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Hazaristan (Afghanistan)

Last modified: 2013-11-12 by ian macdonald
Keywords: afghanistan | hazarajat | hazaristan | harlan | josiah harlan |
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[Hazarajat/Hazaristan Flag, probably non-existent (Afghanistan)] image located by Rick Wyatt, 31 October 2013



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Description of the flag

Hazaristan means land of the Hazara people. We have recently adopted a flag, designed by prominent Hazara poet and journalist Kamran Mir Hazar: http://www.hazarapeople.com/2013/10/31/flag-of-hazaristan
Hazara People International Network, 31 October 2013


No Flag in Hazaristan (before 2013)

I am a Hazara. Hazaras are both Turkish and Mongols. But they are the people of the same area where they are. There has never been any literature in this language in the past but now there is the first ever and very popular among them, a magazine called Tora Hazaragi Magazine. Originally it was Hazaristan and now all Hazaras call our land again by its old name, please use the term Hazaristan.
Harold Andrew Changezi
, 6 March 1999

I am a Hazara and (...) the Hazarajat or commonly known as Hazaristan does not have an official flag. It is possible that the flags represented on your website are of political manners but I have never seen that Hazarajat flag before. Please inform where you obtained that information. I would also like to clarify what Jaume Ollé wrote. The Hazara people are not listed as a Turkish people but a Turko-Mongoliad people. The Hazaras represent a mixture of 80% Moghol, 10% Turkish and 10% other races such as Chinese. The Hazaras are one of the oldest inhabitants of Afghanistan dating back from its harsh history. The buddi Bamiyan located in Bamiyan, one of which is the largest in the world, date back to the beginning of Afghanistan and the Hazara history.
"HazaraOnline"
, 1 February 2001


Hypothetical Flag

[Hazarajat/Hazaristan Flag, probably non-existent (Afghanistan)] image by Jaume Ollé

The flag of the Hazara people. Their land is named Hazarajat (Hazaristan), and it is in central Afghanistan, with the capital at Bamiyan. They are listed as a Turkish people, but I think that they are in fact of Mongol origin.
Jaume Ollé
, 28 October 1996

Flag of Hazaradjat was published by Michel Lupant in Gaceta de Banderas. He obtained his information in Turkey. The Hazaradjat flag is in a poster of Turkic peoples. Until recently it was generally admitted that Hazaris came from Mongol ethnic people, but (as it is possible to see in several Hazari sites) now this fact is in discussion. Of course Turks claim that Hazaris came from ethnic Turks and the flag then was included in the posters of flags of Turkish peoples. The flag is for the Hazari people, but because for many years Hazaradjat was de facto independent and not ruled by the central government (I am not sure today, but until few months ago Hazaradjat was the single important region together with Badakshan that was not ruled by the Taliban) this flag can be considered the national one. Unfortunately it seems that there are two opposed militias in Hazaradjat and I assume that in the fight between both, each one hoists its own militia flag, and the project of a national flag is generally forgotten. Blue is generally considered as the color of the Mongol and the Turks (i.e. Balkars, Karachays, Uigurs...) and the flag can be accepted by both (defenders of Turkish ethnicity and defenders of Mongol ethnicity).
Jaume Ollé
, 3 February 2001

The poster shows flags of Turkic origin, as well as a series of postage stamps of a similar theme which were published nearly at the same time. The postage stamps series shows several flags of old origin, old Turkic states, which are shown with modern design flags. They all are fantasy. Possibly the flags on that poster also are Turkic fantasy, as they show flags of states or areas claimed in one or another way by Turkey, and the flags are in quite modern Turkic manner/design.
Ralf Stelter
, 3 February 2001

I don't have the poster, but as far I know the rest of the poster's published flags were later confirmed. I agree that flags in post stamps are fantasies (or at least a bit fantastic) but were well considered in several vexillological bulletins, and they were published in the book Vlaggen en historie turks sprekende volkeren in heden en verleden edited by VDCN [Flag Documentation Center of the Netherlands] dated 1994.
Jaume Ollé, 4 February 2001

By whom or what and how [confirmed that poster's flags]? Most vexillological bulletins wrote —as far as I know— that they were no real flags and pure fantasy. Not everything that is written black on white is true. The brochure by the VDCN was written taking only Turkish information, and not based on anything proven or researched, and gives no sources at all.
Ralf Stelter
, 4 February 2001

The information was published in Gaceta de Banderas 29 May 1996. In fact I discovered that information under the name of HAZRA in a Turkish magazine I bought in Istanbul. It is a flag plate on Turkish people magazine Tarih no.109, Ocak 1996 (also no.100, Nisan 1995, and no.98, Subat 1995). It is only an illustration labelled 'HAZAR (Milli Bayrak)'. I do not think it is an official flag in Afghanistan. (...) It is probably the flag of [Turkish] irredentists not a provincial flag.
Michel Lupant
, 6-7 February 2001


Hazara flag used in the 1980's

[Hazarajat/Hazaristan Flag, probably non-existent (Afghanistan)] image by Santiago Dotor

In the 1980s I took notes from TV programmes in ZDF-heute, heute-Journal, ARD-tagesthema, ARD-tagesschau and SFB-Nachrichtensendungen. The following flags could be seen in reports about the war in Afghanistan between the Mujahideen and the Soviet Union (...) according to my information, the Hazara use a plain green flag (as Libya).
Jens Pattke, 19 December 2001

News magazine Der Spiegel, 4th February 2002, p. 136ff, had an article on the Bamian region in Afghanistan, where the Hazara live. The article mentions the local "governor" or better party leader of the Hazara, named Khalili. Over his house waves "the green flag of the prophet". So this seems to be the most important local Hazara flag, at least.
Marcus Schmöger
, 19 December 2001


Josiah Harlan - The Man Who Would Be King

Josiah Harlan, 19th Century American adventurer, the subject of 'The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan' by Ben Macintyre and the inspiration for the Kipling story, was proclaimed prince of Ghor or Hazarajat in 1839 under the Stars and Stripes. He prominently used the American flag leading his troops throughout his career. Theoretically he would have used the 26-star version in 1839, but he was quite isolated from his home country for a while, I would not be surprised if he used the 23 or 24-star version of the time he left the US (1821 or 1822, as near as I can make out).
Richard Knipel, 11 July 2004

Sometime in the 1820s, the 19th century American adventure Josiah Harlan established an alliance with exiled Afghan king Shah Shujah al-Moolk, in the northwest Indian city of Ludhiana:

"The interview was over. Harlan bowed and backed out of the royal presence. With impressive hubris he ordered a Ludhiana tailor to sew him an American flag, ran it up a makeshift flagpole on the edge of town and, without any authority to do so, began recruiting an army under the stars and stripes."

In 1827, he lead his army under that same flag out of Ludhiana and into Afghanistan:

"On November 7, 1827, the inhabitants of Ludhiana turned out to witness Harlan's departure: with Old Glory fluttering overhead, an American in a cocked hat rode out of town with a ragtag army of mercenaries, a mongrel dog called Dash, and a one-armed bandit."

Apparently this same banner was the one used throughout his career, including surely the high point of his time in Afghanistan, when he was acclaimed Prince of Ghor or Hazarajat in 1839:

"In the winter of 1839, a conqueror, enthroned on a large bull elephant, raised his standard in the wild mountains of the Hindu Kush. His soldiers cheered, fired matchlock rifles into the air, and beat swords against their hide shields. Two thousand native horsemen shouted their loyalty. Six cannon roared to salute the flag, the echoes ricocheting across the snowy pinnacles."

And what was this proud standard?

"In his journal he recorded: "I unfurled my country's banner to the breeze, under a salute of twenty-six guns, and the star-spangled banner gracefully waved amidst the icy peaks, seemingly sacred to the solitude of an undisturbed eternity." "

Hmm.. 26 guns, perhaps this reflected the number of stars on the American flag at the time (a few could have been added since Ludhiana).

This info from a longer extract of the same section of Macintyre's book at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8802-1105533,00.html
Richard Knipel, 12 July 2004