Last modified: 2005-01-22 by rob raeside
Keywords: azad kashmir | kashmir | india | pakistan | crescent | star | balawaristan | goat |
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by Jorge Candeias, 12 December 1998
In Pakistani Kashmir ("Azad Kashmir") I believe the Pakistani flag is used most frequently.
Some Kashmiri separatists use a flag of green and yellow alternating horizontal stripes, 15 in total, I think. There is a canton of plain yellow, which I think looks most odd - surely cantons should have something in them?! I have no information on symbolism, usage or status. I presume the status is wholly unofficial; Indian and Pakistani flags are presumably official in the parts of Kashmir respectively occupied by India and Pakistan.
Stuart Notholt, 22 September 1996
Smith calls the Azad Kashmir flag above Azad Jammu and Kashmir and gives it as a province of Pakistan, with proportions of 23:31. I don't know that any other flag in Smith's books is unofficial and therefore I presume that both these flags have some official status.
Željko Heimer, 24 September 1996
In a shop, I noticed a painter working on an oil portrait of a general with two flags in the background. One was that of Azad Kashmir as shown here, except in the same dark green as the national flag and with the orange canton taking up only about half the fly. The other was green with a gold device on the center--a gold circle divided horizontally, the upper half subdivided vertically. In the upper left field was a star and crescent, upper right what look like five palm fronds issuing from a stalk, and lower half five stylized mountains emerging from three wavy horizontal stripes. All the above in gold/yellow, with the shahada inscribed in the same color in an arc above the emblem. I asked the artist and he said the gentleman in the painting was a former (now deceased) president of Azad Kashmir and showed me the photograph and the two flags he had been given as models to work from. The flags were car flags, both about 25 x 35 cm. I would guess, based on its similarity to the stripeless Pakistani president's flag, that the green one with the gold emblem is the flag of the Azad Kashmir president. I've since learned that the palm frond device is generally used as the emblem of Azad Kashmir - surrounded by a crescent it forms the central element in the regimental badge of the Pakistan Army's Azad Kashmir Regiment.
Joe McMillan, 12 January 2003
In the March-April 2002 issue of Flag Bulletin Whitney Smith said the Azad Kashmir flag has silver stripes, while crescent and star are white. FOTW shows the stripes, as well as the crescent and star, as white. Am I correct in interpreting your observation as confirming the stripes are white?
Ned Smith, 12 January 2003
I later saw another Azad Kashmir flag in a souvenir shop. Both the flags I saw had crescent, star, and stripes all the same color, a white satiny material. However, I'd note that the canton was gold, not orange.
In a conversation I had with a Pakistani political scientist today, he explained that Pakistan considers Azad Kashmir to be the legitimate government of independent Kashmir, with its foreign and defense relations handled by Pakistan under a 1949 treaty. Azad Kashmir therefore has its own president and prime minister rather than a governor and chief ministers like the provinces of Pakistan proper. This is relevant to the statement on our page that the Pakistan flag rather than that of Azad Kashmir flies in Azad Kashmir. If true (other than at defense establishments), that would belie the Pakistani assertion that Azad Kashmir is not part of Pakistan. I therefore question the accuracy of the statement on our page, unless someone has further evidence. I did not go to Azad Kashmir, so can't prove or disprove it for certain.
Joe McMillan, 14 January 2003
The official flag of the Government of the State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir was adopted on 24th September 1975. The flag was adopted by the passing of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State Flag Ordinance, 1975 by the then president, Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan.
Symbolically the flag represents many aspects of Azad Jammu and Kashmir:
From the Azad Kashmir government web page.
Located by Paraskevas Renesis, 7 June 2004
by Jaume Ollé
Azad Kashmir has special status in Pakistan, but Pakistan annexed Balawaristan (Gilgit, Baltistan, Dardistan). Balawaristan was administered from Kashmir, but they are a lot of native states that were not part of Kashmir and never joined Pakistan freely.
Jaume Ollé, 14 January 2003