Updated: Feb 9, 2020
By: The PH Team
Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region in northern Iraq, officially known as the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The region is home to its own government, police force, judicial system, military (the Peshmerga), and judicial system.
The region is predominantly inhabited by the Kurds, an ethnic group in the Middle East. With that said however, the region is also extremely diverse. Kurds are members of various religious groups including, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Yazidism and various others.
In addition, the region is home to various other ethnic groups such as; Arabs and Turkmen. The region, which is known for its safety and security, has also been a primary destination for refugees from Iraq and Syria who have fled war, instability and persecution.
The Flag of Kurdistan was created during the Ararat rebellion against Turkey in 1928, where it was hoisted in public by Kurdish rebels.
The flag was subsequently presented to the European powers at the Versailles Peace Conference. When the Republic of Kurdistan, in today's Iran, was proclaimed in 1947, Mustafa Barzani hoisted the flag in Mahabad and the flag was adopted as the official flag of Kurdistan and in turn, the Kurdish people.
Iraqi Kurdistan later adopted this same flag as the official flag of the autonomous region. The flag was also flown by the breakaway Republic of Ararat during the period between 1927–1931.
In addition to the official flag of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is also used by Kurds in other parts of 'Greater Kurdistan,' the Kurds of surrounding regions have also adopted their own flags. Kurds in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), have adopted a different Kurdish flag to represent their population.
The tricolor flag of Syrian Kurds is red, green and yellow, with each color symbolising a different aspect of local Kurdish history and culture.
Both Kurdish flags however, depict common colors with similar meanings. The red symbolizes the blood of the martyrs and the continued struggle for freedom and dignity. The green portion symbolizes the beauty and landscapes of Kurdistan, life and vitality.
The yellow represents the source of life and light of the people. The sun is an ancient symbol and twenty one sunbeams represents March 21, Nowruz (the Persian new year). Lastly, the white portion of the flag symbolizes peace and equality in Kurdistan.
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