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Unidentified 'Northern Alliance' Flag ca.1998-ca.2001 (Afghanistan)

Possible party flag of a 'Northern Alliance' member party

Last modified: 2002-11-23 by santiago dotor
Keywords: afghanistan | unidentified flag | northern alliance |
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[Unidentified 'Northern Alliance' Flag (Afghanistan)] 2:3
by Santiago Dotor, coat-of-arms from the Flag Documentation Centre of the Netherlands

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I would like to ask for confirmation of the present flag of North Afghanistan anti-Taliban regime in Mazar-e-Sharif. According to Jaume Ollé, its flag is horizontal black-red-green tricolour (1:1:1) with coat-of-arms near the hoist. As far as I know (see Petr Exner's Czech Vexillological Pages), this tricolour should be 1:1:2 and the coat-of-arms should be placed in its canton (like 1972-1978 republican flag).

Jan Zrzavy, 20 April 1998

The Flag Documentation Centre of the Netherlands displays a flag representing the North of the country in opposition to the Taleban movement:

Flag: Three horizontal stripes 1:1:2. Top black, red and bottom green with in the left top corner the coat-of-arms. The flag became known in 1998 and seems to be used by the opposition against the Taliban.

State Arms: On a white field blue mountains with snow-covered summits, behind which emerges a golden shining sun. On top a map of Afghanistan in green outline with in the center a golden mosque, of which the central room is blue with a silver book therein. All is surrounded left and right by a silver sword with a golden handle. Furthermore corn-ears bound together by a black-red-green ribbon with a text in silver: National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan. Between the cogwheel and the ribbon in black the date 1371 (in our calendar that is 1992). On top in Arabic script the text: Allah Akhbar; below that La Elaha Elala Mohamand Rasul Ulah. Date of introduction unknown.

Pascal Gross, translated by Jarig Bakker, 7 November 2000

Many people in northern Afghanistan (ethnic Uzbeks, Tadjiks) do not support the Taliban. In 1991 general-colonel Abdul Rashid Dostum created an anti-Talib division. In 1992 he and Ahmad-shah Massood created the government of North Afghanistan and the People's Muslim Movement of Afghanistan. In fact North Afghanistan became an independent state. The movement and the state use the old Afghan tricolour (black-red-green horizontal, twice wider green stripe) with the emblem in canton. The emblem looks like old socialist emblem but not exactly the same: two ears, green map of the country, yellow mosque, inscriptions "Allah is great", "1371" and the shahada.

Victor Lomantsov, 5 April 2001

Yesterday Commander Massood was received in the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, I saw him on television in front of the officially recognised Afghanistan national flag, horizontal triband green-white-black with golden coat-of-arms in the middle.

Armand du Payrat, 5 April 2001

I wonder where did the reports about a black-red-green 1974-like flag (with a different arms) being used by the Northern Alliance originate. All the television footage I have seen recently, including a detailed French report about Cdr. Massood showing images from 1984 through 2001 (Massood l'Afghan by Christophe de Pontilly), only showed the green-white-black flag.

Considering that most similar Afghan flags (1974-1978, 1980-1987, 1987-1992) showed the coat-of-arms with a 'see-through' background, i.e. with the black and red stripes showing through, I have followed this criterion in the above image, rather than placing the arms on a white background as the VDCN does.

Santiago Dotor, 9-10 October 2001

I think that black-red-green flags were used by different factions of today's Northern Alliance as their party flags. The situation probably obscured by the Russian colleague who reported those flags as flags of North Afghanistan (which, naturally, doesn't exist as a political unit). After re-unification of all anti-Taleban parties, they became to (re)use the national flag (green-white-black).

Jan Zrzavy, 9 October 2001

Today I heard on France-Inter the journalist Christophe de Pontilly, who is authoritative on Afghan matters and was a close friend of the late Commandant Massood. Pontilly explained that the name Northern Alliance was absolutely erroneous and was never coined by Massood. The real name of Massood's movement was United National Front for the Salute of Afghanistan. Northern Alliance is particularly unsuitable since Massood's movement was not restricted to the north of the country. Moreover, the often claimed opposition between Massood in the north and the Talibans in the south is an oversimplification of the situation.

Ivan Sache, 14 October 2002

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