Flag of Azerbaijan
The flag of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan bayrağı) is the national flag of Azerbaijan. It consists of three equal horizontal bands colored blue, red, and green, with a white crescent and an eight-pointed star are centered in the red band. The blue band refers to Turkic heritage, the red is for progress and Europeanisation and the green refers to Islam.
The official colours and size were adopted on February 5, 1991, since then the flag is referred to in the Constitution and is mentioned two times in the national anthem. The flag is used on land, as the civil, state and war flag, at sea, as the civil, state and naval ensign and naval jack. The specific shades of the national flag were laid out in a 2004 law as the following: blue - PMS 313 C, red - PMS 185 C, green - PMS 3405 C.
On November 17, 2009 the national Flag Day (November 9) was established.
The views of historians and researchers differ on the meaning of the crescent and star on the flag. According to historian Nasib Nasibli, Alibay Huseynzadeh, one of the ideologues of Azerbaijan’s independence, developed the combination based on colors used in 1895, after Azerbaijan was split between the Persian and Russian Empires
Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
In 1828, several Azerbaijan khanates were annexed to the Russian Empire after the last Russo-Persian War. When the Russian Empire collapsed, Russian Azerbaijan declared its independence and joined the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, together with Georgia and Azerbaijan. This unified state hardly lasted a year and was soon dissolved. Since the Republic was short-lived, it did not use any flags or symbols. Nevertheless, some historians consider a horizontal gold, black, and red tricolor, similar to that of the German flag but arranged differently, to have been flag of Transcaucasia. The federation was dissolved on May 26, 1918, when Georgia declared its independence as the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan declared their independence two days later, on May 28, 1918, as the Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA) and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), respectively.
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
After gaining independence, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic adopted the modern Azerbaijani tricolor.
Early Soviet Azerbaijan and the Transcaucasian SFSR
On April 28, 1920 Bolsheviks established the Azerbaijan SSR. A new flag was introduced and fixed in the constitution. The flag of SSRA (Azerbaijan SSR) was first adopted in 1920, and was a red flag with a yellow crescent and star in the left upper corner. From the second part of 1921 to 1922, Azerbaijan SSR used a red flag with the yellow Cyrillic characters ССРА ("SSRA").
On March 12, 1922 the Azerbaijani SSR united with the Georgian SSR and the Armenian SSR under the Transcaucasian SFSR (TSFSR). On December 30, 1922 the Transcaucasian SFSR became one of the four Soviet republics that united to form the USSR. The flag of the republic had a hammer and sickle inserted into a star with initials "ЗСФСР" (ZSFSR) written in Russian sans-serif script. These letters stand for Закавказская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика (Zakavkazskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Socialisticheskaya Respublika, "Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic"). In 1936, the TSFSR was broken up into its three constituent regions, which were named the Azerbaijani SSR, the Georgian SSR, and the Armenian SSR.
As a republic of the USSR, the Azerbaijani SSR introduced its first flag in 1937. Very similar to the flag of the Soviet Union, it was red and featured a golden hammer and sickle in the corner. Underneath that, there were AzSSR initials written in Cyrillic script.
A third version was issued in 1940s, and had AzSSR substituted by its Cyrillic version АзССР. The last version of the flag was adopted by the Azerbaijan SSR on October 7, 1952. It was the flag of the Soviet Union, with an horizontal blue band on the bottom fourth.
During the Soviet period Jahid Hilaloglu raised the tricolor over the Maiden Tower in 1956 showing his defiance towards the system. Hilaloglu was ultimately sentenced to four years of imprisonment and his supporter Chingiz Abdullayev was institutionalized. On May 28, 1952 during the Republic Day celebrations in Germany, Mammed Amin Rasulzade raised the tricolor and asked "who can be entrusted to take it [the flag] away to Azerbaijan. Gulmirza Bagirov ultimately brought it to Azerbaijan in secret in the 1970s. This flag was hung over his house in Maştağa on January 20, 1990.
In 1995, Southern Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement adopted a flag similar to the Azerbaijani tricolor. The organisation is struggling for the restoration of the right of "determining its own destiny" of Southern Azerbaijan. The ratio of the flag’s breadth to its length is 1:2, same as the Azerbaijani tricolor.
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