The flag of Turkmenistan is one of the symbols of the country. The modern version of the flag was approved on September 27, 1992, a year after independence. Leading artists, designers and creative teams took part in the development of the flag project. Subsequently, minor modifications were made to it.
The flag of Turkmenistan is a green canvas that depicts a white crescent, the symbol of Islam, and five stars, representing the five regions of the country and the five pillars of Islam. On the left side of the flag there is a symbolic image of the country’s carpet industry, which has long history and traditions.
In connection with the proclamation on December 12, 1995 by the UN of the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan by Law No. 211-1 “On amendments in order to perpetuate the idea of neutrality in the state symbols of Turkmenistan” one of the symbols of the UN emblem – olive branches – was added to the flag.
A modified version with a 2:3 ratio was adopted on January 23, 2001. National Flag and Constitution Day is celebrated on May 18. According to the law, “The state flag of Turkmenistan is a symbol of the unity and independence of the nation and the neutrality of the state.”
Description of the Turkmenistan Flag
The flag of Turkmenistan looks like a green colored canvas. Near the lift there is a vertical red stripe on which there are five patterns (“gul”) of traditional Turkmen carpet designs. Below these pictures are two crossed olive branches. These branches are similar to those found on the flag of the United Nations. In the upper corner of the field, to the right of the red stripe, there is a white growing crescent moon, which is typical of Turkic and Islamic symbolism, and five white five-pointed stars.
The colors green and red are present in this flag because they were historically revered by the Turkmens. In Islam, the green color has been considered a sign of special distinction – revered and sacred. It, as a symbol of youth and abundance, symbolized a fertile oasis, regenerating nature, and a full life. For Muslims, red color, as in other cultures, symbolized love and was considered sacred and magical.
The growing crescent moon symbolizes the country’s hope for a bright future, and the stars represent the five pillars of Islam and, at the same time, the five velayats (velayats) of Turkmenistan: Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary. The five traditional carpet patterns along the hoist make the flag of Turkmenistan the most complex national flag in the world. They represent the five main tribes or houses and form the motifs of the national emblem and flag of the country.
These Turkmen tribes in traditional order (and also from top to bottom) are Teke (Tekke), Yomut (Yomud), Saryk (Saryk), Choudur (Chowdur) and Arsary (Ersary). The middle design may also represent the Salyr (Salur), a tribe that declined as a result of military defeat before the modern period.
The flag of the Russian Empire was the official flag of Turkmenistan before the Russian Revolution. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan had a flag similar to that of all other Soviet republics.
The state flag of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic is a rectangular red panel with a blue stripe in the middle along the entire length of the flag. The blue stripe is 1/3 of the flag’s width. Along the blue stripe in the middle there is a red stripe equal to 1/20 of the width of the flag. On the upper red part of the flag, near the pole, there is a golden sickle and hammer, and above them a red five-pointed star framed by a golden border.
After gaining independence in 1991, Turkmenistan adopted a flag very similar to the current one on February 19, 1992. However, the drawing on the left was different.
On February 1, 1997, an olive branch was laid, symbolizing the peace-loving nature of the Turkmen people. The placement of the crescent and stars was also changed: the crescent was placed approximately in its current position, but the stars were in a much more uneven position.
In 2001, the proportion of the flag was changed from 1:2 to 2:3, and the green field became lighter.