Flag of Kurdistan
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Flag of Kurdistan

Flag of Kurdistan.svg
NameAlaya Rengîn ("The Colourful Flag")
Adopted1920s by Xoybûn
1992 by Kurdistan Region
DesignA red, white, and green tricolour, with a yellow 21 rayed sun in the center (Kurdish Sun).

The Flag of Kurdistan (Kurdish: ,Alaya Kurdistanê‎) was created by Xoybûn during the Ararat rebellion against Turkey in 1928, where it was hoisted by thousands of Kurdish rebels.[1] The flag was subsequently presented to the European powers at the Versailles Peace Conference.[2] When the Republic of Kurdistan in Iran was proclaimed in 1947, Mustafa Barzani hoisted the flag in Mahabad and the flag was adopted as the official flag of Kurdistan. Kurdistan Region of Iraq has since adopted the same flag as the official flag.[3][4][5][6]


The Kurdish flag is the most important symbol of cohesive Kurdish identity. Since it was first hoisted in 1946 to represent the concept of an independent Kurdistan (called the Republic of Mahabad and founded in Iranian territory) it has become a symbol of the national identity of Kurds.[7]

The main characteristic of the flag is the blazing golden sun emblem (Roj in Kurdish) at its center. The emblem's sun disk has 21 rays, equal in size and shape, with the single odd ray at top and the two even rays on the bottom. Number 21 is a venerated number, standing for rebirth/renaissance in the ancient and native Kurdish religion of Yazdanism and its modern offshoots.[8] The golden sun emblem has been in use by Kurds since antiquity.[8]

The symbolism of the colours is:[6][9]

Colour Meaning

RGB: (235,35,35)

HEX: #ED2024

Symbolizes the blood of the martyrs and the continued struggle for freedom and dignity.

RGB: (39,138,65)

HEX: #278E43

Expresses the beauty and landscapes of Kurdistan. Life and vitality.

RGB: (250,185,20)


Represents the source of life and light of the people. The sun is an ancient symbol and twenty one sunbeams represent March 21, Newroz.

RGB: (255,255,255)


Represent peace and equality.

In Fall 2006 the Iraqi Kurdish leadership gave orders for Kurdish officials to stop flying the Iraqi flag under decree number 60 "to hoist the flag of Iraqi Kurdistan". Masoud Barzani issued orders that the Ba'athist flag should be lowered and all regions in Iraqi Kurdistan should "hoist only the Kurdistan flag" because the symbols of Ba'athism were associated with the Anfal genocide where 180,000 people lost their lives. When the Ba'athist symbols were removed from the Iraqi flag in 2008, the KRG hoisted the Iraqi flag to fly alongside the Kurdish flag, reported to still be the practice as of March 2013. Flying the Iraqi flag side by side with the Kurdish flag is symbolic of their acceptance of Iraqi federalism.[10]


The flag first appeared during the movement for Kurdish independence from the Ottoman Empire and resembles an earlier version created by the Xoybûn (Khoyboon) organization, active in the Ararat rebellion of 1930,[11] and flown by the break-away Republic of Ararat during the period 1927-1931. The flag appeared then again in 1932 and in the media where one of its creators described it as red, white and green with a sun in the middle.[12]


Modern adaptation to international flag standards

The flag appeared in Kurdish media throughout the 1990s with MED TV, Kurdsat, Kurdistan TV and their affiliates broadcasting with the flag appearing frequently in their programming allowing it to become a symbol of Kurdish statehood.[17][18] A document dealing with the adaptation to international flag standards of the National Flag of Kurdistan was prepared by Mehrdad Izady and Bijhan Eliasi in 1998.[8]

Other flags used by Kurds

Similar flags

Due to Iranian roots of the Kurds,[21] the colours used in flags used by Kurds are the same that are used in other Iranian-origin areas like Iran and Tajikistan.[22]

Kurdistan Region's flag day

Flag of Kurdistan
The flag of Kurdistan flies over the disputed city of Kirkuk after it was abandoned by Iraqi forces in June 2014 as the ISIL militant group approached.

Established by the Kurdistan parliament in 1993, Kurdish Flag Day is celebrated on December 17. Activities done on this day consist of dancing, eating, and celebrating.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ Harriet Allsopp (2016). The Kurds of Syria: Political Parties and Identity in the Middle East. ISBN 978-0857726445.
  2. ^ "The National Flag of Kurdistan". Institut Kurde de Paris. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Parame?a Caudhur? (2005). India in Kurdistan. University of Michigan. pp. 245-246.
  4. ^ The Last Mufti of Iranian Kurdistan Ethnic and Religious Implications in the Greater Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. 2016. p. 27. ISBN 978-1137563248.
  5. ^ Aziz, Mahir (2014). The Kurds of Iraq: Nationalism and Identity in Iraqi Kurdistan. I.B.Tauris. p. 130. ISBN 9781784532734. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ a b Danilovich, Alex (2016). Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 9781317112938. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together
  8. ^ a b c Dr. M. R. Izady. "The National Flag of Kurdistan". Encyclopaedia Kurdistanica. Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  9. ^ HUMANRIGHTSWATCH (1992). "Turkish Forces Kill Scores of Peaceful Demonstrato Turkish Forces Kill Scores of Peaceful Demonstrators" (PDF). Helsinki Watch. 4 (9): 8. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together
  11. ^ "The National Flag of Kurdistan"., Kurdish Institute of Paris.
  12. ^ "Ala û sirûda netewiya Kurdistanê". Kurdistan Regional Government. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Years before independence talk someone had foresight to standardize the Kurdish flag". Rûdaw. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "PAK leader: Kurds only have one problem". Kurdistan24. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "Rafet ?ahin ölümünün 1. Y?l?nda HAK-PAR ?stanbul ?l Binas?nda an?ld?" (in Turkish). Hak-Par. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "ENKS confirms representation of Kurds in Geneva". Kurdistan24. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ Haiderali, Karim (2003). The Media of Diaspora. Psychology Press. pp. 82-83. ISBN 9780415279307. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ Kontra, Miklós (1999). Language, a Right and a Resource: Approaching Linguistic Human Rights. Central European University Press. p. 228. ISBN 9789639116641. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "Kurds declare federal region in Syria's north". France 24. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ "Why Syria's Kurds want federalism, and who opposes it". Al Jazeera. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ Foltz, Richard (2016). Co-Opting the Prophet: The Politics of Kurdish and Tajik Claims to Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism In book: The Zoroastrian Flame: Exploring Religion, History and Tradition. I.B.Tauris. p. 325-341. ISBN 9781784532734. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ Tajikistan flag. "Tajikistan flag". Graphic Maps.
  23. ^ Learn About the Kurdistan Flag. "The Kurdish Project". The Kurdish Project.
  24. ^ On Kurdistan's National Flag Day. "Kurds show solidarity with Peshmerga". ekurd.net.
  25. ^ December 17, Flag Day. "Kurdistan Region: Flag Day". www.pukmedia.com.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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