Flag of the Arab Revolt

The flag of the Arab Revolt, also known as the flag of Hejaz, was a flag used by the Arab nationalists during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I, and as the first flag of the Kingdom of Hejaz.


The flag was designed by the British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes, in an effort to create a feeling of "Arab-ness" in order to fuel the revolt.[1] Although the Arab Revolt was only very limited in scope and concerted by the British rather than by Arabs themselves, the flag influenced the national flags of a number of emerging Arab states after World War I. Flags inspired by that of the Arab revolt include those of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Palestine, Somaliland, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Libya.

The horizontal colors stand for the Abbasid (black), Umayyad (white) and Fatimid (green) Caliphates.[2] The red triangle refers to the Hashemite dynasty. Alternately, the colours' symbolism has been described as follows: white for the Damascene Umayyad period, green for the Caliph Ali, red for the Khawarij movement, and black for the Prophet Mohammed, showing the "political use of religion" in opposition to the increasingly secularized Turkish colonial rule.[3]

The Hashemites were allies of the British in the conflict against the Ottoman Empire. After the war ended, the Hashemites achieved or were granted rule in the Hejaz region of Arabia, Jordan, formally known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, briefly in Greater Syria, and Iraq.

Greater Syria was dissolved after only a few months of existence, in 1920. The Hashemites were overthrown in the Hejaz in 1925 by the House of Saud, and in Iraq in 1958 by a coup d'etat, but retained power in Jordan.

A 60 m × 30 m version of the flag currently flies from the Aqaba Flagpole, currently the sixth tallest freestanding flagpole in the world, located in Aqaba, Jordan.[4]


The flag contains the four Pan-Arab colors: black, white, green and red. There are three horizontal stripes: black, green, and white, going down the flag. There is also a red triangle on the hoist side of the flag.

See also


  1. William Easterly, The White Man's Burden (2006), p. 295
  2. Edmund Midura, "Flags of the Arab World", in Saudi Aramco World, March/April 1978, pages 4–9
  3. Sergie, Lina, Recollecting history : songs, flags and a Syrian square Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture, 2003
  4. "The Flag of the Arab Revolt". andrewcusack.com. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
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