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Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

Last modified: 2006-03-11 by martin karner
Keywords: christian | orthodox | greek orthodox church | oecumenical patriarchy of constantinople | autonomous greek orthodox church | cross (red) | brotherhood of the sepulcher |
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[Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher] by António Martins

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 ταφοϛ (taphos), meaning "tomb" or "sepulcher."

It is possible that it is actually the flag of the "Brotherhood of the Sepulcher," a monastic organization under the Patriarchate charged with the custody of Greek Orthodox properties in the Holy Land. That would explain the monogram.
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

[Variant] by António Martins

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

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