially an Eyalet (Egypt Eyalet) of the Ottoman Empire. However, throughout his reign, and that of his sons and grandsons, Egypt enjoyed virtual independence as a Khedivate. The meaning of the three stars and crescents has been suggested that this was to symbolise the victory of his armies in three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe), and his own sovereignty over Egypt, Sudan, and Hejaz. The similarity with the flag of the Ottoman Empire was deliberate, as Muhammad Ali harbored grandiose ambitions of deposing the Ottoman dynasty, and seizing the sultanic throne himself.

Egypt retained this flag even after formal Ottoman sovereignty was terminated in 1914, when Egypt was declared to be a sultanate, and a British protectorate.

After the Urabi Revolt in 1882, British forces occupied the country, igniting ever greater nationalist resentment. This reached a peak in the Revolution of 1919, when both the red flag introduced by Muhammad Ali, and a special green banner bearing a crescent and cross[2][3] were used in protests against the British (the latter symbolizing that both Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities supported the Egyptian nationalist movement against the occupation).

Kingdom of Egypt (1922–1953)

Flag of the Kingdom of Egypt (1922–1953) and co-official flag of the Republic of Egypt (1953–1958)

In 1922, the UK agreed to formally recognize Egyptian independence, but only on the condition that the Sultan of Egypt, Fuad I, change his title to King. Upon so doing, the now King Fuad issued a Royal Decree formally adopting a new national flag of a white crescent with three white stars on a green background in it.

The three stars symbolised the three component territories of the Kingdom, namely Egypt, Nubia, and Sudan,[4] whilst the green signifies the agricultural nature of the country,[5] other sources suggest that it symbolised the predominant religion of the country, Islam. It has also been suggested that the three stars represented the three religious communities of the country: Muslims, Christians and Jews.[6]

Republic of Egypt (1953–1958) - Egyptian Free Officers movement

Egyptian Revolution Flag (1953–1958) – the tricolor of the 1952 Egypt Revolution, with the Horus Falcon in the center and symbolic three stars representing the 3 Abrahamic religions

Following the Revolution of 1952, the Egyptian free officers retained the flag of the Kingdom, but also introduced the Revolutionary and Liberation flag of red, white, and black horizontal bands, with the emblem of the Revolution, the Ancient Egyptian falcon - Horus-, in the center band. This earlier version of the eagle differs somewhat from the one later adopted. Even when the Kingdom was formally abolished by the declaration of the Republic on July 18, 1953, the flag of the Kingdom remained in official use, until Gamal Abdel Nasser announced the formation of a new regional political union and changed the name to United Arab Republic in 1958.[7]

United Arab Republic - Egyptian and Syrian Union under President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1958–1972)

flag of the United Arab Republic (1958–1971) – though Syria withdrew from the union in 1961, Egypt retained the official name until 1971

In 1958, Egypt and Syria united as the United Arab Republic (UAR) and adopted a national flag based on the original Egyptian Liberation flag after the revolution, but with two green stars (representing the two countries of the union) replacing the former Egyptian Eagle in the white band. A modified version of that Eagle was then adopted as the UAR's coat of arms. The flag with the 2 green stars, representing the two nations is now still used as the national flag of Syria. The flag was briefly used by the Yemen Arab Republic for two months.


Colours scheme
Red White Green Black
RGB 206/17/38255/255/2550/122/610/0/0
Hexadecimal #ce1126ff#FFFFFF#007a3dff#000000ff
CMYK 0/92/82/190/0/0/0100/0/50/520/0/0/100

Federation of Arab Republics (1972–1984) - A regional union attempt by Muammar Gaddafi

Flag of the Federation of Arab Republics (1972–1984)

Though Syria withdrew from the UAR in 1961, Egypt continued to use the official name of the United Arab Republic until 1971, when the country was renamed officially as the Arab Republic of Egypt. In 1972, when Egypt formed the Federation of Arab Republics along with Syria, and Libya, the UAR's flag (whose design Syria would reuse for their own flag, eight years later) was replaced by a common flag for the Federation, once again based on the Arab Liberation flag. The two green stars in the white band were replaced by the Hawk of Qureish, which had been the coat of arms of Syria prior to the formation of the UAR in 1958. The Hawk of Qureish was also adopted as the Federation's coat of arms. The shade of red used in the red band was lightened slightly.


Colours scheme
Red White Black Gold
RGB 206/17/38255/255/2550/0/0239/187/34
Hexadecimal #ce1126#FFFFFF#000000#efbb22
CMYK 0/92/82/190/0/0/00/0/0/1000/22/86/6

Arab Republic of Egypt (1984–present) - President Mohamed Anwar Saddat

Flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1984–present)

Whilst the Federation of Arab Republics was dissolved in 1977, Egypt retained the Federation's flag until October 4, 1984, when the black Hawk of Qureish was replaced in the white band (and on the coat of arms) by the Eagle of Saladin (the 1958 version as opposed to the 1952 version). The shield held by the eagle is coloured entirely gold and white, as opposed to the colours seen on the shield on Egypt's coat of arms. In addition, the shade of red in the red band was restored to the slightly darker shade of the red band in the pre-Federation flag.

Rules governing the hoisting of the flag

The flag is hoisted on all Egyptian governmental buildings on Fridays, national holidays, the opening session of the House of Representatives, and any other occasions as determined by the Minister of the Interior. The flag is hoisted daily on border posts, customs buildings, Egyptian consulates and embassies overseas on Revolution Day (July 23), and other national holidays, as well as during the visit of the Egyptian President to the country hosting the diplomatic mission.

Abusing the flag in any way is a criminal offense and is punishable under law as it implies the contempt of the power of the state. Penal provisions also govern abuse of foreign flags or national emblems of other countries.

See also

  • Coat of arms of Egypt
  • Flags of the Egyptian Armed Forces
  • List of Egyptian flags
  • Pan-Arab colors
  • Flag of Iraq
  • Flag of Sudan
  • Flag of Syria
  • Flag of Yemen

References

  1. "Egyptian Flag Symbolism". Sis.gov.eg. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. el Ansary, Nasser (2001). "Évolution du drapeau égyptien" [Evolution of the Egyptian flag]. L'Encyclopédie des souverains d'Égypte des pharaons à nos jours [The Encyclopedia of rulers of Egypt from the Pharaohs until today] (in French). Alleur: Éditions du Perron. p. 144. ISBN 978-2-87114-173-0. OCLC 48965345.
  3. W. Smith, O. Neubecker: Die Zeichen der Menschen und Völker: Unsere Welt in Fahnen und Flaggen. Reich Verlag Luzern, 1975, ISBN 3-7243-0115-4
  4. Volker Preuß. "Flagge Ägyptens unter den Khediven 1867–1882" (in German). Retrieved 2003-09-07.
  5. "Fotw.net". Fotw.net. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  6. Podeh, Elie. "The symbolism of the Arab flag in modern Arab states: between commonality and uniqueness". Nations and Nationalism. 17 (2). doi:10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00475.x.
  7. Podeh, Elie. "The symbolism of the Arab flag in modern Arab states: between commonality and uniqueness." Nations and Nationalism 17.2 (2011): p. 435.

Sources

  • "Egypt Flag". Egypt State Information Service. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-13.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  • Egypt at Flags of the World
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