World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Afghanistan Mean?

The Afghanistan flag is one of the five state flags that feature a building.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Asia. The country encompasses an area of 652,000 square km, has an estimated population of 34,656,032 people, and Kabul is the capital city. Large parts of Afghanistan are mountainous, and deserts also occupy a significant area of the country. Extreme weather conditions and rugged terrain make life difficult in Afghanistan. The country also has a tumultuous past ridden with great difficulties, including wars, a fact which is clearly symbolized in the country’s national flag.

History of the Flag of Afghanistan

26 different flags have been used Afghanistan since 1709. The first flag was introduced by the Hotaki dynasty when it came to power in the region. Although the nation's flags have changed numerous times, the same three colors (black, red, and green) have been featured on most of the flags. The present flag of Afghanistan was adopted on August 19, 2013.

Design of the Flag

Afghanistan’s national flag is a tricolor featuring three vertical bands of black, red, and green. The classical National Emblem is portrayed at the center of the flag. Each of these colors has significant meanings related to the history and character of the country. The black color depicts the troubled history of Afghanistan dating back to the 19th century, when the country was a protected state of the British Empire. The red color represents the bloodshed during the fight for independence, which came to an end with the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. The green color symbolizes the hope and prosperity that keeps the nation alive despite its troubled history. The Afghan flag is also one of the five national flags globally to feature a building in its design.

Afghanistan's Coat of Arms

Most flags of Afghanistan have featured the nation's coat of arms. However, during Communist rule in the 1980s and followed by Taliban rule a decade later, the coat of arms was omitted from the country’s flag. The present flag, however, features the symbol, which features an Arabic holy inscription at the top. Below the inscription is the image of a mosque with a Mecca-facing mehrab and a prayer mat inside. Images of two flags remain attached to the mosque on either side. An inscription mentioning the name of the nation lies below the mosque, which is surrounded by a garland.

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