World Facts

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

The flag of Turkmenistan was adopted on February 19, 1992.

Turkmenistan is an independent nation located in Central Asia. For centuries, the region that is now modern-day Turkmenistan was at the crossroads of civilizations, and was home to many of the most well-known cities of the Islamic world. However, it was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881. Following the fall of the empire, the country became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union and remained as such until the collapse of the Union in 1991. The country's flag also evolved over the years, resulting in the national flag that is used today.

History of the Flag

The Russian Empire’s flag was long regarded as the official flag of Turkmenistan. However, after the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Empire, Turkmenistan adopted a flag similar in design to other Soviet Republics. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan gained independence in 1991 and adopted a new flag in 1992. The design of the new flag closely resembled that used in Turkmenistan today. In 1997, an olive branch symbolizing the peace-loving nature of the Turkmen was added to the flag, as well as some additional changes. Finally, in 2001, the flag’s green color was made lighter and its official dimensions were changed from 1:2 to 2:3.

Design

The flag of Turkmenistan features a green field with a red stripe vertically towards the hoist side of the flag. The stripe features five carpet guls (medallion-shaped design elements of traditional carpets from the Central Asian region). At the bottom of these guls are two olive branches crossing each other at the base. A waxing crescent moon and five stars are located in the upper part of the green field, on the fly side of the flag. The moon and stars are white in color, and each of the five stars have five points.

Symbolism

The red and the green colors featured on the flag have historically been highly revered by the people of Turkmenistan. The five carpet guls represent the country’s five major tribes: Teke, Yomut, Saryk, Chowdur, and Arsary. The addition of the wreath, which is against the country's heraldry rules, symbolizes Turkmenistan's “status of permanent neutrality." The waxing moon is a symbol of the hope of a bright future of Turkmenistan, and the five stars represent the nation’s five provinces.

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