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Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1952)

Last modified: 2012-04-15 by ian macdonald
Keywords: anchors: 2 (white) | swords :2 (white) | naval ensign | army flag | air force ensign | crescent (white) | stars: 3 (white) | royal standard |
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[Flag of Egypt in 1923] image by Željko Heimer

See also:


Description of the flag and construction sheet

"Although the revolution was suppressed, continued agitation led to the termination of the British protectorate in 1922. Fuad I adopted a distinctive national flag (...) on 10 December 1923 (...) three white stars arranged within a single crescent standing for Muslims, Christians, and Jews living in Egypt."
Quoted from Whitney Smith [smi75c] by Nick Artimovich, 23 April 1996

This flag was used up until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952.
Roy Stilling, 14 February 1996

The National Geographic Magazine (article "Flags of the United Nations" by Elizabeth W. King), text p. 218, ill. p. 224 notes: "Credited by historians with being the first country to use flags, Egypt employed celestial symbols at the dawn of history,indicative of the country's early interest and achievements in astronomy. (...) After achieving independence, Egypt adopted her present green National Flag to signify the agricultural nature of the country."
Jan Mertens, 18 August 2005

The construction sheet can be compiled in different ways:

[Flag of Egypt in 1923 - construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer, 12 November 2004

[Flag of Egypt in 1923 - construction sheet] image by Martin Grieve, 16 April 2005
[Click on flag for larger image.]

A green flag with a white crescent and three five-pointed white stars within it. The construction sheet is provided relatively detailed in the Flaggenbuch [neu92] giving the ratio 2:3 with such details:

  • size 672 x 1008
  • center of the circle circumscribing the crescent 448 from hoist
  • radius of the circle circumscribing the crescent 168
  • largest thickness of the crescent 63
  • side of equilateral triangle connecting the centers of the circles circumscribing the stars 144
  • diameter of the circles circumscribing stars 84
  • the triangle has one side vertically position with its middle matching the center of the circle circumscribing the crescent

This is all Flaggenbuch gives, but it is not enough for precise construction - namely the diameter of the inner circle of the crescent is still undefined. I believe that this was defined by the requirement that the horns of the crescent lay on the vertical line connecting two vertices of the fly-most star. So a defined circle would have a diameter close to 140 according to my measurements.
Željko Heimer, 12 November 2004


Jack

[Jack] image by Miles Li, 19 May 2009

This image of the Kingdom of Egypt's naval jack is according to Jane's Fighting Ships, 1939. I have serious doubts about the accuracy of the Kingdom of Egypt flags shown on Jane's Fighting Ships during WWII. For instance, it showed rank flags in the Italian style, when all other sources showed such rank flags as the same as the naval ensign with star(s) in the fly.
Miles Li, 19 May 2009


Royal standard at sea

[Royal standard] image by Željko Heimer, 15 November 2004

Source: Flaggenbuch [neu92], Royal arms from this site.
Željko Heimer
, 27 December 2001

A square blue flag with the coat of arms in the middle surrounded by the chain of an order and with a crown in each corner. I am unaware what the order is that is shown, but it is interesting to note that it is the same order that surrounds the shield in the coat of arms itself, thus being shown twice in the flag!
Željko Heimer, 12 November 2004

There [was] a quite acceptable image of the 1922-1953 Egyptian coat-of-arms at Christian Siemer's Wappenlexikon website though it lacked the surrounding order. This is, I believe, the Collar of the Supreme Class of the Order of Muhammad Ali (Nishan al-Muhammad 'Ali), an image of which is available at the Royal Ark website (second image from top): http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Egypt/orders.htm. According to this webpage: http://faculty.winthrop.edu/haynese/medals/egypt.html
"Before the revolution, this was the highest military and civilian award, and it was only rarely conferred. The two highest classes were only conferred on royal personages and heads of state. The order became obsolete with the revolution [of 1952] and was abolished in 1954. The medals were awarded for gallantry in battle. The Chain of the Order of Muhammad Ali was quite rarely awarded, usually to senior members of the royal family or to foreign royalty. Established: 14 April 1915 by Sultan Husayn Kamil."
Santiago Dotor, 15 November 2004

Detail of the Coat of Arms

[Royal standard - detail of arms] image by Željko Heimer, 15 November 2004

Detail of the Crown

[Royal standard - detail of arms] image by Željko Heimer, 15 November 2004


Royal standard on land

[Royal standard on land] image by Željko Heimer, 17 November 2004
Source: Flaggenbuch [neu92]

The national flag with two white stars added one in each fly corner and a royal crown proper in the canton. A slight difference from the national flag in the construction of this flag is that the center of the circle circumscribing the crescent is the the exact middle of the flag, while in the national flag it is slightly off-set to hoist.
Željko Heimer, 12 November 2004

[Royal standard on land] image by Mohamed Hossam, 21 April 2006

A stamp to commemorate the birth of a crown prince shows this flag with a white crown.
[Editor's note: the image on the stamp also lacks the two stars in the fly and appears to be swallow-tailed.]
Mohamed Hossam, 21 April 2006

[Royal standard on land] image by Mohamed Hossam, 25 March 2008

Flaggenbuch of 1939 showed it as the national flag with crown in the canton and two stars at the fly, while "Protocole du Royaume d'Égypte" of 1947 illustrated the Royal Standard without the stars, and the Crown Prince's Standard being its swallow-tailed version.
Miles Li, 21 May 2009


Royal Standard (Air)

[Royal standard on land] image by Željko Heimer and Miles Li, 16 May 2009

There is also a "Royal Standard (Air)" being a green-and-white striped flag with a miniature royal crown, coloured, in the upper hoist corner.
Jan Mertens, 15 August 2005


Crown Prince's Standard

[Crown prince's standard] image by Željko Heimer, 17 November 2004
Source: Flaggenbuch [neu92]

Blue rectangular swallow-tailed flag with the coat of arms in the middle surrounded with the chain of the order.
Željko Heimer, 12 November 2004


Crown Prince standard on land

[Crown prince's standard] image by Miles Li, 15 May 2009

[Crown prince's standard] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 June 2010

Based on a stamp issued to commemorate the birth of the crown prince. Assuming the stamp overdoes the size of the moon and stars, as I feel is quite common, I have tried to create a white crown drawing close enough that people will understand what it's supposed to be. I've also turned the flag around, as the stamp clearly shows a sinister hoist. (For those who were confused by that term: the flag shown with the hoist sinister = image left = observer right.)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 June 2010

Crown Prince standard (air)

[Crown prince's standard] image by Željko Heimer and Miles Li, 16 May 2009

Like the Royal Standard, but swallow-tailed.


Queen Narriman's flag

I found this image on a site about Queen Narriman, the last queen of Egypt: http://queennarriman.com/Assets/Images/Gallery/S1.jpg.
Here is another picture showing detail of the crown: http://queennarriman.com/Assets/Images/Gallery/X19.jpg.
The flag consists of, basically, a square national flag (pre-1958) with the crescent centered and surrounded by a wreath, and topped with the royal crown:
http://queennarriman.com/Gallery/X21.htm, http://queennarriman.com/Gallery/X20.htm, (with the royal arms too).
The ribbon below the crescent reads "Haras al Malik" (the king's guards - royal guards). The emblem in the lower left corner is King Farouk's monogram crowned, the one on the right, I believe is that of Queen Narriman.
Mohamed Hossam el Din, 12 December 2006


Minister of Defence/War/Marine

The Flag of the Minister of Defence/War/Marine was green with a white fouled anchor in the center.
Mohamed Hossam, 18 August 2005


Naval ensign

[Naval Ensign] image by Željko Heimer, 13 November 2004
Source: Flaggenbuch [neu92]

The ensign was green with a thin white crescent surrounding three white stars, in the canton are two crossed and fouled anchors.
Nathan Augustine
, 5 December 1995

It is interesting to note that the anchors (just as the swords in the army flags) are practically the same as used still today! While Egypt drastically changed its flag design in 1958 it seems that the flag system was retained in spite the revolution until today.
Željko Heimer, 13 November 2004

[Naval Ensign] image reported by Jan Martens, 1 October 2008

One item recently offered on eBay by “edwinart” was an Egyptian naval flag with dimensions given as approx. 24 in x 36 in. The photo shows the foreign-made green flag bearing a crescent less curved than prescribed and with the stars put in a vertical line, staggered. A single fouled anchor, white as are the crescent and stars, is placed in the upper hoist.

This flag is shown in the 1923 French Album des pavillons nationaux et des marques distinctives (f9r23), Plate XXVI bis, no. 5: “Pavillon de la Marine” or Naval Ensign. Corr[ection] 9 says “Le pavillon n° 5 est modifié comme suit: 2 ancres entrecroisées au lieu et place de celle qui est figurée”, or: flag nr 5 has been changed as follows: 2 crossed anchors instead of the one which is shown. This has been noted, in pencil, next to the picture.
Jan Mertens, 1 October 2008


Army flag

[Army flag] image by Željko Heimer, 13 November 2004
Source: Flaggenbuch [neu92]

I believe that the flag of the Army was first (1922-25) with two crossed cannons. In 1925, there were changed to two crossed swords but in a different design than the first one. Later (unknown date) the swords were changed, always with different design from the previous ones. I believe also that the stars are larger and the crescent thicker.
Jaume Ollé
, 11 August 1998

The national flag with two white sabres in saltire in the canton. Since I conclude that the emblems are the same as today, I allowed myself slight artistic freedom in interpreting the swords here not following the Flaggenbuch to the last.
Željko Heimer, 13 November 2004


Masthead pennant

[Masthead pennant]
image by Željko Heimer, 14 November 2004

Long triangular green pennant with three white five-pointed stars in line pointing towards fly.
Željko Heimer, 14 November 2004

[Masthead pennant] image located by Jan Mertens, 10 October 2008

The 1923 French Album’s [f9r23] version of the Egyptian masthead pennant is shorter than the one found in the 1939 German Flaggenbuch. It is about 1.5 the length of the national flag as shown in the same source. In this version, the stars are nearer the staff as well though their gradually diminishing size may be an error – in any case, they are drawn in an upright position whereas the 1939 source has them skewed.
Jan Mertens, 10 October 2008


Air Force flag

[Air force flag] image by Željko Heimer and Miles Li, 20 May 2009

I am unsure of the proportions. I have seen the flag depicted in both 2:3 and 1:2 proportions; however, I chose to depict it as Kannik did in his book [kan56].
Calvin Paige Herring
, 15 August 1998

A light blue rectangular flag with the national flag in canton and the air force roundel in the middle of the fly half. The roundel is a green-white-green roundel.
Željko Heimer, 14 November 2004

The "Protocole du Royaume d'Égypte" of 1947 showed the Air Force Ensign with a canton of the national flag one-third the length and width of the ensign, and with the roundel at the centre of the fly two-thirds of the length of the ensign - the same dimensions as used on the current Egyptian Air Force Ensign.
Miles Li, 20 May 2009

Royal Flight Flag

[Air force flag] image by Željko Heimer and Miles Li, 20 May 2009

The "Protocole du Royaume d'Égypte" of 1947 showed the Royal Flight flag as the Air Force Ensign with the national flag on the canton replaced with the Royal Standard on Land, half the length and width of the ensign, and with the roundel at the centre of the fly half of the length of the ensign.
Miles Li, 20 May 2009


Air Force roundels

[Air force fuselage marking]   [Air force roundel]   [Air force roundel]

The following page gives an overview of roundels and other aircraft markings: http://wp.scn.ru/en/markings/opers/meast/6

1932-1939: waving national flag on fuselage, shortened form of national flag on wing tips, and vertical VWV stripes on rudder.
1939-1945: roundel (augmented with white royal crown) on fuselage and wings, vertical VWV panel on tailfin and rudder.
Photo of roundel with crown, clearly visible: http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/images/V_Avro_Tutor_Egyptian_Army_AF_El_Amriya_December_1935.jpg
1945-1958 (renamed EAF in 1952): roundel (without crown again) on fuselage and wings, vertical VWV stripes (broad lying rectangle) on tailfin.
Jan Mertens, 23 November 2008


Minister of Defence/War/Marine of the Kingdom of Egypt

[Minister of Defence/War/Marine of the Kingdom of Egypt] image by Željko Heimer and Miles Li, 21 May 2009

The flag of the Minister of Defence/War/Marine of the Kingdom of Egypt, according to Jane's Fighting Ships.
Miles Li, 21 May 2009