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Ancient Phoenicians (Historical Flags, Lebanon)

Last modified: 2009-05-16 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: lebanon | phoenician | punic | ba'al | tanith | vexilloid | bicolor: red/blue |
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[Phoenician Flag (Lebanon)]
image by Santiago Dotor

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According to Nehmé 1995, "This flag was blue, symbolizing the sea, yet the red color was later added to it when the purple [sic – probably 'purpure' intended] color was discovered."

Santiago Dotor, 26 Sep 2000

The name of the original image in the Lebanese Parliamentary Elections 2000 website ("red_blue.gif") makes me wonder whether the image illustrates the Arabic obverse – with the hoist on the right hand side. (...) I wonder how old are some of the flags in this list supposed to be – Tanukh flag, Phoenician flag – and how reliable their existence is!

Santiago Dotor, 08 May 2003

This is the flag of the Phoenicians, circa 1000 BC? I doubt it. Did Hannibal have a flag?

Nathan Lamm, 08 May 2003

Ancient Phoenician Vexilloid

        [Ancient Phoenician Vexilloid (Lebanon)]

image by Eugene Ipavec, 15 Jun 2007

I do not know about the Phoenicias proper, but there are several hints that the Carthaginians used vexilloids. The presumed Carthaginian (Punic) vexilloid most probably consisted of a spear with a disk and crescent (points upwards), symbolizing the god Baal (sun = disk) and the goddess Tanit (moon = crescent). A drawing of the vexilloid can be found in Whitney Smith's article on the changed Tunisian flag [smi00j], for instance.

Marcus Schmöger, 09 May 2003