The Meaning of the Palestine Flag
The Khawarij were
the first Islamic group to emerge after the assassination of
Caliph Uthman III, forming the first republican party in the
early days of Islam. Their symbol was the red flag. Arab
tribes who participated in the conquest of North Africa and
Andalusia carried the red flag, which became the symbol of
the Islamic rulers of Andalusia (756-1355). In modern times,
red symbolizes the Ashrafs of the Hijaz and the Hashemites,
descendants of the Prophet. Sharif Hussein designed the
current flag as the flag of the Arab Revolt on June 1916. The
Palestinian people raised it as the flag of the Arab National
movement in 1917. In 1947, the Arab Ba'ath Party interpreted
the flag as a symbol of the liberation and unity of the Arab
nation. The Palestinian people readopted the flag at the
Palestinian conference in Gaza in 1948. The flag was
recognized by the Arab League as the flag of the Palestinian
people. It was further endorsed by the PLO, the
representative of the Palestinians, at the Palestinian
conference in Jerusalem in 1964.
In the seventh
century, with the rise of Islam and subsequent liberation of
Mecca, two flags - one white, one black - were carried. On
the white flag was written, "There is no god but God
(Allah) and Mohammad is the Prophet of God."
In pre-Islamic times, the black flag was a sign of revenge.
It was the color of the headdress worn when leading troops
Both black and white flags were placed in the mosque during
The Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258), ruling from Baghdad, took
black as a symbol of mourning for the assassination of
relatives of the Prophet and in remembrance of the Battle of
Dynasty (661-750), Damascus
The Umayyads ruled
for ninety years, taking white as their symbolic color as a
reminder of the Prophet's first battle at Badr, and to
distinguish themselves from the Abbasids, by using white,
rather than black, as their color of mourning.
Mu'awia Ibn Abi Sufian (661-750), founder of the Umayyad
state, proclaimed himself Caliph of Jerusalem.
Dynasty (909-1171), North Africa
The Fatimid Dynasty
was founded in Morocco by Abdullah Al-Mahdi, and went on rule
all of North Africa.
They took green as their color, to symbolize their allegiance
to Ali, the Prophet's cousin, who was once wrapped in a green
coverlet in place of the Prophet in order to thwart an
From: Evolution of the Arab
Flag, by Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Amman, Feb. 1986
Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs