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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Egyptian National Flags on Postage Stamps

After completion of  very successful Philatelic exhibition in Cairo on Rabindranth Tagore held in commemoration of his 150 years of birth, I have come back to Kolkata and now once again geared up to resume my blog which was in dormant for quite some time. The exhibition in Cairo was greatly publicised by all the news papers in Cairo. I am prompted to reproduce here at least one from the Egyptian Gazette of Saturday, July 9, 2011 just a day after the biggest rally when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians staged one of their biggest demonstrations in Cairo at Tahrir Square on 8th July to demand swift justice for victims of the former regime.
In Metro Rail with the demonstators on their way to 
Tahrir Square.
At Tahrir Square on 8th July 2011
Page six of the Egyptian Gazette , Cairo of the same date
  Let me now discuss about the Egyptian National Flag to the best of my ability and knowledge. I shall be glad if anybody correct me where I have gone wrong.
 Egypt had a number of National flags. Under the Turkish rule Egypt’s flag was ‘Red and bore three Crescents, each with a five pointed star within its horns, all in white’. The flag was in vogue from 1914 to 1922.
 On becoming an independent kingdom in 1922, Egypt changed her flag to ‘Green with one white Crescent’. The flag remained its National status till 1958.
 King Farouk had no less than four Royal standards; the one that resembled the National Flag, but had a small ‘Royal Crown’ in colour in the upper left-hand corner.
 King Farouk raising Egyptian Flag over Kasr-el-Barracks after British withdrawal from the Nile delta.

With the abolition of Monarchy, after the revolution of 1952, the ‘Red-White-Black’ of three equal horizontal stripes was introduced in Egypt. The colours symbolized the period of oppression (black) over come through bloody struggle (red) to be replaced by a bright future(white). This flag , considered by many as the second generation of ‘Pan-Arab colours’. The colours  became the inspiration for the flags of many other Arab Nations which chose the republican political system. The symbolism was explained by poet Safi al-Din-al-Hili as:

“White are our deeds, black are our battles,

Green are our fields, red are our knives”.
The National Flag of United Arab Republic (1958-1961) and Egypt (1961-1973)
The central white stripe was charged with two ‘Green Stars’ in 1958 with the formation of the United Arab Republic (UAR) with Syria.
 Second anniversary of the proclamation of the UAR, 1960
 In 1984 Egypt withdrew from the Federation of Arab Republic founded in 1971 by Egypt, Libya and Syria. The Federation was virtually became inactive since Egypt broke off diplomatic relations with Libya in 1973, on the other hand Syria broke off diplomatic relations with Egypt after ‘1979 Peace Treaty’ with Israel signed by President Anwar Sadat. 
 20th anniversary of revolution, 1972
 Egypt also replaced the ‘Qureish Falcon’ named after the tribe of Prophet Mohammed and introduced by Gamal Abdel Nasser by the ‘Eagle of Saladin’ on Egypt’s national emblem. Saladin was the Sultan of Egypt and Syria who in 1187 had defeated the Christians, near Tiberas and conquered Jerusalem, sparking the third Crusade.


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