Flag of Kurdistan

  (Redirected from Flag of Iraqi Kurdistan)

The Flag of Kurdistan (Kurdish: ئاڵای کوردستان ,Alaya Kurdistanê‎) was created by Xoybûn during the Ararat rebellion against Turkey in 1928, where it was hoisted by thousands of Kurdish rebels.[3] The flag was subsequently presented to the European powers at the Versailles Peace Conference.[4] When the Republic of Kurdistan in Iran was proclaimed in 1947, Mustafa Barzani hoisted the flag in Mahabad and the flag was adopted as the official flag of Kurdistan. Iraq's Kurdistan Region has since adopted the same flag as the official flag.[5][6][7][8]

Flag of Kurdistan.svg
NameAlaya Rengîn ("The Colourful Flag")
Adopted1920s by Xoybûn
1992 by Kurdistan Region
DesignA red, white, and green tricolour, with a yellow 21 rayed sun in the center.
Flag of the PYD for Rojava[1][2]


The main characteristic of the flag is the blazing golden sun emblem (Roj in Kurdish) at its center. The emblem's sun disk has 21 rays, equal in size and shape, with the single odd ray at top and the two even rays on the bottom. Number 21 is a venerated number, standing for rebirth/renaissance in the ancient and native Kurdish religion of Yazdanism and its modern offshoots.[9] The golden sun emblem has been in use by Kurds since antiquity.[9]

The symbolism of the colours is:[8][10]

Colour Meaning

RGB: (235,35,35)

HEX: #ED2024

Symbolizes the blood of the martyrs and the continued struggle for freedom and dignity.

RGB: (39,138,65)

HEX: #278E43

Expresses the beauty and landscapes of Kurdistan. Life and vitality.

RGB: (250,185,20)


Represents the source of life and light of the people. The sun is an ancient symbol and twenty one sunbeams represent March 21, Newroz.

RGB: (255,255,255)


Represent peace and equality.


The flag first appeared during the movement for Kurdish independence from the Ottoman Empire and resembles an earlier version created by the Xoybûn (Khoyboon) organization, active in the Ararat rebellion of 1930,[11] and flown by the break-away Republic of Ararat during the period 1927–1931. The flag appeared then again in 1932 and in the media where one of its creators described it as red, white and green with a sun in the middle.[12]


Modern adaptation to international flag standards

The flag appeared in Kurdish media throughout the 1990s with MED TV, Kurdsat, Kurdistan TV and their affiliates broadcasting with the flag appearing frequently in their programming allowing it to become a symbol of Kurdish statehood.[17][18] A document dealing with the adaptation to international flag standards of the National Flag of Kurdistan was prepared by Mehrdad Izady and Bijhan Eliasi in 1998.[9] It was instantly adopted by the international Flag Institute. In 1999, the Parliament of the Kurdistan Regional Government adopted the standardized flag to be the official and standard presentation of the Kurdish National Flag in all its aspects.

Other flags used by Kurds

Similar flags

Due to Iranian roots of the Kurds,[20] the colours used in flags used by Kurds are the same that are used in other Iranian-origin areas like Iran and Tajikistan.[21]

Kurdistan Region's flag day

Flag of Kurdistan
The flag of Kurdistan flies over the disputed city of Kirkuk after it was abandoned by Iraqi forces in June 2014 as the ISIL militant group approached.

Established by the Kurdistan parliament in 1993, Kurdish Flag Day is celebrated on December 17. Activities done on this day consist of dancing, eating, and celebrating.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ "Kurds declare federal region in Syria's north". France 24. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Why Syria's Kurds want federalism, and who opposes it". Al Jazeera. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  3. ^ Harriet Allsopp (2016). The Kurds of Syria: Political Parties and Identity in the Middle East. ISBN 0857726447.
  4. ^ "The National Flag of Kurdistan". Institut Kurde de Paris. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ Parameśa Caudhurī (2005). India in Kurdistan. University of Michigan. pp. 245–246.
  6. ^ The Last Mufti of Iranian Kurdistan Ethnic and Religious Implications in the Greater Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan. 2016. p. 27. ISBN 1137563249.
  7. ^ Aziz, Mahir (2014). The Kurds of Iraq: Nationalism and Identity in Iraqi Kurdistan. I.B.Tauris. p. 130. ISBN 9781784532734. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  8. ^ a b Danilovich, Alex (2016). Iraqi Federalism and the Kurds: Learning to Live Together. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 9781317112938. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Dr. M. R. Izady. "The National Flag of Kurdistan". Encyclopaedia Kurdistanica. Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
  10. ^ HUMANRIGHTSWATCH (1992). "Turkish Forces Kill Scores of Peaceful Demonstrato Turkish Forces Kill Scores of Peaceful Demonstrators" (PDF). Helsinki Watch. 4 (9): 8. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  11. ^ "The National Flag of Kurdistan"., Kurdish Institute of Paris.
  12. ^ "Ala û sirûda netewiya Kurdistanê". Kurdistan Regional Government. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Years before independence talk someone had foresight to standardize the Kurdish flag". Rûdaw. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ "PAK leader: Kurds only have one problem". Kurdistan24. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Rafet Şahin ölümünün 1. Yılında HAK-PAR İstanbul İl Binasında anıldı" (in Turkish). Hak-Par. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  16. ^ "ENKS confirms representation of Kurds in Geneva". Kurdistan24. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  17. ^ Haiderali, Karim (2003). The Media of Diaspora. Psychology Press. pp. 82–83. ISBN 9780415279307. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  18. ^ Kontra, Miklós (1999). Language, a Right and a Resource: Approaching Linguistic Human Rights. Central European University Press. p. 228. ISBN 9789639116641. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  19. ^ a b Kurdistan: Short-lived independent states, Flags of the World (1997). The Flags of the World website shows the Soran and Ararat flags as contributed by Jaume Ollé in 1997 without any reference. Only the flag of the Kingdom of Southern Kurdistan is explicitly based on sources, "The flag is shown in two sources: (a) a 1922 photograph of the Kurdish Army taking an oath of allegiance. (b) a sketch with notes on the colours by Ahmed Khwaja in his autobiography Cim Di (1970)." (T. F. Mills, 25 November 1997).
  20. ^ Foltz, Richard (2016). Co-Opting the Prophet: The Politics of Kurdish and Tajik Claims to Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism In book: The Zoroastrian Flame: Exploring Religion, History and Tradition. I.B.Tauris. p. 325-341. ISBN 9781784532734. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  21. ^ Tajikstan flag. "Tajikistan flag". Graphic Maps.
  22. ^ Learn About the Kurdistan Flag. "The Kurdish Project". The Kurdish Project.
  23. ^ On Kurdistan's National Flag Day. "Kurds show solidarity with Peshmerga". ekurd.net.
  24. ^ December 17, Flag Day. "Kurdistan Region: Flag Day". www.pukmedia.com.

External links