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Islamic State




Meaning/Origin of the Flag

Numbers and Facts



Flagge flag Islamischer Staat Islamic State IS ISIS ISIL ISIG
War flag,
ratio = 2:3

Flagge flag Islamischer Staat Islamic State IS ISIS ISIL ISIG
(presumed) administrative flag,
ratio = 2:3


Meaning/Origin of the Flag

The flag of the Islamic State is older than the organization or the state itself. It is and was a common symbol nearly of all Islamic forces who are engaged in the holy war. So it is, for example, used by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab and UIC in southern Somalia and Kenya, Ansar Dine in Niger and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. The most commonly sighted flag is the war flag. It is just black, and shows in the upper area the first part of the Shahada, the Islamic creed, in white: "There is no god, except Allah". The bottom area shows an oftenly irregular white disk with an Arabic inscription. This is the seal of Muhammad. The inscription is: "Allah - Prophet - Mohammed" (Mohammed is the prophet of Allah", and it is the second part of the Shahada. Supposedly there is a color-inverted white flag for civil and administrative purposes. The origin of the black and white flag goes allegedly directly back to the Prophet Muhammad. About him is said that he had used two flags, one unmarked white flag, and one unmarked black flag. The black flag was called Rayat al-Uqab (banner of the eagle). In the after Muhammad's death outbreaking succession dispute arised various dynasties that used other and different colors. Red is the colour of Omar, the second calif; white stands for the Umayyad, a calif-dynasty, which goes back to the fifth calif Moawija I.; green stands for the Fatimides, a ismailitic-shiit calif-dynasty, which goes back to the fourth calif Ali; and black stands for the Abbasides, a calif-dynasty, which goes back to the calif Abbas I. Threse Abbasids wrested under their black flag the power over the Islamic empire from the Umayyad dynasty in the 8th century. The colors black and white are today sometimes regarded as the colors of the so-called "rightly guided" caliphs. The Caliphate was ended in 1517, and about 1770 claimed, by the Ottomans, what from 1860 prevailed in the Islamic world. In this way the color red, as the color of the Ottomans, became the color of Islam, but also the color of many Arab-Islamic states. The color black then only played a local role in Central Asia (Khorezm) and in what is now Malaysia. It became more important not until the creation of the Pan-Arab colors, a color quartet of four: green, white, black and red. They were officially introduced by the Sheriff Hussein of Mekka – of the lineage of the Hashemides – as colours of the Arabian Movement during the First World War at the secession of the Kingdom of Hedjas from the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I the caliphate was abolished in 1924. Thereupon arised in the 1950s, the extremist group "Hizb ut-Tahrir", which was of the opinion that the whole world is at the end of the caliphate in a state of war, that is continuing until the re-establishment of the caliphate. The "Hizb ut-Tahrir" used the black flag of Muhammad, which thus become to the model of the flags of the most, today, jihadi Islamic forces. The black cloth represents further the Tawheed, the belief in the unity and uniqueness of God, and for the jihad. In hadiths (lores of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), is written, that the arrival of the Mahdi will be signaled by black banners.

Source: (1)Wikipedia (D), (2)Wikipedia (D), (3)Der Standard, (4)Stern, Nr.38, 11.9.2014, S.52


Numbers and Facts

Area: ca. 60000 square miles (Oct. 2016), ca. 40000 square miles (June 2017), ca. 30.000 square miles (Oct. 2017), ca. 4.500 square miles (Dec. 2017)

Inhabitants: ca. 3.000.000 (Oct. 2016), ca. 2.000.000 (June 2017)

Capital: ar-Raqqah (Rakka), ca. 150.000 inh.

official Language: Arabic

Currency: Gold Dinar

Time Zone: GMT + 2 h



2000 · Abu Musab az-Zarqawi founds the group "Tauhid" in Afghanistan

2003 · Iraq war, fall of Saddam Hussein, fights between Sunnis and Shiites under participation of Islamic-Jihadist groups, also "Tauhid" participates, after the group had to flee from Afghanistan, escalation of violence, "Tauhid" is now called " Al-Qaeda in Iraq "(AQI)

2006 · formation of a by Shiites dominated government in Iraq, Zarqawi is killed by an air strike, the AQI proclaims an "Islamic State in Iraq" (ISI)

2010 · the AQI/ISI, under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, moves to Syria and establishes the al-Nusra Front as an offshoot of al-Qaeda

April 2013 · al-Baghdadi announces the merger of both groups to the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" (ISIS)

2013/2014 · terrain gains in Iraq and Syria

June 2014 · major offensive by ISIS with considerable terrain gains, Mossul is conquered

29th of June in 2014 · the ISIS-Council proclaims its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the Caliph, ISIS renames itself to "Islamic State" (IS)

August 2014 · major offensive of the IS with considerable terrain gains in northern Iraq and the autonomous region Kurdistan and against the Yazidi

September 2014 · an anti-IS coalition, led by the USA, beginns to attack IS positions and provides weapons to Iraqi and Kurdish allies, the IS advance will be halted, but the IS controls until October 2016 around 65.000 km² (25.000 square miles) with about 3 million inhabitants

2014/2015 · battle for Kobane (Ain al-Arab) in northern Syria, Iraqi troops are gradually regaining central Iraq, the IS is in defensive

2015 · Founding of the northeast African terrorist militia "ISSP", which swears allegiance to IS, ISSP = "Islamic State's Sinai Province"

March 2015 · The West African terrorist militia "Boko Haram" swears allegiance to IS, renames itself to ISWAP = "Islamic State's West Africa Province", the ISWAP is continuously expanding its territory and is now operating in Nigeria , Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso

March 2016 · Syrian troops conquer Palmyra

October 2016 to July 2017 · Iraqi troops conquer Mosul

November 2016 · start of an offensive against the IS capital Ar-Raqqah by Kurdish-Arab troops

December 2016 · the IS conquers Palmyra back

March 2017 · Syrian troops conquer Palmyra

June 2017 · Ar-Raqqah is completely surrounded by Kurdish-Arabic troops and is besieged

October 2017 · Ar-Raqqah is completely conquered by Kurdish-Arabic troops

December 2017 · the area of the IS in Syria is limited only to some desert strips in the southeast and some villages in the southwest and north of Syria

23rd of March in 2019 · with Al-Baghuz Fawqani falls the last important town of the IS in Syria

2019 · Founding of the Central African terrorist militia "ISCAP", which swears allegiance to IS, ISCAP = "Islamic State's Central Africa Province", the ISCAP is continuously expanding its territory and is now operating in the eastern part of Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

2020 · the IS still controls about 1.000 km² in central Syria and there are also cells in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Yemen

2021 · IS no longer controls any areas in Syria

Source:, Wikipedia (D),,


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