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Syrian Orthodox Church

Last modified: 2006-03-11 by martin karner
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[Patriarch flag] by António Martins-Tuválkin

At there is a description of a visit by the Patriarch of Antioch to his loyalists in India (the Malankara Jacobite Syrian), including: "...His Holiness and the accompanying metropolitans were taken to Shanmukhananda Hall at Sion (the largest hall in Asia) in a convoy of about 100 cars, lead by a pilot jeep bearing the patriarchal flag." At the bottom of the page is a large photo of the Patriarch and his Catholicos (not the one of the rival faction) in front of a flag. The flag is draped so that not all is in view. It has red and yellow sections at least, possibly another color too at the fly end, and some emblem in black. I do not know what this flag is- the patriarchal flag alluded appears to be different if the image cited below is reliable. Perhaps it is another church flag; according to "All along the MC Road, the faithful gathered on either side waving Church flags to catch a glimpse of His Holiness." Also at,5352.0.html there are a number of other references to hoisting of the patriarchal flag. And at there is a photo of the hoisting of the patriarchal flag, but it is so grainy I cannot discern much about the flag except that it has a large gold area (I think the red cross there is attached to the building in the background and is not part of the flag). And at there is a much clearer photo, but only of half the flag. Here again it seems to be mostly, or entirely, gold. At there is a much better photo of the patriarchal flag, and although there are still a few folds so that we cannot see 100% of the flag, it again appears to be solid gold or yellow. And at it is reported that at a patriarchal ceremony "the crowd of about 2,000 people waved yellow flags" and at is a photo of the crowd with what appear to be yellow pennants.
Ned Smith, 7 March 2005

Other examples of the Syrian Orthodox Church flag can be found at:

  •, taken during a Patriarchal visit to Melbourne, Australia. Here the emblem can be seen better, and it does look like a patriarchal symbol.
  • the background at gives a larger view of the emblem. It has the patriarchal staff and patriarchal cross, and a pair of keys- all of which suggest that it is the Patriarch's office being represented by the emblem, but perhaps it is meant to symbolize the entire church being under the Patriarch.
  • shows a photo of a flag taken during the visit of Queen Sophie of Spain to Aleppo, Syria, in 2004.  Notice this flag is vertically divided and lacks the keys. It raises the question of what the difference is, if any, in the significance of the two variants (and also if there are further variants).

Ned Smith, 13 May 2005

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