The official flag of Morocco features a bold red background with a green pentagram in the center. This iconic design is full of history and symbolism representing Moroccan culture, heritage, and identity.
The Moroccan flag has become a recognizable national symbol since its adoption following the country’s independence in 1956. However, the flag’s origins and meanings trace back hundreds of years through various dynasties and regimes that have ruled Morocco over the centuries.
Understanding the flag’s unique background provides insight into Moroccan national identity and pride. Read on to learn the fascinating story behind the Moroccan flag and what its colors, shapes, and patterns represent.
What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag Represent?
The most striking feature of the Moroccan flag is its bold red background, which covers the entire canvas.
Red has long been associated with the ruling Alaouite dynasty and formerly represented the Sharifian Empire ruled by Moroccan sultans. The color red in the flag symbolizes hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor.
At the flag’s center is a green pentagram, a five-pointed star. This star represents the Seal of Solomon, a revered symbol in Moroccan culture that has origins dating back centuries.
The pentagram symbol is believed to ward off evil and danger. Its green color represents love, nature, and Islam.
Moreover, the five branches of the pentagram also represent the pillars of Islam: Profession of Faith (shahada), Prayer (salat), Alms (zakat), Fasting (sawm), and Pilgrimage (hajj).
Together, the red and green reflect the national colors of Morocco and evoke the country’s cultural identity. Red and green have been used on Moroccan banners, flags, and symbols for hundreds of years.
The Moroccan flag reaffirms these traditional national colors in a modern, simple design.
When Was the Current Flag of Morocco Adopted?
The current flag of Morocco was formally adopted on November 17, 1955, shortly before the country gained independence from French and Spanish rule on March 2, 1956).
Morocco’s first flag was hoisted in 1915 during World War I when the country was under French and Spanish protectorate. This early flag had a green field with a red five-pointed star in the center.
The flag went through several variations over the ensuing decades. Just before independence, the Sultan of Morocco, Sultan Mohammed V worked with Moroccan nationalists to design the new flag.
The new flag features the iconic solid red background and single green pentagram that Moroccans proudly fly today.
What is the History and Meaning of the Red Background?
The bold red background of the flag carries deep meaning relating to the country’s history and culture.
Red has long represented the ruling Alaouite dynasty of the Moroccan region. It was featured on royal banners and flags for centuries.
Some historians believe the red background dates back to the time of the Idrisid Dynasty, which ruled Morocco from 788 to 974 CE.
According to legend, King Idris I carried a red banner with a crescent and star into battle when his Zanata Berber tribe entered Morocco in the 8th century.
Red flags and banners later became symbols of the ruling Alaouite sultans and the Sharifian Empire during the 16th to 19th centuries.
When modern Morocco gained independence in 1956, red was an obvious color choice to represent the new Moroccan nation.
What Does the Green Star Represent in the Morocco Flag?
At the center of the flag, the green five-pointed star is one of the most distinctive elements of the Moroccan flag.
This star represents the Seal of Solomon, an ancient signet ring symbol said to have been owned by King Solomon. The Solomon Seal has origins in Amazigh, Jewish, Islamic, and Western occult traditions.
In Moroccan culture, the Solomon Seal is seen as a protective emblem and a symbol of power and good fortune. It features prominently on the national flag as well as in art, architecture, and decorations across Morocco.
The specific star design used on the flag is called a pentagram, a five-sided star.
The green color has multiple symbolic meanings. In Morocco, green has represented nature, fertility, life, and Islam. As the color of Islam, green ties into the Muslim identity of most Moroccans.
The green pentagram brings together layers of meaning in Moroccan history, culture, identity, and faith.
Morocco Flag Color Codes
How Has the National Flag Changed Over Time?
Morocco’s national flag underwent several changes across the early 20th century before arriving at today’s widely recognized design.
As foreign powers vied for control of Morocco, different flags were used by French colonists and Spanish colonists.
When Morocco first formally established its own national flag in 1915 during World War I, it consisted of a plain green field with a red five-pointed star. Green represented Islam and red symbolized the ruling Moroccan sultan.
In 1937, a crescent and star symbol was added in the corner to represent the Sultan. In 1955, the red star was placed against a solid red background creating an early version of today’s flag.
Just before independence in 1956, the final pentagram design was adopted as the national flag.
What Flag Did Morocco Have Under French and Spanish Rule?
From 1912 to 1956, Morocco was under the joint control of France and Spain as French and Spanish protectorates. During this period, colonizers used flags that represented Morocco as part of their own empires.
The French flag for the French protectorate of Morocco from 1912 to 1955 consisted of the French tricolor with a green crescent and star in the white section of the flag. This demonstrated France’s dominion over Morocco as its colonial holding.
Under Spanish rule from 1912 to 1956, northern Morocco flew a Spanish colonial flag consisting of two horizontal stripes, red over yellow, with the Spanish coat of arms in the center. This flag clearly conveyed Spain’s occupation of parts of Morocco.
These colonial flags denied Morocco independent national symbolism. The modern Moroccan national flag was created intentionally to reassert Moroccan identity when the country gained independence in 1956.
What Does the Moroccan Flag Mean to Moroccans Today?
Today, the red flag with the green pentagram stands as the foremost national symbol representing Morocco and its people.
For Moroccans, the flag embodies cultural heritage, national autonomy, and a spirit of pride, strength, and perseverance. The flag’s colors, shapes, and symbols connect directly to Morocco’s long dynastic history and indelible cultural identity.
Moroccans rallied under these meanings during the independence movement of the early 1950s, making the flag a powerful representation of modern Moroccan national sovereignty.
When Moroccans see the flag flying high, they feel a profound connection to their shared roots, values, land, and destiny. The flag represents everything Moroccans have overcome together and the bright future ahead.
Conclusion: An Enduring National Symbol
In conclusion, the Moroccan flag is one of the most meaningful national symbols of the modern era. Its blood-red background and ancient star emblem speak to centuries of culture and generations who fought for independence.
As Morocco forges ahead, its flag will continue inspiring patriotism and national unity.
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The main points to remember are:
- The red background represents the Alaouite dynasty and the red flags of Moroccan sultans
- The green pentagram is the Seal of Solomon, a protective symbol in Moroccan culture
- Red and green are traditional Moroccan national colors dating back centuries
- The current flag was adopted shortly before independence from France and Spain in 1956
- Over time, the flag transformed from green with a red star to today’s iconic red with a green star on the Moroccan flag
- The flag embodies Moroccan cultural identity and national sovereignty