Flag of Syria
|Design||A horizontal tricolour of red, white, and black; charged with two green stars at the centre. |
The current two-star flag of Syria was first adopted by Gamal Abd al-Nasser, president of Egypt and president of the United Arab Republic. The flag was changed from the former independence flag in April 1958 along with associated laws designed to create a greater Arab identity. The new flag took the coloured red-white-black bands from the Arab Liberation flag and the stars on the flag were changed from red to green in order to restore the pan-Arab colours. The two stars represented Egypt and Syria.
After Syria left the UAR on 28 September 1961, the previous independence flag was readopted to disassociate Syria from the failed union. The first flag of Syria to be adopted by its Revolutionary Command Council — following a Ba'athist coup d'état — was adopted on 8 March 1963, and was used until 1 January 1972. In 1963, the Ba'athist regime came to power in Iraq as well, and the two Ba'athis governments began negotiations in Cairo in order to once again form a union between Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The process failed after the Iraqi Ba'athist government was overthrown in November 1963 but both Syria and Iraq did adopt a new flag to represent the union. This flag was not much different from the flag of the UAR, with only a change from two stars to three, in order to represent the addition of Iraq to the Federation. The three stars represented the unity of Egypt, Syria and Iraq, as well as three pillars of Ba'athism: unity, freedom, and socialism.
President Hafez al-Assad adopted the new flag on 1 January 1972, as Syria joined Egypt and Libya in the Federation of Arab Republics. The green stars were replaced by the Hawk of Quraish (the symbol of the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad). The eagle held the ribbon with name of the Federation, but unlike Egypt and Libya, Syria did not include its name on the coat of arms. This flag was an official flag during the October War in 1973.
The Federation was dissolved in 1977, but Syria continued to use the flag for the next three years. The flag was abrogated on 29 March 1980, and replaced by the current two-star flag in order to show Syria's commitment to Arab unity.