The Flag of Hejaz

Perhaps ironically, this flag was designed by Mark Sykes (of Sykes-Picot fame). Although for many modern day Arabs, his name has become synomous with betraying Arab aspirations and laying the foundations of the Jewish state, in reality he was a keen advocate of Arab self-rule and government and was key behind advocating British support to Arab rulers like Hussein and Feisal during the Arab Revolt. He died of influenza and so was unable to push forward his ideas on Arab self rule in the region.

The colours of the flag, black, white, green, and red — were meant to symbolize the past glory of Moslem Arab empires and to suggest that Hussein offered continuity to the empires of the past. Hussein's only modification of the design was to change the hue of the red. Sykes ordered the flags to be made up by the British military supply offices in Egypt. From there they were delivered to the Hejaz forces and hoisted up every town that they captured or occupied.

The white and green of the flag were swapped around c1921 making it look more like the modern Palestinian Flag and similar to many other flags of the region which are largely descended from this design.

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by Stephen Luscombe