The Prophet's colours
As several countries in the Middle East, the Palestinians have adopted the red, black, white and green colours of the Pan-Arab nationalist flag. The flag was used during the Arab revolt against the Ottoman's empire at the beginning of the 20th century. The original colours were black over green over white; the present order was established in 1921.
Initially adopted by Jordan, the four colour flag was raised as an emblem of the Palestinian movement and Palestinian's links to Jordan. The flag was endorsed by the Palestinian Authority as representative of the Palestinian movement at the conference of Jerusalem in 1964.
The colours of the flag have acquired a political meaning as representative of early Islamic dynasties. No dynasty emerged in the Middle East until Islam appeared in the 7th century of our era. According to its etymology, religion (from the Latin “religare”, bringing together) acted as cement between Arab's tribes to constitute caliphate dynasties associated with colours:
- Red for the Hashemites. They were related to the Prophet's grand-father, Hashim, the strength of which stemmed from the tribal alliances in the Hejaz region of Arabia along the Red sea. The king of Jordan is the last representative of that dynasty.
- Green for the Fatimids, who reigned over North Africa and claimed descent from Mohammed's daughter, Fatima. They extended their empire to Egypt and adopted al-Qahira (Cairo) as their capital.
- White for the Umayyads. Centred in Damascus, they wrested control over the Arab empire from Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet.
- Black for the Abbasids. Their capital was Baghdad and they claimed to be descended from Abbas, uncle of Mohammed.
These four colours are too close to the Prophet and Islam not to have a more symbolic and spiritual meaning. A meaning reinforced by the drawing itself and, in particular, the triangular shape resembling a mountain.