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Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Last modified: 2013-07-31 by rob raeside
Keywords: greek orthodox church | cross (white) | cross (red) | brotherhood of the sepulcher | tau | phi |
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[Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 August 2010



About the flag

A number of Greek Orthodox institutions in Middle East fly a white flag in what looked like 3:4 proportions with a wide red cross and on the center a monogram of the Greek letters Τ and Φ in yellow. This same monogram appears carved in stone on properties (churches, monasteries, schools) belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. According to Stephen C. Doyle's Pilgrim's New Guide to the Holy Land the monogram represents the Greek word ταφος (taphos), meaning "tomb" or "sepulcher."
Joseph McMillan, 27 April 2000

The Taphos flag is indeed the flag of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher. The Brotherhood and the Patriarchate are essentially the same organization and so the Taphos is used as the symbol of the Patriarchate as well.
Archimandrite Maximos (Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem Patriarchate), 26 July 2004

According to the officials of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the 'T' and 'Φ' of the flag come from the Greek words "Φύλακες Τάφου", meaning "Tomb Guardians".
Dimitris Kiminas, 21 January 2012


Variant Flags

[Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 August 2010

I saw the flag not only in Jerusalem but flying above a Greek Orthodox boys' school in Madaba, Jordan.
In one case, the colors were reversed (red flag with white cross and red monogram). At a number of these sites, the Greek national flag was also flying.
Joseph McMillan, 27 April 2000

[Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 August 2010

When looking on Google Earth, I came across this photograph of the Church there, where one can see a flag: http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/7366928.jpg (located in Qasr al-Yahud, Jesus baptismal site). The central monogram is gold.
Esteban Rivera, 11 August 2010

After I cropped, rotated, and squeezed this flag photo to eliminate the perspective effect (trusting that both cross arms are
the same width), I realize that this flag is 2:3, and not longer as the photo seems to show.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 August 2010


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