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Ottoman Empire: Sultan

Last modified: 2003-12-05 by
Keywords: crescent (white) | star (white) | tughra | sultan |
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Imperial standard, 1917

[Imperial standard]by Zeljko Heimer

The flag, shown as #1018 in National Georgraphic (1917) [gmc17], is a red flag with white imperial tughra within a rayed ornament.
The sultan at the time would be Mehmet V Reshat Gazi (ruling 1909-1918), whos tughra can be found on the tughra website and was used for the above image.

Zeljko Heimer, 20 April 2003

A bad rendition of the Sultan's standard

[Imperial Standard]by Zeljko Heimer

The flag of the Ottoman Sultans was red with a white device called the tughra. The tughra was the imperial personal sign, a kind of monogramme, that consisted of delicately interlaced Arab letters. The background of the flag on the above image is pinky red, because it seems to me that this was the actual colour used, and that is the colour used on most paintings I have seen. It might be that actual colour was bright red, but changed through time, or that the real red colour was hard to find for painters.

Zeljko Heimer, 19 June 1996

This "Ottoman Imperial Standard" with the tughra never existed. The tughra on the standard is a European bastardization of a Sultan's tughra (who knows which one).

Hassan Kamel Kelisli-Morali, 16 August 1998


The tughra

[Tughra of Abdul Hamid II]by Goren Shaked

This tughra belongs to HM Padishah Abdulhamid II Han. It reads: Abdulhamid Han bin Abdulmedjid al-Muzafar daiman, which means Abdulhamid, son of Abdulmedjid, the ever victorious. The writing on the upper right corner reads Gazi which was a title adopted by all Ottoman Padishahs (emperors) and that means "fighter".

Hassan Kamel Kelisli-Morali, 16 August 1998


Naval flag of the Sultan

[Imperial Naval Flag]by Zeljko Heimer

The naval flag of the Sultan was pink with a kind of star in the center (similar to that of Emirate of Afghanistan), with the white moon crescent and the star (five points) in the interior. The flag of the Imperial retinue was similar to the naval flag but swallow-tailed.

Zeljko Heimer, 19 June 1996

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