Morocco Flag: Everything There is to Know

Have you ever wondered about the tale behind the Morocco flag? It ain’t just a basic badge for the nation; it’s a mighty icon that captures the essence of the country’s culture, identity, and history.

As Morocco has developed and transformed throughout the years, its flag has also experienced a few updates. Nevertheless, the flag continues to carry great significance and respect for Moroccans worldwide.

In this article I am going to dive into the enthralling tale of the Morocco flag, uncovering its significance and evolution throughout the years as well as the meaning of its colors.

Morocco Flag

The History Of The Moroccan National Flag

Ever pondered the rich history of flags in Morocco? It’s more than just a Mediterranean country with ancient roots; its flags tell a story of kingdoms and dynasties, each leaving their mark on the nation’s identity.

Way back in the day, around the 4th Century BC, there were the Mauri and later the Numidia. Fast forward to 788, and the Idrisid dynasty hoisted the first flag in Morocco, a simple white field, marking the dawn of the Muslim Sharifi tradition and unification under Islam.

Times changed, and so did the flag. From 1040-1147, the Almoravid regime rolled in, bringing a new flag with a white background and Arabic text at its center. The red background we know today kicked off with the Almohad Caliphate, sporting a checkered black and white square.

In 1244, the Marinid dynasty took over, keeping the red backdrop but adding a golden-bordered rectangle and an eight-pointed star. The Wattasid and Saadi dynasties continued to rock this flag until 1666 when the Alaouite Dynasty switched to a plain red field.

Under French and Spanish rule between 1912 and 1956, the flag took on a new look. The French Protectorate’s flag had a red background and a green five-pointed star, while Spanish Morocco’s flag featured a green-white bordered flag and a white pentagram within the green field.

In the Northern part of Morocco, a 1921 revolt led to the “Confederal Republic of the Tribes of Riffians” and their flag sported a red background with a white diamond, a green crescent, and a six-pointed star inside. Then, in 1923, the Tangier International Zone joined the mix, adding its flag, which had a red background, a green pentagram, and a coat of arms.

In 1956, Tangier was reintegrated into Morocco, and a year before, Sultan Muhammad V returned from exile, announcing the end of French and Spanish rule in a grand speech in Rabat. With a newfound independence, Morocco adopted its current flag in 1956.

But let’s not forget, there was a time when Morocco’s flag was plain white, back when the Marinid and Saadi Dynasties ruled. Even the Star of David made an appearance in gold.

The oldest known flag had a red background and a black-and-white checkered square, way back from the 11th to 13th centuries.

So, the flags of Morocco reveal a rich tapestry of history, reflecting the many chapters in the country’s story, each with its own unique flavor and significance.

Morocco Flag Colors And Their Meaning

Moroccan national Flag

Ever wondered what the colors on the Moroccan flag mean? That red background and green five-pointed star ain’t just there for show. They’ve got a story to tell.

You see, red and green are classic Arab colors, and they’ve got some deep meanings. The red, linked to the descendants of Mohammed, shows off strength, courage, and bravery. It’s tied to the Alawite dynasty and seen as the color of victory on the battlefield. Talk about powerful!

Now, let’s chat about the green five-pointed star. Each point represents one of Islam’s pillars, those essential obligations that shape the life of every Muslim. They’re kind of like a roadmap to living a good Muslim life.

So, these five pillars are like the ultimate guide for Muslims, right?

First up, you’ve got the profession of faith, which is all about believing in Allah and recognizing Muhammad as his main man. Then, there’s praying five times a day, showing devotion and gratitude.

Next is giving alms, and helping out those in need. Fasting during Ramadan comes in at number four, a time for spiritual reflection and self-discipline. And last but not least, if you’re able, take that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mecca, a journey that’s super special for every Muslim.

Moroccans are all about patriotism, so their flag is kind of a big deal. It’s like a beacon of freedom, a shoutout to their epic history, mighty dynasties, and hard-fought independence.

When they catch sight of that red background and green star, it’s like a flashback to their roots and a reminder of what they’re all about.

So, the next time you spot the Moroccan flag, remember it’s more than just a pop of color. It’s a love letter from the Moroccan people to their homeland, celebrating their shared past—a past that’s shaped the country and its flag into the mighty emblem it is today.

Other Flags You Might See In Morocco

Just as a quick recap. Here is a list of flags used in Morocco:

  • The Moroccan national flag
  • The Berber or Amazigh Flag
  • Republic of the Rif flag

1. The Berber or Amazigh Flag

The Amazigh Flag

Have you heard about the Berber or Amazigh flag?

It’s become a pretty big deal for Amazigh folks all over the world, from cultural and political activists to straight-up protestors.

Now, the flag’s not just a one-country thing—it’s got fans in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Egypt, and even the Canary Islands.

The Berber Academy (Agraw Imazighen) first dreamed up the Amazigh flag in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1997 that the World Amazigh Congress made it official at Tafira in the Canary Islands. The Guanches, an ancient Amazigh people, used to live there back in the day.

The flag made its debut in Wadya, a Kabylia town in Tizi Ouzou, a province of Algeria, thanks to a wise elder Algerian Kabylian veteran, Youcef Medkour. The Amazigh flag is all about celebrating the Amazigh people, living together in harmony with their land, Tamazgha.

So, let’s talk colors. The flag’s got blue, green, and yellow horizontal bands, all the same height, plus a Tifinagh letter Yaz or aza.

The blue band is all about the sea, while green reps the Tell and the northern parts of Tamazgha. Yellow stands for the vastness of the desert, and the red Z in the letter aza?

That’s a nod to the Imazighen’s hard-won freedom.

So, there you have it, the Amazigh flag in all its glory—a symbol of pride, strength, and freedom for the Amazigh people, all over the world. To learn more about Amazigh people, visit my previous guide about about Morocco people.

2. Republic of The Rif Flag

Flag Of Republic of The Rif

The Republic of the Rif It’s a democratic state that sprang up during the Moroccan-Canarian War, and it’s all about the northern part of Morocco.

The folks behind it claim to be carrying on the legacy of the confederal republic of the tribes of the Rif, which was born in 1921 and dissolved by a Franco-Spanish invasion in 1926.

Back on September 18, 1921, the Rif locals joined forces to fend off Spanish colonialism. They even whipped up a flag to represent their region in their first-ever attempt to break free from the yoke of colonialism.

Today, you can see that same flag waving in Al Hoceima and its surrounding area, thanks to the Hirak Chaabi, or “popular movement” which started in late October 2016 after the death of fishmonger Mohsine Fikri.

So, what does the flag look like?

It’s got a red background, a green crescent, a green star, and six branches nestled in a white rhombus smack-dab in the middle. And it’s all about celebrating the Rif Republic, which anti-colonial freedom fighter Mohammed Ben Abdelkrim El-Khattabi set up between 1921 and 1926.

For the folks who wave this emblem high, it’s all about celebrating who they are: proud of their land, their language, and their family. It’s a symbol of identity, one that’s rooted deep in their hearts and their history.

Other Historical Flags

Here are some of the historical flags that were used in Morocco:

1. Pre-Arab Flags (before the 8th Century)

Morocco’s history dates back to the first inhabitants, the nomadic Berber tribes. The Phoenicians arrived on the coast around the 12th century BC and founded Carthage (now in Tunisia).

The Romans destroyed Carthage in 146 BC, but their attempts at romanization in Morocco were weak. In the year 429, Morocco was invaded by the Vandals who hailed from Spain. Eventually, the country was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire by Justinian in 534.

2. Early Arab Flags (8th to 9th Century)

At the beginning of the 8th century, the Arab chief Musa bin Nosayr took Tangier, established a governor in the city, and introduced Islam to Morocco. The Berber people embraced Islam, but in 740, they rebelled against Arab rule and established autonomous principalities in the Rif Mountains.

Princes Idris I and Idris II governed all of the Berber tribes, disseminating Sunni Islam among them, and ultimately laid the foundation for the Idrisid dynasty. The Idrisids (789-985) established the city of Fes, their religious, political, and economic capital city.

However, after Idris II’s death, the Idrisid power declined and Morocco was contested between the Fatimids of Ifrikiya (now Tunisia and eastern Algeria) and the Spanish Umayyads.

3. White Flags (9th to 17th Century)

In 1062, the Almoravid Berbers from the Upper Atlas Mountains launched a successful invasion of the southern plains of Morocco.

These Berbers, known as the Almoravids (from Al-Mourabitoun, meaning “the peoples of the ribat” with ribat referring to a military monastery), were led by Sheikh Abdallah Ibn Yasin, and its first ruler was Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, who founded the city of Marrakesh in the same year.

From 1061 to 1147, the Almoravids held sway over northern Africa and Andalusia, and they left a significant mark on Moroccan history. Initially, they imposed strict Islam, but they later relaxed their discipline.

The Almoravide dynasty (1062-1125 AD) marks the beginning of the use of the flag as a symbol of the state in Morocco. Before this period, white silk banners with Koranic inscriptions were occasionally used in battle.

However, the Almoravides formalized this practice and distributed one banner to every unit of 100 soldiers. The leaders also carried one banner inscribed with the message “There is no god but god, and Mohammad is his Prophet”.

The Merinides and the Saadiens, who succeeded the Almoravides, both followed in their footsteps by using the white flag as the symbol of the state.

4. Red flags (17th to 21st Century)

The flag of Morocco was originally a simple plain red color, although European flag chart publishers had attributed many imaginative designs to the country.

5. Chequered Flags (11th-13th Century)

This flag was used by Moroccan rulers in the 11th-13th century. The flag features a red background with a 64-square chessboard located in its center. The upper left square of the chessboard is white.

The color red may symbolize the Fatimids, while white could represent the Umayyads, and black may signify the Abbasids, who established a protectorate over Kairouan and Fes.

6. Royal Guard

The flag that represents the Moroccan Royal Guard is a vibrant green color and proudly bears a bright yellow five-pointed star at its center. Additionally, there is a crescent moon and a white star that can be found at each of the four corners of the flag.

Morocco’s rich history is not limited to its flag. It has shaped every corner of the country and its people, who are known for their warmth and hospitality.

Related Morocco Articles:

People of MoroccoLanguages Spoken in Morocco
Religion of MoroccoMedinas in Morocco
Kasbahs in MoroccoWaterfalls In Morocco
Imperial cities of Morocco

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or just someone who loves cool designs, the flag is an essential part of exploring and getting to know a certain country, including Morocco. Isn’t it fascinating how much meaning can be packed into a single piece of cloth?

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The Editorial Team

Optimos Travel is a travel blog to help you travel the world, and explore different lifestyles, traditions, foods, and everything in between.