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Assyrians

Assyrian nation

Last modified: 2013-03-26 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: assyria | assyrian universal alliance | sun | river | euphrates | tigris | zawa | sargon | star: 4 points (blue) | stars: 3 (white) | crescent (white) | star (white) |
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[Assyrian Universal Alliance]
image by Ivan Sache



See also:

Introduction

The Assyrian people or Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans, Syrians, or Syriacs, are a distinct ethnic group of the Middle East, whose roots reach to ancient Mesopotamia.

contributor and date unknown


The Assyrian Flag

The Assyrian flag consists of a golden circle at the center which represents the sun. By its exploding and leaping flames it generates heat and light to sustain the earth and all it's living things. The four pointed star surrounding the sun symbolizes the land, its light blue color means tranquility.

The wavy stripes extending from the center to the four corners of the flag are the three major rivers of our homeland, namely the Tigris, Euphrates and Zawa. The dark blue represents the Euphrates which stands for the Assyrian word prat ("Per-U-Ta"), meaning "abundance." The red stripes represent the Tigris; its blood red hue stands for courage, glory and pride. The white lines in between the two great rivers is Zawa, its white color stands for tranquility and peace. Some interpret the red, white and blue stripes as the highways that will take the scattered Assyrians back to their ancestral homeland.

Above the blue star is the image of the Assyrian god Assur, who is guarding the country, the flag, and the nation it represents. On top of the flagstaff is the standard of King Sargon I, who established the first Assyrian empire. During ancient times this insignia stood by the king's side to let everyone know his whereabouts.

Peter BetBasoo, 29 Aug 1995

The flag was designed by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in 1968. All elements in the design come from symbols from Assyrian reliefs. As to the present usage, it is universally accepted by Assyrians and those non-Assyrians who recognize the Assyrian nation (most Arabs do not).

Peter BetBasoo, 30 Aug 1995

Variants

Here one can see an Assyrian flag with the Sargon emblem in gold/turqouise instead of the red we show.

Eugene Ipavec, 16 Oct 2007

Also, it is very easy to find photos of a variant with the emblem in gold and white – see photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. Note also the central disk in at least one photo is gold instead of orange-red. It may be that there is no one standard version for these details.

Ned Smith, 20 Oct 2007


Chronology of Assyrian Flags

    1918 – Assyrians proclaim an independent state (from Ottoman Empire). It seems they used a white (?) flag with a blue cross of unknown size.
    1968 – Assyrians adopt on 10 April 1968 their first emblem incorporating the emblem of king Sargon.
    1971 – The Assyrian Congress in Teheran adopts a flag similar to the current one but with the Sargon emblem in black and without the blue four-pointed star.
    1972 – The flag is changed during the Geneva Congress to one diagonally striped blue-white-red from upper hoist to lower fly, the white stripe being twice larger than the two other ones. In the middle of the flag was the same emblem as in the center of the current flag.
    1973 – In Yonkers, the flag is reverted to the 1971 design, but with the blue four-pointed star and the Sargon emblem in red.
Flaggenmitteilung [fmL] #93 reports a variant with a dark yellow star and a central disk blue with a white border.

Jaume Ollé, 26 Dec 1999


First Assyrian Flag, 1913

First Assyrian Flag, 1913
image by Jakub Grombíř, 17 Apr 2011

Wikipedia shows a flag of a short-lived independent Assyrian state during/after WWI: red with white orthodox cross and a small white canton with green dot - unlike the white flag with blue cross we mention.

Jakub Grombíř, 17 Apr 2011

I have added to the Catalan Wikipedia the flags of Assyria and also flags of Assyrian political parties (near the bottom of the page.) The flag of 1920 is a reconstruction; its cross appeared in slighty different feature in Francia Vexilla, where it is also a reconstruction. The flag mentioned by Jakub Grombíř was not a national flag, but a military flag.

Jaume Ollé, 17 Apr 2011


Kurdistani Assyrian Flag

The Flag Report presented recently another Assyrian flag, yellow with the Sargon emblem in gold and red in the center. It seems to be the Assyrian flag used in the de facto independent Kurdistan (as shown on Kurdish TV), and perhaps also in Iraq, if permitted.

contributor and date unknown


Muslim Assyrian Minority

As described in [smi75c]
[Muslim Assyrian Minority] 1:2
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 08 May 2009
As depicted in [smi75c]
[Muslim Assyrian Minority] 8:15
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 Apr 2010
 
 

Smith [smi75c] reports a flag for the Assyrians, but does note give any reference about its origin. The flag is vertically divided purple-yellow-green, with white crescent and star in the upper hoist, pointing towards lower fly.

Jaume Ollé, 26 Dec 1999

Nations Without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements ([[mnh96]]) by James Minahan (1996, Greenwood Press) covers Assyria on pages 247-248:

A small minority of the Assyrians, around 1%, has converted to Islam, but remains Assyrian in culture and language...The flag of the Muslim Assyrian minority is a vertical tricolor of violet, yellow and green, bearing a white crescent moon and five-pointed star on the upper hoist.

Ned Smith, 12 Feb 2001

Minahan includes a «black and white line drawing of its flag», meaning the only color information is the word "violet" in the text. Assuming that this book shares a common (primary?) source with Smith, the brown variant is an error.

In the illustration in [smi75b], the violet shade is lighter, but the print quality of this specific stripe is fairly poor. Moreover, the crescent has less prominent points on Smith's drawing. Apart from these, the image on the book shows the shade of yellow as “dark” (Y+), ratio is 8:15, and the purple panel slightly more narrow than the other two; I ignore that and expand the image to 1+1+1 stripes, counting on overcutting in the pasteboard, but the position of the crescent-and-star, at the same distance off both edges of the corner, made me cautious and so the right image is an accurate (I hope) rendition of the illustration in [smi75b], while the left image is an idealization of it.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 08 May 2009 and 30 Apr 2010


Assyrian American Federation

Assyrian American Federation
image by Ivan Sache

This flag was in use by the Assyrian American Federation prior to 1975 when it dropped for the current Assyrian flag. The three stars represented the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syriac names of our nation.

contributor and date unknown

That is incorrect – the stars actually represent the three main churches of the Assyrian nation, including the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church.

name withheld by request, 04 May 2009