Morocco is a nation with a rich history and exotic scenic wonders. It is situated at the northern tip of Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. The history of the nation contains numerous tales from various eras, with influences from both European and Arabian cultures. Morocco’s history has been reflected in its flag in every phase of its dizzying back-and-forth timetable of conflict, colonization, freedom, and religious practice.
The Moroccan flag comprises a red field with a green star in the middle. But a closer examination of this design’s symbolic importance and Morocco’s history with flags paints a more comprehensive picture. So what is the story behind the Moroccan flag? In this article, we will uncover the history of the Moroccan flag and discuss its symbolism and meaning along the way.
Introduction to the Flag of Morocco
With a width-to-length ratio of 2:3, the Moroccan flag is composed of a red field with a black-bordered green pentagram star in the center. Red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, and both colors can be found in the flag of neighboring Algeria and the flag of Western Sahara, even though the use of red is more closely correlated with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Moreover, red has considerable historic significance in Morocco, proclaiming the descent of the royal Alaouite family from the Prophet Muhammad via Fatima, the wife of Ali, the fourth Muslim Caliph.
History of the Moroccan Flag
The first flag to be hoisted in Morocco consisted of a simple white field and belonged to the Idrisid Dynasty in the late 8th century. Because it was the first dynasty to unify the country under Islam, it was recognized as the father of Morocco until late in the 10th century.
The Almoravid Dynasty, which ruled from the middle of the 11th century to the middle of the 12th century (1040 to 1147), retained the white background of the flag but had an Arabic text added at the center.
The Almohad Caliphate was the first to adopt a flag with a red background. The flag had a checkered black and white square at the center. Although the red background of the flag was retained after the Marinid Dynasty took over in 1244, the patterned square was removed. However, a golden-bordered rectangle was added, and an eight-pointed star derived from a combination of two squares was introduced into the center of the rectangle.
In 1666, the Alaouite Dynasty ruled the state and adopted a new flag with a plain red field, which was used until 1912, when France and Spain took over. From then until 1956, the flag featured a red background with a green five-pointed star in the middle. Because the northern part of the country was under Spanish rule, their flag was different. It consisted of a red background with a green-white bordered flag at the upper left corner and a white pentagram located within the green field.
In 1955, French and Spanish rule came to an end after the Sultan of Morocco, Sultan Muhammad V, returned from his exile. He announced the end of the Spanish and French rule in the Capital of Rabat. The current flag of Morocco was adopted in 1956 as the new flag.
The Meaning Behind the Moroccan Flag
The red background of the flag represents a strong spiritual connection between God and the Moroccan people. In Morocco, the color red represents sturdiness, power, the strength of character, bravery, and tenacity.
The Moroccan flag features an interconnected green pentagram, which stands in for the Seal of Solomon, as a nod to its Islamic heritage. The star represents wisdom, long life, and good health.
The Moroccan flag’s five-pointed star stands for the five Islamic tenets that form the foundation of a Muslim’s life and the five obligatory deeds that every Muslim must perform.
The five points of the star signify:
1. The Shahada (Attestation or Certification):
The Shahada is the Arabic term for the declaration of faith in one God and His messenger. It’s how you demonstrate to the outside world that you hold a spiritual belief. The Arabic term “la llaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah,” which translates as “There is only one true God and Muhammad is Allah’s messenger,” expresses one of the central tenets of Islam. To be deemed a follower of Islam, one must abandon idol worship and polytheism and have this abandonment witnessed by two others.
The crescent moon, which stands for prayer, is one of the stars on the Moroccan flag. Each person should be able to communicate with Allah directly without needing any sort of intermediary. Believers are required to pray five times a day in remembrance of Solomon’s vow of submission and surrender before God. A qualified Qur’anic scholar chosen by the entire community must lead these prayers. These prayers must always be directed toward Mecca, whether offered in a mosque or elsewhere.
The Moroccan flag’s inclusion of this star symbolizes the nation’s commitment to aiding the less fortunate. 2.5% of each believer’s yearly income is donated to the most vulnerable and helpless among us.
During Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, Muslims practice fasting. The flag of Morocco is also flown during this time. Fasting is an extraordinary form of self-purification that aids in developing self-control and broadens compassion for those hungry. Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and engaging in sexual activities during this time. Faithful Muslims end their fast with dinner around sunset after a day of fasting.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. The Hajj is represented by the crescent at the star’s end on Morocco’s flag. Additionally, it is the responsibility of every Muslim who is financially and physically capable of making this trip. To level socioeconomic disparities among believers, the irham, a basic white two-piece, is the mandatory clothing in Mecca.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/VanReeel
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- Wikipedia (1970) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Morocco#:~:text=The green star represents the,of the ancestors and unity.&text=A red field with the,a five-pointed linear star.&text=Red has considerable historic significance,descent from royal 'Alawid dynasty
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