The flag of Turkey consists of a white crescent moon and a star on a red background. The flag has a complex origin since it includes components of an ancient design, and proportional standardizations were also made with the Turkish Flag Law of 1936.

The crescent and star are both generallynr egarded as Islamic symbols today. According to one theory, the figure of crescent has its roots in tamghas, markings used as livestock brand or stamp, used by nomadic Turkic clans of Central Asia. The current design of the Turkish flag is directly derived from the late Ottoman flag. It is known that Ottomans used red flags of triangular shape since at least 1383, which later became rectangular. Ottomans used several different designs, most of them featuring one or more crescents. During the late imperial period, the distinctive use of the color of red for secular and green for religious institutions was an established practice. In 1844, the eight-pointed star was replaced with a five-pointed star and the flag reached the form of the present Turkish flag.

The origin of the crescent and star as a symbol dates back to the times of ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt. It has been claimed that the Turkic tribes, during their migrations from the Central Asia to modern Turkey circa 800 AD, had adopted this symbol from local tribes and states in the area that is present day Middle East that had in turn adopted these from the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The origin of the Turkish flag is the subject of various legends throughout the country. Some contradict the historical knowledge about the influences of the Ottoman flags. On page 58 in the “9th – 12th Grade Division” of this curriculum guide, there is a class activity based on the flag of the Turkish Republic.

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