We at YPT dabble in a fair few –ologies, including the hallowed and much-revered field of vexillology (the study of flags, for those who can’t be bothered CTRL-T’ing over to Google). The history and symbolism behind a great number of world flags are often a good deal more intriguing than ‘commies like the hammer and sickle’ or ‘Angola totally has a claim on the world’s most badass flag’, and there’s often much to be read into a country’s choice of colours and symbols. The Algerian flag is no different.
What does the Algerian flag look like?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but pictures don’t get us ranked on Google, so here’s a superfluous description: the Algerian flag is half-green half-white and features a crescent moon and star in the centre.
What does the Algerian flag symbolise?
The crescent and five-pointed star design will be familiar to even the most casual of vexillologists as a symbol of Islam. The colours are also chosen because of their significance to Islam.
What’s the history behind the flag?
Before Somalia was Africa’s go-to country for high-seas piracy, there was the Barbary Coast (not to be confused with the sinister-in-a-different-way Barbary Coast of San Francisco). Barbary pirates operated out of Ottoman Algeria, and their very own take on the Jolly Roger usually involved one or more crescents.
The crescents remained a prominent part of Algeria’s identity (though probably for reasons more to do with Islam than Mediterranean Jack-Sparrowing) and in 1962 they adopted the current design.
This is gonna sound like a bizarrely specific question, but are there any rules for the colour comp of the flag?
A question we just happen to be in a position to answer, dear reader. Algeria is extremely particular when it comes to the colours of its flag. There are official regulations on the colour composition of the flag, chiefly that the green used must be ‘equal parts yellow and blue’ and the red of the crescent and star must be a ‘pure red’ without blue or yellow tones.