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Al-Urdun, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Al-Mamlaqa al-Urduniyya al-Hashimiyya

Last modified: 2005-02-19 by santiago dotor
Keywords: jordan | transjordan | triangle: hoist (red) | star: 7 points | koran | hashemite | canton on fly | arab league | league of arab states |
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[Jordan] 1:2
by Željko Heimer
Flag adopted 16th April 1928, coat-of-arms adopted 25th May 1946

See also:


Adopted on April 16th, 1928. The 7 point star refers to the first 7 verses of the Koran (Islamic holy book).

David Kendall, 4 October 1996

From the King Hussein Official Website:

The flag symbolizes the Kingdom's roots in the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, as it is adapted from the revolt banner. The black, white and green bands represent the Arab Abbasid, Umayyad and Fatimid dynasties respectively, while the crimson triangle joining the bands represents the Hashemite dynasty. The seven-pointed Islamic star set in the center of the crimson triangle represents the unity of Arab peoples in Jordan.

Ivan Sache, 29 December 1998

It is not only based on the flag of the Arab Revolt of 1916. The leader of the revolt, Hussein, is the great grand-father of the today king of Jordan who is named after him. Today's king is Hussein Ib'n Talal Ib'n Abdalla Ib'n Hussein [deceased 7th February 1999]. The former Iraqi kings came from the same family [the Hashemites].

Dov Gutterman, 29 December 1998

I seem to recall that the seven points in the Hashemite star stand for the Fatiha, the first seven verses or Surahs of the Quran.

Santiago Dotor, 6 November 2000

Flag Usage

In March and April 1997 I visited Syria and Jordan. In contrast to Syria, Jordan uses a lot of flags for different purposes. This results from the long British influence there — whereas Syria was influenced by France. Another difference between Syria and Jordan is that in Syria you can find horizontally and vertically hanging flags, differing proportions of length to width, different dimensions of the stars etc., whereas in Jordan all the flags conform to certain regulations (e.g. proportions 1:2).

Marcus Schmöger, 24 November 1997

There seems to be no question about the national flag being used as civil ensign, according to both Smith 1982 and Album des Pavillons 2000. The first source also marks it as state ensign. I guess Album des Pavillons 2000 dismissed the use as state ensign having no proof of that usage, but what do the Jordani state-owned vessels fly? Possibly the police boats fly the blue ensign, but FotW only mentions the use of that blue flag on land.

Željko Heimer, 5 March 2002


[Coat-of-Arms (Jordan)]
from the King Hussein I Official Website

From the King Hussein I Official Website:

"The crown symbolizes the system of monarchy. The sash upon which the crown is placed symbolizes the Hashemite throne. Its scarlet color represents sacrifice, while the white inner background symbolizes purity.

"The two flags are the flags of the Great Arab Revolt. The eagle in the center of the coat of arms symbolizes power, might and loftiness. The eagle is perched on the globe, and his wings touch the two flags of the Great Arab Revolt. The blue color of the globe symbolizes the spread of Islam across the world.

"The bronze shield in front of the globe represents the defense of truth and right in the world. The spears, swords, bows and arrows are traditional Arab weapons.

"Below the shield to the left are three branches of wheat, and to the right is a palm branch. Stretching down from between the wheat and palm branches is the highest Jordanian medal, the decorative order of al-Nahda.

"Above the al-Nahda medal are three phrases inscribed on a golden ribbon. In the middle: King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. To the right: Al-Hussein bin Talal bin Aoun (Aoun, one of the Hashemite patriarchs, was great great-grandfather of Sherif Hussein)."

Santiago Dotor, 10 January 1999

National Flag Canton on the Fly?

In Pedersen 1979 (Danish edition), Jordan's Navy, Army and Air Force flags are shown with the national flag in the upper fly, and with the triangle at the outer edge of the flag. The images made me think 'It must be a mistake. The national flag should be in the canton.' Is Pedersen mistaken, or are Jordanian flags just very odd?

Ole Andersen, 29 April 1998

Actually neither. We who read from left to right believe that the wind blows from left to right; at least, that's how we picture our flags. In countries where people write from right to left —in Arabic, for example— they show the flags flying from right to left. This convention is sometimes referred to as sinister hoist. Jordan's armed forces ensigns have the national flag in canton, with the triangle at hoist. Some books show such a flag with a bit of flagpole next to it, as a hint. Others don't.

John Ayer, 29 April 1998

I believe that that's the old problem with different tastes in representing flags in western and arabic countries. We like representing them with the hoist to the left, and they like it better the other way around. So, in our ways, the flag you describe is a mirror image of what is really flying.

Jorge Candeias, 29 April 1998

Jorge Candeias is exactly correct. When a Jordanian flag flies from a pole, it looks just like what we would expect: i.e. in an ensign, the national flag in the canton, next to the pole. I know this from first-hand experience: I lived in Syria for two years and visited Jordan on numerous occasions. However, when they describe it officially, they work from the fly to the hoist (i.e. backwards to us); I've always assumed that this is simply in accordance with the way people naturally do things in an Arab culture — don't forget, they read/write from right to left (which seems backwards to users of Latin scripts), as well as open books from what we would consider to be the last page/back-cover. (Hebrew, of course, is the same.) If one looks at Smith 1975 he indicates this fact through a symbol above the Jordanian flag with the pole to the right.

Glen Robert-Grant Hodgins, 29 April 1998

That explanation would work, if Pedersen did not include a bit of flagpole, but he does. He explicitly shows the piece of pole to the left and the triangle to the right. So I guess he has misplaced his pole. Related to all this reading/wind direction/pole placement is the matter of crescents. The waxing moon is believed to be a good omen, while the waning moon is a bad omen. But when we have the pole on the left, we make the moon waning, or decrescent, instead of waxing, or crescent.

Ole Andersen, 30 April 1998

Jordanian UFEs

At the Marine Biological Station in Aqaba there was another flag (unknown to me): a yellow ensign with the Jordani national flag in canton, and an emblem in the fly. The actual flag was quite old and torn, so that about a third of the flag was no longer existent (quite often there is considerable wind there in Aqaba). I only could see the rest of this emblem, and was not able to reconstruct it for making a GIF. If anybody knows about this flag (probably a flag for scientific institutions or something like that), please help me.

Marcus Schmöger, 24 November 1997

On TV last week I was watching a show about the Middle East, and I noticed this flag from Jordan (I believe it was an insurrectionist force from the 70's): It was red, and in the center it had a yellow circle with a symbol in it. I'm assuming this force was USSR-backed.

Georges G. Kovari, 24 March 1999