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Afghanistan since August 2021

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Last modified: 2024-01-27 by ian macdonald
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In August 2021, the internationally recognized Government of Afghanistan fell during the Fall of Kabul, resulting in mass-evacuations of civilians, government workers and soldiers. The Taliban took over and restored the name to “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” while the U.N and others proceeded to keep relations with the exiled Islamic State of Afghanistan.

Vexillologically, two sets of flags are found in use - one set harks back to the various flags of the previous Islamic Republic and demonstrate some opposition to the Taliban. The other set are used by the Taliban.
BlinxCat 3 January 2022

Taliban Opposition

[Afghanistan (Transitional Authority)] 2:3; image by Juan Manuel Villascan
Flag adopted 4 January 2004.
Date on flag: 1298 = 1919 C.E.

While the Taliban did indeed use their flag as the national flag and introduced variants to be used, it did not stop others from using the former national flag and tricolors derived from it.

The flag above, a tricolor of black-red-green with the classic national emblem in the center band, overlapping onto the black and green, of the (former) Islamic State of Afghanistan is still widely used by most civilians in opposition to the Taliban government. It does not appear to be fully outlawed although its use alone can result in some retribution from Taliban-aligned troops.
BlinxCat 3 January 2022

Reported variations in the appearance of the flag

[Afghanistan (Transitional Authority)] image by BlinxCat, 24 November 2021

Because of the ongoing political conflict, flags are affected and many are incorrectly made -a form of “unstable vexillology.” Many variants of the Islamic Republic's flag exist; the one with a smaller central emblem nd is somewhat common and slightly matches that of the 2002-2004 flag. See photo.
BlinxCat 3 January 2022

 [Afghanistan (Transitional Authority)] [Afghanistan] [Afghanistan] images by BlinxCat, 24 November 2021

Also seen are many variants of black-red-green tricolors, with both horizontal and vertical stripes (see photo).
BlinxCat 3 January 2022

[Afghanistan]  [Afghanistan] images by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

These two flags are variants of the Islamic Republic’s flag but lacking the wording on the upper part of the emblem, replaced with a sunny glow or nothing at all, therefore resembling that of the Kingdom of Afghanistan, example here: photo.
BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

[Afghanistan] images by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

Of course, there are always some versions with a gold or bronze emblem, this problem dates far back to the Transitional Administration era where some would choose silver or golden colored emblems, example here.
BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan on Sunday [20 March 2022] issued a decree banning the official tricolour flag of the internationally recognised Afghan government (black, red, green) and replaces it with the white coloured flag of the Islamic emirate. Under the decree, all government agencies in the country and abroad must now use the white-coloured Taliban flag with a black-ink Islamic scripture reading "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet," Sputnik News Agency reported. The decree prohibits the Taliban officials to appear in public with the tricolour Afghan flag.
   The development comes weeks after the Taliban ordered the residents of Khost province in Afghanistan to remove the Afghan national flag from the rooftops of their houses and their vehicles.The Afghan people had been requesting the Taliban not to change the flag as it belongs to no leader and faction, but to the nation, Khaama press had reported. Notably, the leaders of the Islamic Emirate have been making extensive attempts to achieve international recognition. Taliban's acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi on Friday said that the Islamic Emirate is inclusive and has fulfilled all the requirements and it should be recognized by the international community, reported Tolo News.
   Last year, in August, the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan and established an interim government led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who had served as the foreign minister during the first Taliban rule in the late 1990s.
The new authorities have not yet been internationally recognized even though the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the country's name used by the Taliban) was declared restored in December. The coming of the Taliban to power has given rise to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, with UN agencies estimating that more than 50 per cent of the country's population is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. (ANI)
William Garrison, 23 March 2022

Second Resistance flags

[Afghanistan Dec.1992-Sep.1996] image by Jaume Ollé

The 1992-2002 Flag has also gained renewed interest, mainly in the Panjshir Valley and the “Second Resistance” example is here. There are many other Panjshir flags too, the most common is the Black-White-Green tricolor which can be seen almost everywhere (see photo).
BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

[Afghanistan]  [Afghanistan] image by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

These flags are the most common, the 1992-2002 flag is the main inspiration for it with the difference being the lack of a emblem, example here: photo.
BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

Taliban and Pro-Taliban flags

[Shahada (Afghanistan)]  image by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

This is the current flag of the Taliban and Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Flags seen now in Afghanistan have a slightly different script from the flag used in 1996-2001 (see photo).

[Afghanistan]  image by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

The flag here is a supposedly official variant of the National Flag, it has the words “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” written below (see photo).

[Afghanistan]  image by BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

This flag is supposedly a Military or Army flag for the Islamic Emirate, some say it is a placeholder flag for the Taliban-controlled provinces but a example of one of these flags can be seen in this photo.
BlinxCat, 3 January 2022

Another variation shows the Islamic "shahada" slogan is about double the size of the national "coat of arms".
c. 5 Nov 2021. [Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters]
William Garrison, 23 March 2022