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Kingdom of Syria 1920 (Syria)

8th March - 24th July 1920

Last modified: 2003-07-05 by santiago dotor
Keywords: syria | kingdom of syria | pan-arab colours | triangle: hoist (red) | star: 7 points (white) |
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[Kingdom of Syria 1920]   
by Jaume Ollé
[Kingdom of Syria 1920, according to Flag Bulletin]
by Ralf Stelter according to The Flag Bulletin no. 123


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Introduction

The 2nd Syrian National Congress held in Damascus on March 8th, 1920 crowned Faysal I King of Syria, who was not recognized by Britain or France and claimed a Greater Syria (with Palestine and Lebanon). A similar flag [to that of the Arab administration 1918-1920] was adopted but with a seven-pointed white star in the red triangle. Faysal adopted a standard that was the same flag with a star and a royal golden crown in the central green stripe.

The Allied Supreme Council gave the mandate of nowadays Syria and Lebanon to France on 25th April 1920, confirmed 23rd July 1922. General Gouraud occupied Damascus, Faysal was defeated in Maisselum 24th July 1920, dethroned and forced into exile in Iraq.

Sources and Credits.

The following is an extract from Corre 2000 (Franciae Vexilla, #19/65, September 2000). I have tried to stick to the text as tightly as possible (no interpretation). Possible errors come either from the original text or loose translation from French:

Kingdom of Syria, March-July 1920.
Two captured flags are kept in the Army Museum, Paris. According to the colour plate associated with Corre 2000 in Franciae Vexilla:
  • a square flag with unequal horizontal black, green and white stripes, the green one being narrower and a red triangle along the hoist. A seven-pointed white star looking more like a seven-petaled flower is placed in the right point of the triangle.
  • a 1:2 flag with the same pattern but equal stripes and a more classical seven-pointed star in the middle of the triangle. The flag has white fringe over the three 'free' edges.
It is thought that King Faysal used the same flag with a royal crown in the middle of the central stripe. Original source: Musa 1987, royal flag illustrated on p. 271.

Ivan Sache, 3 February 2001


Description

[Kingdom of Syria 1920]   
by Jaume Ollé

Flag in [French] Army Museum take by french troops to Faisal supporters (1920). Source is Corre 2000.

Jaume Ollé, 25 January 2001

From the army museum? Vexilla Belgica reported some years ago only about the second flag. This is not a flag gained from Faisal's troops, as far as I know. This was the flag of Syria, also adopted by the emirate of Jordan, reported in Musa 1987 (The Flag Bulletin no. 123). Musa shows the flag with an equilateral triangle, shorter than today. The long triangle reaching the centre of the flag was not even introduced in Jordan in 1928, but only some years later.

One (circumstancial) evidence is that Hejaz flag had an equilateral triangle, Palestine has a short triangle. Both flags are essentially the same, as were the flags of Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Whilst Iraq later cut off the tip of the triangle, Jordan kept it. If the triangle would have been that long in the beginning then possibly the Iraqian flag would have had a longer trapezoid. The triangle in the Iraqi royal flag was also short. Furthermore this flag was also the first flag of Jordan (Transjordan), who later extended the triangle to the centre of the flag. First printed in Moritz Rühl's flag chart/booklet 15th edition, around 1937.

The star in Jaume Ollé's flag is too large and has sharp points. The Flag Bulletin (Musa 1987) gave dull points and 'correct' i.e. smaller size of star.

Ralf Stelter, 25 January 2001

Source used is Corre 2000 (Franciae Vexilla) (of course sources [not?] always are according absolutely).

Jaume Ollé, 25 January 2001

Jaume Ollé or whoever drew that Syrian flag, made it after the modern Jordanian flag. It is known that in the beginning the triangle was shorter than today — the change must have come around 1936. I wonder what does the British Admiralty's Drawings of the Flags in Use ... by Various Nations 1930 show. The German Navy's Flaggenbuch 1926 shows the flag of Hejaz with a short triangle in a flag of 2:3 (labelled Hedschas und Irak). By the way, if you stretch that flag to 1:2 the triangle becomes a nearly correct equilateral triangle — although that is no proof either.

But The Flag Bulletin (Musa 1987) might have had reasons for using equilateral triangles in flags of 1:2. And not a triangle of same height as width. This sort of triangle is shown in The Flag Bulletin no. 132 (Musa 1987), and I believe that the article in Franciae Vexilla [Corre 2000] is by the same author or at least the latter article is based on the information in The Flag Bulletin.

Ralf Stelter, 28 January 2001

The original illustration in Corre 2000 has a white fringe around the three 'free' edges of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 3 February 2001


Flag Captured 1920

[Flag Captured 1920 (Kingdom of Syria)]
by Jaume Ollé

Flag in [French] Army Museum take by french troops to Faisal supporters (1920). Source is Corre 2000.

Jaume Ollé, 25 January 2001

The flag is shaped like a regimental colour — does/did it have fringe, finial etc. which may support that?

Santiago Dotor, 25 January 2001

Vexilla Belgica reported some years ago this flag.

Ralf Stelter, 25 January 2001

This flag is the one from the Army Museum in Paris, which was taken from Faisal's troops in 1920 by French troops under general Henri Gouraud. But when this flag was first published in Vexillinfo in 1983 and 1984 the drawing did not look like Jaume Ollé's. Either he or Corre 2000 idealized the flag, and did not show the original design of the museum. Which in general is not absolutely wrong, but Jaume Ollé does not mention that! But his design absolutely does not correspond to the flag in the museum, according to the article in Vexillinfo Lucien Philippe made a correct drawing of the flag — maybe his own idealization. Is there a photograph of the flag? The original information about this flag was in the collection of Gaston Aufrère, Lucien Philippe made the correct drawing after the original flag. The star is more like a flower and larger than in Jaume Ollé's picture, with a vertical diamond and not a square.

Ralf Stelter, 28 January 2001

The original illustration in Corre 2000 has unequal horizontal black, green and white stripes, the green one being narrower.

Ivan Sache, 3 February 2001