By: The PH Team
Turkmenistan is a secretive Muslim-majority State in Central Asia, once part of the Soviet Union. The country, which became independent in 1991, was ruled by its leader President Niyazov, known locally as Turkmenbashi (Father of the Turkmen People), until his death in 2006.
The country continues to be ruled in a similar fashion by leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
The national flag of Turkmenistan features a white crescent, representing Islam and five stars representing the five regions of Turkmenistan.
The symbols are placed on a green background and represent the country's famous and historical fine-carpet industry.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, newly independent Turkmenistan continued to use the flag of the Turkmen SSR until it was replaced by the current flag of Turkmenistan on September 27, 1992. The Soviet-era flag consisted of a red background with two light blue bars in the middle.
The current flag of Turkmenistan has a green background with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five carpet designs used in producing Turkmen rugs on top of two olive branches - universal symbols of peace and a reference to Turkmenistan's policy of 'permanent neutrality,' which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 1995.
The white crescent moon is common and typical of flags portraying Turkic and Islamic symbology, and the five white five-pointed stars appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe.
The green and red colors appear in this flag because they hold historical and cultural significance by the Turkmen people and along with the crescent moon, symbolizes the hope of the country for a prosperous future.
The five traditional carpet designs along the hoist of the Turkmen flag makes the flag of Turkmenistan the most complex national flag design in the world. They represent the five major Turkmen tribes and are also present in the country's state emblem and flag.