Last modified: 2002-11-23 by santiago dotor
Keywords: afghanistan | wreath | shahada | mosque | wheat | coat of arms | allahu akbar | takbir | text: arabic | allahu akbar | northern alliance |
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by Jaume Ollé
Flag and coat-of-arms adopted 2nd December 1992
In September 1996 the Taliban took over the capital, Kabul, and soon thereafter most of Afghanistan. From then until the war that followed the 11th September 2001 attacks against New York and Washington, the green-white-black flag was only used in Northern Afghanistan, the United Nations building plus some embassies (eg. Iran). After the Taliban defeat in November-December 2001, both the 1992 flag and the 1973 flag were flown by different factions within the anti-Taliban forces.
Santiago Dotor, 12 December 2001
The official flag is three horizontal stripes of green, white, black with the coat of arms over all in the centre. The arms are based on previous pre-Communist models and contain a representation of a mosque within a wreath of wheat-ears. Above the wreath is the shahada, the Moslem confession of faith, and also (in very small letters) the slogan Allahu Aqbar (God is Great). Beneath is the date 1371 in the Islamic calendar (=1992 AD) and the name Islamic State of Afghanistan all in gold. Around all this are two curved sabres. The flag dates from 2 December 1992. Prior to this there was a provisional version with the slogans (the shahada and Allahu Aqbar) in white letters on the green stripe and black letters on the white stripe. Old versions of the flag tend to linger on: at the UN HQ which I visited in 1992 they still had the pre-1987 flag flying.
Wheat is not only the heritage of communism, but is also a reminder of the legend that the first Aryan king Yama, and the first Afghani king Ahmed-shah were crowned with it.
Zeljko Heimer, 17 February 1996
Above it is noted that the year 1371 corresponds with the year 1992 AD. This is not true. Year 1412 corresponds more or less with 1992 AD (there is some overlap into 1993 AD, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle). Year 1371 corresponds to roughly around 1950, maybe 1949. I do not know what the significance of this [latter] date would be, but I do know that that 1371 does not correspond with 1992.
Zubair Tajuddin, 26 February 2000
Devereux 1998 says, "The depicted flag was adopted in December 1992 to reflect the establishment of the Islamic state. The green stripe represents Islam, the white stripe purity, and the black the country's dark past."
Jarig Bakker, 20 November 2000
The year 1371 is solar Islamic and not the Arab lunar Islamic. Zubair Tajuddin has misunderstood the date. Because Afghanistan is a non-arab country it follows the solar calendar and not the lunar one. Iran, Tajikistan, and the like also follow a solar calendar, even though they are Islamic countries. I hope this clears up the discrepancy. The year 1371 (hijri shamsi) does refer to 1992 (Christian era), and the year 1412 (hijri qamari) has nothing to do with Afghanistan.
Siena Ali Heravi, 3 January 2001