November 9th: Flag Day Celebration in Azerbaijan

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The state symbols of the Republic of Azerbaijan are the Flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Emblem of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the state anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The national flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan is a symbol of sovereignty of the Azerbaijani state. (https://en.president.az/azerbaijan/symbols)

According to historian Nasib Nasibli, Ali bey Huseynzade, one of the ideologists of Azerbaijan’s independence, developed the flag combination based on colors used in 1895.

Description and significance

The national flag of Azerbaijan consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width, from top to bottom: light blue, red, and green. In the center are a white crescent and eight-pointed star.

The basic description of the flag, along with the ratio, can be found in the Constitution of Azerbaijan, which was adopted 12 November 1995:

State flag of the Azerbaijan Republic consists of three horizontal stripes of the same width. The upper stripe is blue, the middle stripe is red, and the lower one is green; in the middle of the red stripe on both sides of the flag white crescent with an eight-pointed star are depicted. The width of the flag constitutes half of its length.

(Article 23.II of the Constitution „The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. Official website of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 2002. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2011)

Meaning and origin of the Azerbaijan-Flag

The flag of Azerbaijan was adopted on 5 February 1991. The flag was introduced by the then Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan Republic that recognized the three colored flag as a national flag of Azerbaijan.

The design of the national flag has been largely taken over by the flag of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, which was modified slightly. For example, the aspect ratio was changed from 2:3 to 1:2, which corresponds to the Soviet flag tradition.

The tricolor flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was first adopted at a government meeting on 19 November 1918, and was raised over the building of the Council of Ministers of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (present „Azneft” production association of State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan) where the meeting was held.

The flag, which had a state status until 27 April 1920, the collapse of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, was lowered outside the building of the Azerbaijani Parliament on 3 May 1920 as a result of the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Soviet Russian troops.

The 9th November, when 1918 was the first time the flag is introduced, after a presidential decree of 2009, the National Flag Day.

Importance of the flag in the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan

In the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and the three colors of the crescent and eight-pointed star had the following meanings:

Mainly, the three colors of the flag hoisted represent the Turkic national culture, the nMoslem civilization and the modern European democratic bases.

  • Blue: symbol of belonging to the Azerbaijani Turkic. It means Turkic origin of Azerbaijani people. Blue color is connected with idea of Turkism. There are various explanations about preference of blue color by Turks. Lots of ancient monuments have been built in the territories settled by Turkish speaking people being of the Islam religion and majority of these monuments were in the blue color. Therefore, blue color has a symbolical meaning. Blue color once reflected grandeur of the Elkhaniler period in XIII century, their victory marches.

  • Red: symbol for the ongoing development of Azerbaijani culture. Red color means to build modern society, to develop democracy, in brief modernization and development. At the end of XVIII after French bourgeois revolution in connection with development of the capitalism the great progress occurred in European countries. There was a struggle of proletariat against the capitalism system. Red color was turned to the symbol of the Europe in these years.

Green: symbol of Islam. The green color -expresses the affiliation to the Islamic civilization, Islam religion.

  • Half Moon: Another symbol of Islam. Crescent once had been coat of arms of the capital of the Byzantine Empire Constantinople. After Turks had captured that city in 1453 that coat of arms was accepted by Ottoman Empire as one of the symbols of Islam religion and it passed to another peoples of same religion, too. Crescent on flag is the symbol of the Turkic people.

  • Star: symbol for the eight Persian-Arabic letters, which was written the name of Azerbaijan. So, „Azerbaijan” word is written with eight letters in the old alphabet.

 

Importance of the flag in the Republic of Azerbaijan

In today’s Azerbaijan colors, crescent and star have these meanings:

  • Blue: symbol of the freedom of Azerbaijan, which manifests itself through the boundless sky over the vast country.

  • Red: Symbol for the present life of Azerbaijanis.

  • Green: symbol for the future of Azerbaijan that is manifesting in the natural environment.

  • Crescent: symbol of the country’s dominant religion, Islam.

  • Star: symbol of the eight Turkic peoples from which it has over the centuries, today’s Azerbaijani nation formed.

Thus, the bright blue symbolizes Turkic Multinationalism, the red is for the progress to establish a modern state and the development of democracy, and green shows the nation’s relation to the Muslim world.

In the middle of the flag, and appearing on both front and back, are a white crescent and an eight-pointed star. While the crescent and star are typically seen as markers of Islam, the eight points of the star are also thought to stand for the eight Turkic peoples of Azerbaijan: Azeris, Ottomans, Jagatais, Tatars, Kipchaks (Kazakhs and Kyrgyz), Selijuks, and Turkomans.

The composer of the anthem of Azerbaijan, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, includes in the song references to the meaning of the flag: bright blue for Azerbaijan’s multinationalism, red for progress and culture, and green for Islam.

 

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