Afghanistan - national flag
In the period 1929-92, the flag of Afghanistan was divided into three parts
with the colors black, red, green, from 1973 in horizontal stripes. The colors
symbolized tradition, the blood of the holy martyrs, and Islam, respectively.
What does the flag of Afghanistan look like? Follow this link, then you will
see the image in PNG format and flag meaning description about this country.
With the fall of the Communist regime in 1992, the flag was changed and was
divided into green for Islam, white for peace and black for tradition. In the
middle of the flag is seen the country's coat of arms with the Islamic creed at
the top: "There is no god without God and Muhammad is his prophet".
AbbreviationFinder: Check three-letter abbreviation for each country in
the world, such as AFG which represents the official name of Afghanistan.
In 2002, Afghanistan, which has had 18 different flags for the last 100
years, introduced a new national flag, which is very similar to the old one from
1929 under the kingdom. Before 1929, the flag was completely black with
emblem; in 1929 the colors red and green were added, which were associated with
the monarchy. The three colors are also all associated with Islam. The weapon in
the middle shows a mosque as well as the inscription "There is no God without
Allah and Muhammad is his prophet". The flag must symbolize the unification of
all Afghan peoples.
Afghanistan - history
Afghanistan has been a crossroads for a number of cultures for centuries. The
country was part of the Persian Achaimenide Empire in 500-tfKr., Became in
300-tfKR. conquered by Alexander the Great and was in 100-tfKr. part of the
Kushan Empire, whose Buddhist heritage is found in a number of archeological
excavations in the country.
At the end of 600-teKr. Afghanistan was conquered by the Muslims and came as
a vassal state under the Islamic-Arab caliphate. From 900-t. small independent
Iranian-Afghan principalities replaced each other. In the period 977-1186, the
area was part of the Ghaznavide Empire, and Mahmud of Ghazna, who ascended the
throne in 998, subjugated the Punjab and led expeditions towards India. In 1150,
Mahmud's descendants were driven out by the Ghorids, and in 1175, Muhammad Ghor
In 1219, Genghis Khan and the Mongols conquered Afghanistan. With the death
of Genghis Khan in 1227, the empire was dissolved into local principalities
until the end of the 15th century, when the Turkmen-Mongolian Timur Lenk
conquered large parts of the country. During the Timurids (1404-1507), learning,
art and architecture flourished, which still characterizes the then capital of
Herat and other cities.
The Iranian Safavid Empire (see the Safavids) and the Indian Mughal Empire
(see the Mughal Empire) competed for control of Afghanistan in the period
approximately 1500-1747. With the collapse of these empires, a vacuum of power
was created, which enabled an independent state to be established.
In 1747, Afghanistan was established as a tribal confederation led by Ahmad
Khan from the Pashtun tribe of Abdali. Under the name Ahmad Shah Durrani, he
consolidated his control of the country and united Afghanistan into one empire
that stretched from eastern Iran to northern India.
After Ahmad Shah's death in 1773, the Durrani empire disintegrated due to
succession disputes, and Afghanistan's geographical location as a buffer state
between Russia and British India helped increase political instability. British
colonial efforts to control the area and counter Russian influence resulted in
three Anglo-Afghan wars (1839-42, 1878-80, 1919). Afghanistan remained a
formally independent state, although the country's foreign policy 1879-1919 was
under British control.
Under Emir Abdur Rahman (1880-1901), Afghanistan was built as a centralized
and modern state, and state power was strengthened in relation to the
traditional power groups in the country, the tribal leaders and the religious
leaders. At the same time, an internal colonization was carried out, in which
hitherto independent territories in Central Afghanistan (Hazarajat) and
Northeast Afghanistan (Nuristan) were conquered and subordinated to the central
Introduction of European technology, begun under Abdur Rahman, continued
under his son Emir Habibullah Khan (1901-19). Western and Islamic modernist
ideas spread at court, conveyed especially by Afghanistan's first newspaper,
Seraj ul-Akhbar(Torch of the News). In 1919, Habibullah Khan was assassinated
and succeeded by his son, the reform-minded King Amanullah (1919-29). He wanted
to transform the country into a modern nation-state following the European (and
Turkish) model. A comprehensive reform policy was launched. It involved the
formulation of Afghanistan's First Constitution (1923), the expansion of the
education system and the beginning of women's liberation. Many traditional
privileges were curtailed, and tribal and religious leaders declared reform
policies to be contrary to Islam and an attempt to secularize society and the
state. In 1928, civil war broke out, and in 1929, Amanullah had to seek exile in
After a brief period in which the Tajik rebel Bachao Saqqao ruled under the
name Habibullah II, Nadir Shah, a relative of Amanullah, seized power, well
aided by the country's leading religious family, Mujaddidi of Shor Bazar.
A new constitution in 1931 consolidated the interests of the traditional
power groups. Nadir Shah was assassinated in 1933 and succeeded as king by his
son Zahir Shah (1933-73). This ushered in a period of relative stability in
which Zahir Shah was mostly king by name, while his three uncles in turn ruled
as prime ministers. Significant economic development took place with the
expansion of infrastructure, the beginning of industrialization and with the
modernization of the education system, while Afghanistan maintained its
traditional neutrality. The creation of the state of Pakistan in 1947 led to
tensions between the two countries over the affiliation of the border areas -
these are inhabited by Afghanistan's ethnic majority (Pashtuns).
With the introduction of parliamentarism and universal suffrage, the
democratic constitution of 1964 met the demands of the new middle class for
political influence, and the role of the monarch was significantly reduced. Free
elections were held in 1965 and 1969, but the democratic experiment suffered
from political instability, during which both radical left groups and radical
Islamic groups agitated against the ruling social order.
The liberal period ended with a coup in 1973, after which Zahir Shah went
into exile in Italy, and his cousin and former brother-in-law, former Prime
Minister Daud Khan, seized power and abolished the monarchy. President Daud
Khan's coup was supported by parts of the left; it was later purged, and the
religious opposition was suppressed. All banks were nationalized in 1975, and a
comprehensive land reform was proclaimed without, however, having greater
practical significance. Rebellion attempts, led by radical Islamic groups,
failed in 1975 due to lack of popular support. In 1977, a new constitution was
adopted, but as early as April 1978, the People's Democratic Party (PDPA) staged
a coup, in which President Daud Khan was assassinated and Muhammad Taraki came
The new government proclaimed far-reaching reforms, a radical land reform,
the abolition of mortgages and the abolition of the bride price. During 1978 and
1979, popular opposition to the PDPA regime grew and threatened its existence.
The PDPA was divided by internal strife between the factions Parcham 'Flag' and
Khalq 'People'; these arose from personal and to some extent ethnic
contradictions and only to a lesser extent from ideological differences. The
internal power struggles led to the ouster and later assassination of Muhammad
Taraki, the assassination of Hafizullah Amin (Khalq) in 1979, and the purge of
the PDPA's Parcham wing. Another internal coup followed in December 1979, with
Parcham rehabilitated and Babrak Karmal(Parcham) took power in connection with a
Soviet invasion, which was to consolidate the regime. Hafizullah Amin was
In 1981, the strategically important Wakhan Corridor in the Pamir Mountains
in NE Afghanistan was brought under direct control of the Soviet military
headquarters in Tashkent, and the majority of its residents, mainly ethnic
Kyrgyz, fled to Pakistan. By the demarcation of the border in 1873 and 1895-96,
Wakhan had been assigned to Afghanistan as a political buffer between Russian
Turkestan, British India and China. The Soviet Union and Afghanistan confirmed
the demarcation by an agreement in 1981, over which China protested when the
Soviet-Chinese demarcation in the area was the subject of strife. In the 1980's,
Wakhan was an important route for arms smuggling into the country.
From 1979, the resistance struggle against the PDPA regime was defined in
religious terms as jihad 'holy war'. It was led by a number of competing exile
parties in Pakistan and Iran as well as by the internal resistance, led by local
commanders and tribal leaders. In step with the intensified resistance against
the Soviet invading forces, more than five million refugee refuge in neighboring
Pakistan and Iran.
In recognition of the strength of the popular resistance, President Babrak
Karmal was replaced in 1986 by Najibullah, followed by a series of futile
attempts to strengthen the regime's power base. The Soviet forces were withdrawn
in February 1989, and in April 1992, President Najibullah resigned. Power was
taken over by the Pakistan-based Sunni Islamic and Iran-based Shia Islamic exile
parties in alliance with internal resistance groups, local militias and parts of
the armed forces. Internal power struggles continued - especially among the
leading Islamic parties, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Upon President Najibullah's voluntary resignation in 1992, a fragile
compromise was formed between the seven Peshawar - based mujahedin parties and a
number of commanders. The previous constitution was repealed and Afghanistan was
declared an Islamic state. The coalition was unable to establish peace or to
organize the transition to a representative form of government. Internal power
struggles ensued, and an endless series of alliances, breaches of agreement, and
armed struggle between the various military groupings followed. The different
major mujahedin parties each had their own geographical area and different
ethnic composition, but with the fall of the PDPA, a struggle for Kabul began,
which lasted until the Taliban conquest of the city in 1996.
The period 1992-96 was marked by anarchy and administrative breakdown,
physical destruction of the 1/3 of Kabul and thousands of
civilians killed and hundreds of thousands of internal refugees. However,
President Rabbani continued to be recognized abroad as the Afghan president,
although he controlled an increasingly smaller part of the country.
The disillusionment of the population with the mujahedin leaders created the
background for the Taliban of the religious student militia. The movement
originated among Afghan refugees in Pakistan; in Afghanistan, the movement
initially gained support in the southern Pashtun-dominated lands. The success of
the Taliban has since led many mujahedin fighters to change sides, although the
Pashtuns remained the dominant ethnic group. Their ranks were also supplemented
by thousands of volunteers from religious schools in Pakistan and other Muslim
countries. The Taliban emerged in September 1994; the stated goal was to
mobilize popular support to end the civil war. In November, the movement
announced its intention to conquer all of Afghanistan and called on all
mujahedin groups to surrender or take the consequences.
In 1997, the Taliban attempted to conquer northern Afghanistan, which had so
far been controlled by ethnic Uzbek and eastern Tajik mujahedin groups under
Rashid Dostum, Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masud. After several attempts, the Taliban
finally conquered northern and central Afghanistan in the autumn of 1998. The
only one of the former mujahedi commanders who now resisted the Taliban was
Masud, who fought from his enclaves, among others. and Panjshir.
Afghanistan under the Taliban
In 1994, the Taliban had been welcomed by the people because they guaranteed
peace and physical security. But with the conquest of major cities such as
Herat, Kabul and Mazar-i Sharif, the Taliban's extreme women's and education
policies and religious unification created both increased local reluctance and
fierce international criticism. The "Islamization efforts" in the big cities in
particular attracted a lot of attention: women were denied the right to work
outside the home, girls' schools were closed, and women were to be totally
veiled and not allowed to travel in public without closely related male escorts.
Men were banned from trimming their beards and wearing western hairstyles.
Islam's general image ban was strictly enforced. In March 2001, with
reference to Islam, the regime blew up the two colossal Buddha statues in the
Bamiy Valley. It sparked fierce international protests and further isolated the
Taliban. In May 2001, the Taliban ordered the country's religious minorities to
wear visible identification badges, allegedly for their own protection. The
movement's treatment of ethnic minorities was also brutal, and in both northern
and central Afghanistan, the Taliban carried out massacres of civilians. The
Shiite Hazaras, who make up an ethnic and religious minority in central
Afghanistan, in particular, were abused.
From the beginning, the Taliban enjoyed considerable support from Pakistan.
Initially, both the United States and Saudi Arabia were positive about the
Taliban, and in 1997 Pakistan and Saudi Arabia recognized the regime, while most
other countries continued to recognize Rabbani as president.
The fall of al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Since the Soviet occupation, Afghanistan had attracted many volunteers who
fought on the side of the mujahideen in the war, especially radical Islamists
from Pakistan and the Arab world, including Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. The
US suspicion that bin Laden's organization, al-Qaeda, was behind several
terrorist attacks against US targets, led in August 1998 to US bombings of
suspected al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and subsequently to very far-reaching
international sanctions. These were further intensified in late 2000 at the same
time as a famine catastrophe threatened the country as a result of three years
In January 2001, the UN Security Council condemned the Taliban regime as a
center for international terrorism and demanded the extradition of bin Laden.
The international isolation of the regime apparently did not contribute to a
weakening of the regime, but to a continued radicalization, and the regime's
military dependence on al-Qaeda increased.
On September 9, 2001, members of al-Qaeda succeeded in killing Masud in an
assassination attempt. With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (see September 11), for which the al-Qaeda
network is held responsible, the pressure on the Taliban to extradite Osama bin
Laden to prosecution increased, but to no avail. Subsequently, the United States
and Britain launched a bombing campaign against Afghanistan to break the Taliban
regime and destroy al-Qaeda. At the same time, extensive military support was
channeled to the Northern Alliance. In November, Mazar-i Sharif was conquered by
the Northern Alliance, and on 7/12 the Taliban finally abandoned their last
Afghanistan after the Taliban
At a meeting in Bonn in December 2001, the anti-Taliban coalition, made up of
a selection of Afghan groups from home and abroad, agreed to appoint an interim
government headed by Hamid Karzai. It was based on a complicated division of
power among the various political and ethnic groupings. The Northern Alliance
was the dominant member of the coalition, but among the 30 members were also
Hazara groups, Pashtuns from the Eastern territories, royalists in exile and a
total of two women. The Provisional Government took power on 22.12.2001 in
connection with the resignation of President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Since December 2001, there has been an extensive repatriation of refugees
from both neighboring Iran and Pakistan as well as from the West. The
international community promised Afghanistan extensive assistance for the
reconstruction of the country. At the same time, special forces from a number of
countries, including The United States, Canada, Britain and also Denmark,
continue to engage in campaigns against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
In August 2003, NATO took command and coordination of the peacekeeping forces.
Initially, the alliance operated only in the Kabul area, but has since extended
its mission to the whole of Afghanistan.
In January 2004, a new constitution was adopted and Hamid Karzai was
re-elected president with 55.4% of the vote in the October 2004 presidential
election, which had a turnout of 70%, of which 41% were women. In September
2005, the first free parliamentary elections since 1969 were held, which elected
249 representatives to both the national parliament (of which 27% were women)
and to the 34 provincial councils (28% women elected). Turnout was only 50%, but
women's turnout had risen to 43% of the vote.
However, the Taliban managed to regroup and recruit new members, and from
mid-2006 there were fierce fighting in the southern part of the country,
including Helmand Province, between NATO forces and the Taliban. In many places,
the fighting delayed or prevented the country's reconstruction. During 2007 and
2008, the security situation in the country deteriorated further. Large parts of
southern Afghanistan were effectively controlled by the Taliban, the government
was increasingly accused of incompetence and corruption, and doubts were raised
as to whether it was at all possible for NATO forces to win the country
In 2012, the international force and the Afghan government agreed that all
actual combat missions from mid-2013 should be left to the Afghan army, and the
approximately 130,000 foreign soldiers should have left the country by the end
of 2014. Careful steps were taken towards a peace agreement with the Taliban,
when the militia agreed to negotiations and opened an office in Dubai to
As agreed, the Afghan army took over all combat tasks from the NATO forces in
2013 - thus also the Danish soldiers were pulled out of the insecure zones in
the country - and subsequent negotiations between the Afghan government and the
US must open up a future arrangement in the country.
In the 2009 presidential election, Hamid Kazai was re-elected for a new
five-year term. The presidential election in the spring of 2014 had two leading
candidates, the former Minister of Finance (2002-04) Ashraf Ghani and the former
Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-05) Abdullah Abdullah (b. 1960). None of them
obtained the required 50% of the votes cast in the April election, and after the
second round of elections in June, in which Ghani, according to the official
census, won the election, allegations of manipulation of the vote arose. The
result was only decided in September 2014, when Ashraf Ghani was appointed
president, while Abdullah Abdullah was given a newly created post with powers as
a prime minister.