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Ottoman Empire: Flags depicted in a Dutch chart of XIXth century (Part 1)

Last modified: 2002-01-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: crescent (white) | star: 6 points (white) | admiral | vice admiral | rear admiral | egypt |
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Presentation of the chart

A colour plate showing twelve flags, with Dutch captions is illustrated in Smith (1975) [smi75c], page 152. Smith's caption is:

In the ninetienth century, Egyptian flags were basically the same as those of the Ottoman Empire.

Note that all stars are 6-pointed; on another picture on the same page of the book, a "ninetienth century Egyptian flag captured in battle by the British" seems also to have 6-pointed stars, with a vertical orientation. All crescent do not have the same size. I reversed the images to show the hoist on viewer's left. I use a red colour for the main field of the flags, but a pink colour has also be reported for Ottoman flags.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999 - Dutch captions translated by Jarig Bakker

Governmental ensign on board

[Governmentalby Ivan Sache

Caption: Government flag on board of [unreadable], hoisted on the mizzenmast.

Ensign of the Imperial Family

[Imperialby Ivan Sache

Caption: Flag of the Great Ones, in particular Imperial Family (?), hoisted on the main mast.

The writing on this flag is a poor copy of what appears to say in Arabic "Struck in Egypt, 1222 (or 1333?)". I cannot imagine that such a message would be inscribed on a flag of any sort, much less that of the Ottoman royal family. It is, however, found on the reverse of most, if not all, Egyptian or Ottoman coins minted in Cairo from the 19th century and some centuries before. That this inscription was copied from a coin would also account for the presence of a year at the bottom, something that would be highly unlikely on a flag of this sort. I suspect someone who couldn't read Arabic or Ottoman Turkish wanted to supply an inscription and found the clearest one he could find on a coin.

Muhammad Tahhan (Ph.D. candidate in history), 25 June 2000

Standard of Mehemet Ali

[Mehemetby Ivan Sache

Caption: Mehemet Ali, hoisted on the main mast.

To be compared with the real Khedive flag of Mehmet Ali.

Admiral of Egypt

[Admiralby Ivan Sache

Caption: Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the main mast.

Vice Admiral of Egypt

[Vice-Admiralby Ivan Sache

Caption: Vice Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the foremast.

Rear Admiral of Egypt

[Rear-Admiralby Ivan Sache

Caption: Rear Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the mizzenmast.

Go to part 2

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