Algeria's national flag contains equally horizontal fields of green and white, along with a star and red crescent in the centre. The naval ensign of the country adds two crossed anchors in the top left-hand corner added to the national flag. This flag was officially adopted on 3 July 1962, a few months after the war of independence had ended. A very similar version of this banner had been in use by the Algerian government from 1958 until 1962, when they were based in Cairo in exile.
Green is symbolic of Islam and white is a symbol of purity. Both of these colours also have a significant political connotation within the Arab world regarding the struggle for independence. The star and crescent symbol in the centre of the flag has been a symbol of Islam since the later part of the 20th century. The crescent and star have also been used by former Ottoman Empire states such as Libya and Tunisia in their national flags as well as states such as Malaysia, Pakistan, and Singapore, who were never a part of the Ottoman Empire.
The original designer of the flag is unknown, although different schools of thought exist on the matter. Some claim that a similar flag was used by the liberation forces of Abd el-Kader from 1837-1847, but there is no conclusive proof. Others argue that the inspiration for the current flag came from a sketch in 1934, with the three colours symbolising the expected unification of three major countries of Northern Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). The design of the flag, including colours and positioning of the star and crescent, was officially laid out in 1999 by the government of Algeria and is now published online.
Algeria was known as French Algeria from 1830-1962, and therefore, the country flew the flag of France as their national banner for over 130 years. The lack of political freedom for the majority of citizens in the country lead to the Algerian War of Independence in which the French flag was seen as an oppressive symbol of colonial rule.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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