The history of our flags - Syria
Syria is another nation that was created in the aftermath of the Great Arab Revolt (1916-1918). In 1920, the Arab Kingdom of Syria was declared under the Hashemite rule of King Faisal I, son of Sharif of Mecca Hussein Bin Ali. Syria at the time was believed to be the borders of “Greater Syria” which included modern day Lebanon and Palestine.
The flag of the new Kingdom would adopt the Pan-Arab colour scheme along with a 7 pointed star which is a design that would later be taken by another Hashemite Kingdom, Jordan.
The British and French (Allied Powers) did not recognise King Faisal’s authority over Syria. The Kingdom only lasted 4 months however before being occupied by France in 1920. Under the French Mandate of Syria, Faysal’s flag was removed and temporarily replaced by the Flag of the French High Commissioner which had a blue field and white crescent.
The French later organised Syria into 5 states under the mandate including the Sanjak of Damascus, Sanjak of Aleppo, Alawite State/Sanjak of Latakia, Jebel Druze, and French Mandate of Greater Lebanon.
Each of these states began to have their own flag. The Sanjak of Damascus and Aleppo were later united under the name of the Syrian Federation (1922-1925) and the State of Syria (1925-1930) under the flag below:
The First Syrian Republic (1930-1950) was declared but wouldn’t be recognised by the French. Independence was granted in 1946 following World War II. This would now include Aleppo, Damascus, Jebel Druze and Latakia. They would use the 3 star flag with the first representing Aleppo, Damascus, and Deir ez-Zore, while the other 2 stars were for Jebel Druze and Latakia. The Second Syrian Republic (1950-1958) was declared with a new constitution.
In 1958 Syria joined a temporary union with Egypt under the name of the United Arab Republic (UAR) under the following flag:
Each star represented a member of the union, one star being Syria and the other being Egypt.
Syria left the UAR in 1961 following a coup d’etat and adopted the name of the Syrian Arab Republic, re-using the 3 star flag from 1961 to 1963 as a symbol of disassociating from the Union.
Following a Ba’athist coup in 1963, a new flag was adopted with the hopes of returning a union between Syria, Egypt, and now Iraq. This flag was similar to that of the UAR’s but with the third star representing Iraq. The stars also represented the pillars of Ba’athism which were unity, freedom, and socialism.
In 1972 under President Hafez al-Assad, Syria joined the Federation of Arab Republics with Egypt and Libya which was another attempt at a unified Arab state. A new flag was adopted with the stars being replaced by the Hawk of Quraish which was a symbol for the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad. It is also holding a ribbon with the name of the Federation in Arabic.
Although the federation was dissolved in 1977, Syria continued to use the flag until 1980 before adopting its current flag.
The current flag of Syria is a readoption of the UAR’s flag and is supposed to represent Syria’s commitment to Arab unity and is often associated with the Ba’ath Party.