The flag of Tunisia is one of the world’s oldest flags. Tunisia’s flag was adopted on July 3, 1959. The flag is very similar to the original naval flag of the kingdom of Tunis that was used by Al-Husayn II ibn Mahmud, the monarch of Tunis in the 1830’s.
One visual difference between the two flags is a more narrowed crescent than in the current flag of Tunisia. The flag of the Ottoman Navy, which was used 1793-1844, also had a red background but had an eight pointed cluster type star and a moon while the current flag has a five-pointed star.
The flag of Tunisia has a description that is an exercise in symbolism and history. The flag itself is bright red. There is a white disc, or circle, that is in the middle of the flag. This disc holds both a crescent and a star.
Red, the color of the flag, is a traditional color that symbolizes Islam. It also is symbolic of the resistance against the Turkish supremacy. Red was the color the Ottoman Empire used who ruled Tunisia from 16th century to 1881.
The crescent is also red. It is indicative of the moon and circles the star. The crescent has other symbolic meanings. It is a traditional symbol of Islam as well as a sign of good luck. The crescent is called Osmanli, which is Turkish. The crescent and the star also represent the connection between Tunisia and the Ottoman Empire, as does the color Red. The white that is used symbolizes peace.
The five-pointed star symbolizes that all Muslims are united in their beliefs and are united with the Five Pillars of Islam.
The Five Pillars of Islam are the meanings or cornerstones that each Muslim lives by. Each of the Five Pillars has a different meaning.
One – Testimony of Faith. This is the belief that none has the right to be worshiped but God.
Two – Prayer. This represents the Muslim act of performing five prayers per day.
Three – Giving Support of the Needy. This is the act of giving a certain percentage to the needy.
Four – The fasting the month of Ramadan. This represents the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn until dusk.
Five– The annual journey to Makkah. This is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah that is done in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.