Flag of Tunisia
The red and white flag of Tunisia, adopted as national flag in 1959, has its origins in the naval ensign of the Kingdom of Tunis adopted in 1831 by Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud. The star and crescent recalls the Ottoman flag and is therefore an indication of Tunisia's history as a part of the Ottoman Empire. The current official design dates to 1999.
Until the mid-18th century, the design and significance of maritime flags flying on ships in Tunis are unknown. However, various sources have been able to distinguish certain similarities among the flags: they were designed with a crescent-oriented shape in the presence of the colors blue, green, red, and white. Thereafter, and until the early 19th century, the flag was composed of horizontal blue, red and green stripes, identifying the Ottoman regency in Tunis. This kind of flag with multiple bands and irregular contours floated on top of ships all along the coast of North Africa; similar flags with different colors and arrangements were also used on the continent.
According to Ottfried Neubecker, the Bey of Tunis also had his own flag. This flag was most likely a simple personal banner of the ruler, as it floated above the Bardo Palace, the Citadel of Tunis, on navy ships, and also in the center of the coat of arms in Tunisia. It was used at a number of public ceremonies—including at the proclamation of the Ottoman constitution on 21 March 1840 —until the abolition of the Bey monarchy on 25 July 1957.
Believed to have been introduced by Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud, although some sources, such as Abdel-Wahab, claim that it was in use three centuries earlier, the flag was rectangular in shape and divided into nine stripes, the middle one green and double the size of all other bands, while the others alternated between yellow and red. Featured in the center of the green stripe was the Zulfiqar, the legendary Islamic sword of Ali, with the blade in white and the hilt multicolored. The red and yellow stripes each contained five equidistant symbols, whose order was alternated between each stripe. These symbols were divided into two categories: one red six-sided star voided with a disk of a different color in the center—either a red star and green disk or a white star and blue disk—, and a large disk voided in its lower right by a small disk of different color, with the combination being either a small red disk within a larger blue disk or a small yellow disk within a larger red disk. The first yellow stripe contains three red stars and two blue disks. The second stripe, red in color, contains three green disksand two white stars. The third stripe (second yellow one) is identical to the first, with the exception that the star in its center is white, while the fourth stripe (second white one) is identical to the 2nd stripe.
Several Muslim countries along the south coast of the Mediterranean Sea used a red flag similar to the flag of the Ottoman Empire. After the destruction of the Tunisian naval division at the Battle of Navarino on 20 October 1827, the sovereign Husainid Dynasty leader Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud decided to create a flag to use for the fleet of Tunisia, to distinguish it from other fleets. There are some discrepancies over the date of the flag's adoption, as the government states that it was adopted in 1831, while other sources like Siobhan Ryan's Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World claim that it was adopted in 1835.
During the era of the French protectorate in Tunisia, French authorities did not change the Tunisian flag. However, according to an article in the Flag Bulletin publishing in Fall 2000, for a short period of time during the French protectorate, the flag of France was placed in the canton (upper left) of the Tunisian flag. In the same vein, vexillologist Whitney Smith stated that the addition of the French flag was "modification of the unofficial Tunisian national flag, used for a few years". He added:
Confusion arose when an issue of the French daily newspaper Le Petit Journal, published on 24 July 1904 on the occasion of the bey of Tunis's visit to France, reproduced an illustration showing the flag used while was visiting the Hôtel de Ville, Paris. Ivan Sache of Flags of the World claimed that this flag design, which hadn't been seen earlier, may have been inaccurate, suggesting that the journalist might not have been at the affair or he had reproduced a drawing of the wrong flag.
Country - Tunisia
Tunisia (officially the Republic of Tunisia) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 km2. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on its northeast coast.
Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains, and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil. Its 1,300 km of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, feature the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar.