Circassian flag

  (Redirected from Flag of Adygea)

The Circassian flag (or the Flag of Adygea) is the national flag of the Circassians. It consists of a green field charged with twelve gold stars, nine forming an arc and three horizontal, also charged with three crossed arrows in the center.

Circassian flag
Circassian flag.svg
The variant used in the Circassian diaspora
NameGreen-gold banner
The Holy Flag (Braq Sharif)
UseNational flag and ensign (formerly) Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagSmall vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
AdoptedIn Circassia: 1830
In Adygea: March 24, 1992
DesignTwelve golden stars resembling a bow charged with three golden arrows on a dark green background
Designed bySefer Bey Zanuqo
Ibrahim Nawurjan (Modern version)

Symbolism and meaningEdit

The green represents nature and Islam. The golden colour represents a bright future in peace and the plentiful harvest of grain and wheat. There are twelve stars, representing the twelve provinces of Circassia.[1][2] There are three arrows, a reference to Adyghe Xabze in which they would mean "peace if you are my friend, war if you are my enemy".

History and usageEdit

Circassian children with the Circassian flag, 2014

David Urquhart encouraged the creation of a national flag,[3][4] and a first prototype was created, taking inspiration from early Circassian symbols advocated by regional leaders who tried to unify Circassia in the past, such as Qalawebateqo Shuwpagwe of Natukhaj.

A revised design of the flag was finalised by Sefer Bey Zanuqo in 1830, who advocated for copies of it to be produced by Circassians in the Ottoman Empire. The first copy of the flag was hand-delivered by the British delegate James Stanislaus Bell to Muhammad Hagur in the Gesh Valley (in present-day Sochi). The flag was flown for the first time in Sochi by Khirtsizhiqo Ale to cheers from Adyghe commanders and a multitude of people.

The Circassian people used this design ever since it was first adopted, including in the Russo-Circassian War. The flag is seen as one of the symbols of the Circassian nation by Circassians worldwide as well as one of the symbols of Circassian nationalism. This flag was also used by Circassians in the Circassian diaspora serving in several positions.

While it always existed among the Circassian diaspora, the flag lost its popularity in the Caucasus as a result of censorship during the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, until it was repopularized by Ibrahim Nawurjan in 1989. Nawurjan, a history student at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University, had the chance to access academic archives using this position. He discovered Edmund Spencer's book "Travels in Circassia" in the archives and resurrected the flag by painting it according to the description in the book. The flag was then adopted as a symbol of the Nalchik Circassian association. Nawurjan, a fervent Spartak Nalchik fan, helped popularize it among Spartak Nalchik supporters, and it later became popular among Circassians in the Caucasus again. On August 25, Nawurjan was killed on the Mamdzishha hill during the Abkhazian War, in which he voluntarily participated.[5] A historical surviving copy of the flag was later discovered which was mostly the same with Nawurjan's design.

The Republic of Adygea adopted the present-day flag in a law of March 24, 1992. The proportions are 2:1.

Historical Circassian flagsEdit

Evolution of the current flagEdit

Flag Years of use Adopting Government Notes
1600s–1810 High Princedom of Kabardia The coat of arms used by Kabardia. The white crescent represents Islam. The three stars represent eternity, dynasty and ideals. The arrows represent combat power and self-defense.
  1700s?–1805 High Princedom of Kabardia First version of the green banner, used as the unitary flag of East Circassia. The design is imported from the coat of arms.
  1805–1822 High Princedom of Kabardia The yellow and white part is removed. This version was also flown by prince Jankhot Qushuq.
  1807–13 June 1860 Circassian Confederation First known flag of a fully united Circassia proposal, flown by many Circassian commanders. There are eight stars, representing the eight regions supporting the proposal. The arrows are increased to three, a reference to Adyghe Xabze in which they would mean "peace if you are my friend, war if you are my enemy". The golden colour is replaced by black, representing resistance against the Russian Empire. Allegedly, there were alternative versions with Islamic symbols and swords.
  13 June 1860 – 21 May 1864 Circassian Majlis Circassia wartime flag adopted by the Circassian Majlis in 1860. The green represents nature and Islam. There are twelve stars, representing the twelve provinces of Circassia as decided by the Majlis. The black is preserved for the arrows but the stars are golden, representing a bright future in peace; maintaining a balance between peace and (defensive) war. Removed after the fall of Circassia in 1864 following the Battle of Qbaada.
  24 March 1992 – 7 June 2007 State Council of the Republic of Adygea First flag of the Autonomous Republic of Adygea. The design was based on the flag of Circassia, but the colours and measurements were significantly different. The wartime flag is replaced with the peacetime flag; therefore black representing fight against Russian invasion was completely removed and replaced with a golden colour, while the stars were lifted higher. The golden colour was re-purposed to represent harvest of wheat.
  7 June 2007–Current State Council of the Republic of Adygea Current flag of the Autonomous Republic of Adygea, adopted in 2007. The measurements are closer to the original Circassian flag.
  1864–Current None The variant of the flag used in the Circassian diaspora, following the original measurements instead of the modern Adygea version.
Circassians from Kfar Kama, Israel with the Circassian flag, 2011

Other flags used by CircassiansEdit

Flag Years of use Adopting Government Notes
  1382–22 January 1517 Burji dynasty Flag of the Circassian Mamluks in Egypt.
  1850s Muhammad Amin's government "Circassian Islamic flag" described by Karl Marx. The flag itself is green and has a white sword with a crescent and a star on it. One of the flags of the Abdzakh region during the reign of Muhammad Amin.
  1848–December 1859 Muhammad Amin's government One of the flags of the Abdzakh region during the reign of Muhammad Amin. Exact replica of the flag of the Caucasian Imamate used by Imam Shamil.
  ?–21 May 1864 Bzhedugh Principality Flag of the Bzhedugh region.
  ?–21 May 1864 Shapsug Republic Flag of the Shapsug region.
  ?–21 May 1864 Natukhaj Republic Flag of the Natukhaj region. It is a replica of the French flag with the text "Muhammad" added on it, representing the Islamic prophet Muhammad. There's also a variant with white text instead of yellow.
  6 March 1917 – 30 November 1922 Congress of the North Caucasian Peoples Flag of the Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus. The seven stars represent the Caucasian people and the stripes represent harmony.

Color schemeEdit

Color scheme
Green Gold
RAL 6002 1026
CMYK 61-0-82-39 0-0-99-1
HEX #296912 #FDFC02
RGB 41-105-18 253-252-2


  1. ^ (Abdzakh, Besleney, Bzhedug, Hatuqway, Qabardey, Mamkhegh, Natukhaj, Shapsug, Chemguy, Ubykh, Yegeruqwai and Zhaney)
  2. ^ Gammer, M. (2004). The Caspian Region: a Re-emerging Region. London: Routledge. p. 67.
  3. ^ Bashqawi, Adel (2017). "The Circassian Flag, the Homeland, the Circassian Identity". Circassia: Born to Be Free. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 9781543447651. Retrieved June 10, 2019. In other narratives about the construction of the Circassian flag, the green flag contains twelve golden stars and three golden crossed arrows pointing upwards, which was originally created when a number of tribes agreed on a union in the 1830s and the flag was designed and drawn by the Scotsman David Urquhart during that same period.
  4. ^ Richmond, Walter (2013). "A Pawn in the Great Game". The Circassian Genocide. Genocide, Political Violence, Human Rights. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780813560694. Retrieved June 10, 2019. [...] Urquhart claims to have met fifteen tribal leaders and nearly two hundred village chiefs, designed the Circassian flag, and helped them draft a petition to London for assistance.
  5. ^ "Науржанов Ибрагим – человек, воссоздавший черкесский флаг в Кабарде". Адыги .RU - Новости Адыгеи, история, культура и традиции адыгов (черкесов) (in Russian). Retrieved August 26, 2021.

External linksEdit