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Ottoman Empire (Turkey, 1299-1923)

Osmanlı İmparatorluğu

Last modified: 2005-01-22 by
Keywords: ottoman empire | osmanli imparatorlugu | crescent (white) | civil ensign | land flag | star (white) | sandjak cherif |
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[flag of the Ottoman Empire]by Željko Heimer


See also:


National flag

There was an Ottoman flag with crescent and seven-pointed star. Nearly everywhere you can read that this star has later been replaced by a five-pointed one. But when, and why? We (Archiv für Flaggenkunde) only found out (until now) that the five-pointed star has always been present in the imperial flag. The flag with a seven-pointed star was the flag for "ocean-going vessels". And the five pointed star had always pointed to the hoist, as show some flag charts, and also Turkish charts of 1857 and 1905.

Ralf Stelter, 27 June 1999


Civil ensigns

There were only three flags in the Ottoman Empire that were official and can be called "national flags":

Ralf Stelter, 27 June 1999


Ottoman civil ensign

[Merchant ensign]by Ivan Sache


Muslim civil ensign

[Muslim civil ensign]by Ivan Sache

Smith [smi75c] says that "Muslims used a green stripe through their red civil ensign."

This flag is also shown in Colton's Delineation of Flags of All Nations (1862) (colour plate reproduced in Znamierowski [zna99]) and captioned: " #140. Turkish Merchant".

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2001


Greek civil ensign

[Greek civil ensign]by Ivan Sache

Smith [smi75c] says that "The Christians of Greece used a blue stripe through their red civil ensign."

This flag is also shown in Colton's Delineation of Flags of All Nations (1862) (colour plate reproduced in Znamierowski [zna99]) and captioned: " #141. Ottoman Greek".

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2001


Albanian civil ensign

[Albanian civil ensign]by Ivan Sache

Smith [smi75c] says that "The Albanians used a black stripe through their red civil ensign", making it similar to the current Albanian civil ensign.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Ship commanded by a reserve officer

A green flag with three stars was a merchant flag for a ship commanded by captain being a reserve Ottoman Navy officer (similar to the British Blue Ensign for merchant ships).

Ralf Stelter, 27 June 1999


Land flag

[Land Flag]by Jaume Ollé


Sandjak cherif

Larousse du XXe siècle (1928) mentions under the heading ETENDARD CELESTE (lit., celestial standard) "the standard of green colour, which is venerated by the Turks who claim it was borne by Muhammad, and hoist it on special occasions".

Ivan Sache, 18 November 2000

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