By Rashid Shirinov
Flag can be safely called the most important and recognizable attribute of any country, as it represents the state at all international events. In addition to this, people all over the world raise flags on holidays, take them to support national sportsmen at different sporting events, put flags on the graves of martyrs or take them to wars.
People in Azerbaijan highly honor the national flag of the country – the blue-red-green tricolor, which celebrates its 99th anniversary today. November 9 was declared the National Flag Day by a presidential decree signed eight years ago. Since 2010, Azerbaijanis all over the world celebrate this holiday.
The flag of Azerbaijan, which is the face of the country and the most highly ranked symbol of independence, symbolizes the patriotism, aspirations, and sentiments of Azerbaijani people in their continuous struggle for independence.
The Azerbaijani tricolor was adopted at a governmental meeting of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic on November 9, 1918. The flag was raised over the building of Parliament on December 7, 1918.
Unfortunately, the first-ever democratic republic in the Muslim East existed only two years, until 1920, when Azerbaijan became a part of the Soviet Union. Since then, the attributes of Azerbaijan’s independence and statehood, including the flag, were eliminated.
But it was only temporary – after regaining independence in 1991, the Azerbaijani tricolor again began waving throughout the country.
The national flag of Azerbaijan includes blue, red and green horizontal stripes of equal width and a white crescent with an eight-pointed star in the middle, on the red stripe. The ratio of the flag’s width to its length is 1:2.
Each color of the flag has its own meaning. The blue color means Turkic origin of Azerbaijani people and Turkic heritage and is connected with the idea of Turkism. The red color means building a modern society, developing democracy, modernization and development. The green color expresses affiliation to the Islamic civilization and the Islamic religion.
As for the crescent on the flag, it is the symbol of the Turkic people. There are two meanings of the eight-pointed star. One is related to the way of writing the word “Azerbaijan” in the old alphabet, which was written with eight letters. Another meaning is connected to the principles of Mammad Amin Rasulzade, who was the founder of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. These are Turkism, Islamism, modernity, statehood, democracy, Azerbaijanism, equality and culture.
The huge Azerbaijani flag waving in the National Flag Square in the capital Baku is further evidence of the great respect of the Azerbaijani population and government to the national attribute. This flag is one of the tallest in the world – it has a 162 meter-high flagpole, and measures 70 meters high and 35 meters wide with a weight of 350 kilograms.
Moreover, there is the National Flag Museum under the flag pillar, which was opened on the first year marking the National Flag Day – on November 9, 2010. The museum, designed and built by Azerbaijani architects and designers with the use of modern technologies, provides all its visitors with information about the flags, symbols, state emblems, and banknotes of states that existed in the territory of Azerbaijan from the ancient times till the country’s independence.
Today the Azerbaijani tricolor is recognized all over the world as the country has achieved many great strides during the past years and much is yet to come. Hopefully, the day when the Azerbaijani flag will also wave in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of the country is not far off.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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