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Ottoman Empire: Flags depicted in a Dutch chart - 19th century

Last modified: 2011-11-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: crescent (white) | star: 6 points (white) | admiral | vice admiral | rear admiral | great admiral | egypt | zulfikar | anchor: horizontal (white) | disks: 3 (white) | civil ensign |
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Presentation of the chart

A colour plate showing twelve flags, with Dutch captions, is illustrated in Smith (1975) [smi75c], page 152. Smith's caption is:

In the ninetienth century, Egyptian flags were basically the same as those of the Ottoman Empire.

All stars are six-pointed; on another picture on the same page of the book, a "ninetienth century Egyptian flag captured in battle by the British" seems also to have six-pointed stars, with a vertical orientation. All crescent do not have the same size. I reversed the images to show the hoist on viewer's left. The Dutch captions have been translated by Jarig Bakker.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Governmental ensign on board

[Governmental

Government flag on board of [unreadable], hoisted on the mizzenmast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with a white crescent and star.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Ensign of the Imperial Family

[Imperial

Flag of the Great Ones, in particular Imperial Family (?), hoisted on the main mast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with a white writing.
The writing on this flag is a poor copy of what appears to say in Arabic "Struck in Egypt, 1222 (or 1333?)". I cannot imagine that such a message would be inscribed on a flag of any sort, much less that of the Ottoman royal family. It is, however, found on the reverse of most, if not all, Egyptian or Ottoman coins minted in Cairo from the 19th century and some centuries before. That this inscription was copied from a coin would also account for the presence of a year at the bottom, something that would be highly unlikely on a flag of this sort. I suspect someone who couldn't read Arabic or Ottoman Turkish wanted to supply an inscription and found the clearest one he could find on a coin.

Muhammad Tahhan (Ph.D. candidate in history), 25 June 2000


Standard of Mehemet Ali

[Mehemet

Mehemet Ali, hoisted on the main mast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red, with two white crescent and stars placed vertically along the hoist and a bigger white crescent and star placed near the hoist. This is a wrong representation of Mehmet Ali's Khedive flag.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Admiral of Egypt

[Admiral

Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the main mast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with a large white crescent with two white stars placed vertically and a larger star placed near the hoist.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Vice Admiral of Egypt

[Vice-Admiral

Vice Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the foremast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is similar to the Admiral's flag, but with only the crescent and two stars, placed in the middle of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Rear Admiral of Egypt

[Rear-Admiral

Rear Admiral of Egypt, hoisted on the mizzenmast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is similar to the Vice-Admiral's flag, but with only one star.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Great Admiral of the Porte

[Great-Admiral

Great Admiral of the Porte, hoisted on the main mast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with a white emblem, which is probably an approximative representation of the Zulfikar sword.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Admiral of the Porte

[Admiral

Admiral of the Porte, hoisted on the main mast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with an unidentified white device.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Vice Admiral of the Porte

[Vice-Admiral

Vice-Admiral of the Porte, hoisted on the foremast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with a white anchor placed horizontally.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Rear Admiral of the Porte

[Rear-Admiral

Rear Admiral of the Porte, hoisted on the mizzenmast - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999

The flag is red with three white discs placed in a triangular pattern near the hoist.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 1999


Merchant ensigns

[Merchant         [Merchant

Merchant flag, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 29 March 2001

The first flag is plain red, the second one is horizontally divided red-green-red.
Smith [smi75c] says:

The Ottoman flag in the 19th century normally bore a white star and crescent on its red field, although both Turkish and Egyptian ships very frequently displayed the old, plain red ensign. [...] Muslims used a green stripe through their red civil ensign.

Ivan Sache, 29 March 2001


 
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