Ethnic flag

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An ethnic flag is a flag that symbolizes a certain ethnic group. Ethnic flags are often introduced to the ethnic community through the respective cultural or political ethnic movements. They are popular among ethnic minorities and some ethnic majorities, especially in multiethnic countries.

History[edit]

Like the concept of the national flag itself, that of an "ethnic flag" is modern, first arising in the late 19th century; strictly speaking, the national flags of nation states are themselves "ethnic flags", and often so used by ethnic minorities in neighbouring states, especially in the context of irredentism (e.g. the flag of the Republic of Albania used as an "ethnic Albanian flag" by Kosovar Albanians).

Ethnic flags are often used in irredentism, representing the "national flag" of a proposed or unrecognized state. The first such flags were designed at the end of the 19th century, such as the Basque flag (1894) or the "Flag of Zion" used to symbolize Zionism from 1898, which became the national flag of Israel 50 years later.

Most early ethnic flags imply a connection with an unrecognized state claimed by the respective ethnicities, such as the flag of Kurdistan which originates as the flag of the Republic of Ararat (1927). A flag of the Hispanic People was designed in 1932.

Alternatively, an "ethnic flag" may represent a Pan-nationalism, such as the Pan-Arab flag which originates as the flag of the Arab Revolt during World War I, the proposed flag of Pan-Slavism (1848), Pan-Iranism or Pan-Turkism.

The concept of using ethnic flags to symbolize ethnic groups within a multiethnic state, not necessarily connected with irredentism, became popular in the later 20th century, such as the Australian Aboriginal flag (1971), the Assyrian flag (1971), the flag of the Romani people (1971), the Berber flag (1970s), the Sami flag (1986) or the Māori flag (1990). Designing ethnic or tribal flags has become very popular since the 1990s, especially for online use, and mostly do not have any kind of "official" status and must be judged based on de facto use.

Individual flags[edit]

image name group world region linguistic phylum introduction notes
Metis Blue.svg Métis flag Métis people America, North mixed; Michif 1814 Received from Alexander Macdonnell of the North West Company in 1814 and used by the Canadian Métis resistance in the Battle of Seven Oaks (1816).[1]
Flag of Adygea.svg Circassian Flag Circassians Europe, Caucasus Adyghe 1830 Used by Circassians since the 19th century.
Pan-Slavic flag.svg Pan-Slavic colors Slavs Europe, Eastern Indo-European, Slavic 1848 Adopted by the Prague Slavic Congress, 1848, used as the ethnic flag of Sorbs, Moravians and other Slavic-speaking minorities.
Flag of Acadia.svg Flag of Acadia Acadians America, North Indo-European, Romance, French 1884 Adopted at the Second Acadian National Convention held in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, on 15 August 1884.
Flag of the Basque Country.svg Ikurriña Basque people Europe, West Basque 1895 Designed in 1894 for the province of Biscay, adopted in 1895 by "Euzkeldun Batzokija" (predecessor of the Basque Nationalist Party), adopted it as the flag of the Basque Autonomous Region in 1936, prohibited in Franco Spain 1938–1977, official adoption as the flag of the Basque Country in 1978.
Flag of Israel.svg Flag of Zion Jews Asia, Western Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Hebrew 1898 Introduced as the flag of Zionism at the Second Zionist Congress held in Switzerland in 1898; adopted as the state flag of Israel in 1948.
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Flag of the Arab Revolt Arabs Asia, Western Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Arabic 1917 Introduced as the flag of the Arab nationalist revolt against the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hejaz in 1917. It became the basis of a number of flags using the Pan-Arab colors later in the 20th century.
Flag of the Crimean Tatar people.svg Crimean Tatar flag Crimean Tatars Europe, Eastern Turkic, Crimean Tatar 1917 Introduced under the Crimean People's Republic (November 1917), now used as ethnic flag.[2]
Flag of the UNIA.svg Pan-African flag Black Africans Africa 1920 Adopted in 1920 by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, now used in Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism.
Flag of Swedish-speaking Finns.svg Flag of the Swedish-speaking Finns Finland-Swedes Europe, Northern Indo-European, Germanic, Swedish 1922 Used by the Swedish People's Party of Finland from 1922, based on a 1917 design.[3]
Flag of Livonia.svg Flag of Livonians Livonians Europe, Northern Finnic, Livonian 1923 Used by Livonian Society (Līvõd Īt) in 1923.
Flag of the Korean National Association.svg Flag of the Koreans Koreans Asia Korean 1928 Designed by Yong-man Park.
Flag of Kurdistan.svg Flag of the Kurds Kurds, Kurdish irredentism Asia, Western Indo-European, Iranian, Kurdish 1927 Used by the Republic of Ararat in 1927, based on earlier designs used in the 1890s revolt.
Flag of the race.svg Hispanic flag Hispanidad, La Raza Americas Indo-European, Romance, Spanish 1932 Winning entry in a contest organized by Juana de Ibarbourou in 1932.
Flag of the Romani people.svg Flag of the Romani people Romani people Europe Indo-European, Indo-Aryan, Romani 1933 Introduced by the General Union of the Roma of Romania in 1933, adopted at the First World Romani Congress in 1971.
Malay tricolour.svg Malay tricolour Malay people, Malayness Asia, Southeast Austronesian, Malay 1946 Introduced by the United Malays National Organisation (1946).
Flag of Druze.svg Druze flag Druze Levant, West Asia West Asian, 1948 Adopted by the Druze Mental Chiefdom based on "Five Limits Star Druze Star.
Flag of Biafra.svg Flag of Biafra Igbo people Africa, West Niger-Congo, Igbo 1967 Flag of the irredentist Republic of Biafra, after 1970 used as ethnic flag.[4]
Flag of Assyria.svg Assyrian flag Assyrian people (Syriac Christians) Asia, Western Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Aramaic 1971 A 1968 design adopted by the Assyrian Universal Alliance in 1971.
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Australian Aboriginal Flag Aboriginal Australians Australia Australian 1971 Designed in 1971, given official recognition by the Australian authorities in 1995.
Flag of the Cherokee Nation.svg Flag of the Cherokee Nation Cherokee Nation America, North Iroquoian 1978 Approved by the Tribal Council in 1978, altered in 1989 (addition of a black star).
Choctaw flag.svg Flag of the Choctaw Nation Choctaw Nation America, North Muskogean, Western 1970s Originally adopted in 1861 in a different variant during the United States Civil War, approved by the Tribal Council in the 1970s, altered in the late 1980s to present form.
Bandera Mapuche Wüñellfe.jpg Flag of the Mapuches.svg Flag of the Mapuches Mapuche Nation America, South Araucanian, Mapudungun 16th-17th century; 1991 Original adopted during the Arauco War between the Mapuche and the Spaniards; a simple blue field with a white Guñelve (Mapudungun: Wünelfe) star centered, representing the canelo tree. The modern rendition approved by Aukiñ Wallmapu Ngulam, also known as Council of All Lands, in 1991. It was chosen in a contest of 500 entries, and is called Wenufoye (in Mapudungun "The Heaven's Winter's Bark"); however, instead of the Guñelve star, a Kultrum (Mapuche drum) is centered.
Easter Island flag 1876 to 1888.png Flag of Rapa Nui, Chile.svg Flag of the Rapa Nui people Rapa Nui Oceania, Chilean Polynesia Polynesian, Eastern 13th century, 1876-1888, 2006 Original adopted in the 13th century, and was used during the Treaty of the Annexation of the Island by Chile in 1888; modern rendition approved by the local council in May 2006. It is called "Te Reva Reimiro", or "The Reimiro flag" referencing the symbol which was worn by the island's arikis (or kings).
ArameanFlag.png Aramean-Syriac flag Aramaeans (Syriac Christians) Asia, Western Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Aramaic 1980 Used by the Bahro Suryoyo journal in 1980.
Sami flag.svg Sami flag Sami people Europe, Northern Finnic, Sami 1986 Adopted by the 13th Nordic Sami Conference on 15 August 1986.
Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg Tino Rangatiratanga flag Maori Oceania, New Zealand Austronesian, Maori 1990 Designed in 1990 and made the subject of an activist campaign until its official recognition by New Zealand authorities in 2009.
Link to file Torres Strait Islander flag Torres Strait Islanders Australia Creole, Torres Strait Island 1992 Recognised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission in June 1992, granted official status Australia in 1995.
Flag of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia.svg Flag of Bosnian Croats Bosnian Croats Europe, Balkans Croat 1992 Used by the Bosnian Croats since 1992.
Flag of the Merina people.svg Flag of Merina people Merina people Africa, Madagascar Malagasy 1997 Since 1997.[5]
Berber flag.svg Berber flag Berbers Africa, North Afro-Asiatic, Berber 1998 Adopted by the World Amazigh Congress based on 1970s proposals by the Berber Academy.
Chaldean Flag.jpg Chaldean Flag Chaldean Christians Asia, Western Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Aramaic 1999 Approved by the International Chaldean Association of Professional Visual Artists and various other Chaldean organisations.[6] Designed by Amer Fatuhi.
Flag of the Hopi.png Flag of the Hopi Nation Hopi people America, North Uto-Aztecan 2002 [7]
Coptic flag.svg Coptic flag Copts Africa, North Afro-Asiatic, Coptic 2005 This flag is not recognized by the Coptic Orthodox Church or the Coptic Catholic Church but is used by a New Zealand-based movement called "The Free Copts" as a sign of opposition to Islamic authority in Egypt.[8]
Flag of the Turkic Council.svg Flag of Turkic peoples Turkic peoples Asia Turkic 2009 Used by the Turkic Council since 2009.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Symbols and Traditions". Métis Nation of Ontario. Archived from the original on 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  2. ^ Jaume Olle', Crimea: The Tatars (Ukraine), Flags of the World — (10 July 2000). "adopted November 1917, abolished January 1918" (Jaumé Olle, Historical Flags, 1998).
  3. ^ "Svenska Brevmärken 1922" (in Swedish). Svenska Centralarkivet. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  4. ^ Minahan, James (2002). Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: S-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 762. ISBN 0-313-32384-4.
  5. ^ Merina local flag (Madagascar). Flags of the World (2015-05-20). Retrieved on 2017-10-17.
  6. ^ "Chaldean Flag ... from A to Z". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  7. ^ Donald T. Healy, Peter J. Orenski, Native American Flags University of Oklahoma Press (2003), 92–94.
  8. ^ "The Coptic Flag, Meanings and Colors by The Free Copts". Archived from the original on 2007-01-14. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 

External links[edit]



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