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Sultanate of Muscat and Oman until 1970 (Oman)

Last modified: 2002-11-16 by santiago dotor
Keywords: muscat | oman | sultanate of muscat and oman | imamate of oman | suhar | sultanate of suhar | plain (red) | text: arabic (white) |
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[Oman pre-1970]
by Joan-Francés Blanc
Flag abolished 17th December 1970

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Until the 19th century the Gulf emirates' monochrome red flags were undifferentiated, but then they added white borders, hoists, stripes, script, etc.. In 1820 the British asked Gulf Emirs who were friendly to them and entered into special treaty relationship with them to put white onto their traditional red Muslim flags. (...) That treaty was the 'truce' that changed the Pirate Coast to the Trucial Coast (or Trucial Oman as it was sometimes misleadingly called).

James Dignan, Josh Fruhlinger, Ed Haynes and Ole Andersen, 1995-1997

Oman also used a pure red flag until 1970, when horizontal stripes of white and green have been added.

Zeljko Heimer, 22 November 1995

The plain red flag was replaced by the four-coloured one when present Sultan Qaboos took the power, in 1970.

Joan-Francés Blanc, 11 May 1998

Seems me that the Imamate used plain white flag. The arabic inscripcion was added later in the flag of the "State of Oman".

Jaume Ollé, 6 April 1998

Zeljko Heimer wrote, "Oman used a pure red flag until 1970", not explaining that there was no 'Oman' at that time. The name of the state with the red flag was 'Muscat and Oman'. Muscat had ruled Eastern Arabia, not Oman. Oman was the interior part, ruled by an Imam, who never ruled in Muscat. When they both cooperated the name was changed to 'Muscat and Oman', and after the defeat of the Imam, Sultan Qaboos changed the state's name to simply 'Oman'. It is important not to confuse both names, as the seafaring nation, once ruling Zanzibar, the Maldives and other islands, was Muscat and not Oman!

Ralf Stelter, 17 April 1999

Imamate of Oman 1913-1957

The flag of the Imamate of Oman was in fact white with a red sword and above it a red inscription. This flag can be seen on coins etc. The flag was white in contrast to the red flag of Muscat. (...) Muscat had ruled Eastern Arabia, not Oman. Oman was the inner part, ruled by an Imam, who never ruled in Muscat. (...) The Imamate of Oman was not in "the interior of Oman", but it was in the interior of Eastern Arabia, surrounded in the north, east and south by the sultanate of Muscat. One could write, "the Imamate of Oman was a rarely-recognized state in the interior of what is today Oman".

Ralf Stelter, 17 April 1999

According to a German text [from Flaggenmitteilungen ?] submitted by Jaume Ollé, "the Imamate of Oman formerly flew a white flag with a red inscription Victory of God and speedy fulfillment and thereunder a horizontal red sword."

John S. Ayer, 11 September 1999

Sultanate of Suhar 1920-1932

[Suhar Sultanate 1920-1932 (Oman)]
by Jaume Ollé

This is one of my favourite country flags: the short lived sultanate of Suhar. In a letter from Nozomi Kariyasu the black and white image is labelled "flag attributed to Oman 1923-1943" (in this era Oman was composed by the sultanate of Muskat and the imamate of Oman). The Sib Treaty pushed Muscat under British protectorate and recognized the pre-eminency of the Sultan over the Iman. But I agree with Whitney Smith's opinion, who believes that the flag was the one of the Suhar sultanate. Around 1920, Sheik Ali Banu Bu Ali, a relative of the Muscat sultan, revolted in Suhar and proclaimed himself Sultan (of Oman?). Bu Ali was deposed by the British in 1932. The flag appear in charts attributed to Oman until 1943, but I believe that in fact it was out of use after 1932 and the charts only show a flag taken from an older chart... The name in the flags seems to be 'Oman' which discards the official name of Muscat. It is well known that the Imam's flag was plain white in these years.

Jaume Ollé, 12 December 1999

It seems that someone, sometime made a mistake in writing 'Oman'. Oman is spelt 'ayin-mim-alif-nun' whereas the name on the flag is 'alif-waw-mim-alif-nun' which would be 'Auman'. You can compare the flag to the correct name as it appears on this image from an Omani official site.

Dov Gutterman, 13 December 1999

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