The flag of Iraqi Kurdistan is not only the flag for the Iraqi region but it’s also the flag for Kurdistan as a whole. The flag is seen as the most important symbol of Kurdish identity and represents the concept of a future independent Kurdistan.
What is the current flag of Kurdistan?
The current version of the Kurdistan flag is the third version of the flag and was officially adopted in 1999 by the Parliament of the Kurdistan Regional Government. They opted to use the current flag as the standardized flag to be used as the official symbol for the Kurdistan region as a whole, a process that brought a huge sense of self-awareness and national pride to the Kurdish people.
Flag of the Republic of Ararat
The flag for the Republic of Ararat was the first version of the Kurdistan flag. The flag was first introduced in 1928 by the leaders of a newly formed Khoyboun (independence) movement, The Khoyboun subsequently fought a war called the Ararat rebellion against the Turkish in the hope of winning Kurdish national independence. The campaign against the Kurds was over by 1930 and the insurrection was defeated in 1931, meaning that Turkey resumed control over the territory. Thus, reverting the flag back.
Flag of the Mahabad Republic
The Republic of Mahabad was a short-lived Kurdish self-governing unrecognized state in present-day Iran. With help from the Soviets, Iran was invaded and Kurdish nationalism was promoted by the Allies. This resulted in a Kurdish manifesto that sought autonomy and self-government for the Kurdish people in Iran within the limits of the Iranian state. The flag was adopted by its parliament as the official flag of the Republic
However, due to pressure from Western powers including the United States, the Soviets promised the Iranian government that they would pull out of Iran. Iran soon reasserted its control over the region, subsequently killing the Mahabad republic.
Symbolism of the flag of Kurdistan
The flag is the most important symbol for the Kurds as a symbol for national identity. There are four colours on the flag – White, Red, Green and Yellow. The colours all have a different meaning behind them.
White – White represents peace and equality for the region.
Red – Symbolizes the blood of the martyrs who have perished in the continued struggle for freedom.
Green – Expresses the natural beauty and landscapes of Kurdistan. Green is also a symbol for life and vitality for the people of the region.
Yellow – Finally, Yellow represents the source of life and light of the people. The sun is an ancient symbol and the twenty one sunbeams represent March 21, which is the celebration of the arrival of spring and new year in Kurdish culture.