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Paper Information

Journal:   PAZHOHESH-HA-YE BASTANSHENASI IRAN   fall 2016 , Volume 6 , Number 11 ; Page(s) 163 To 176.
 
Paper: 

A Reflection on the Functionality of the Flags of Safavid Period

 
 
Author(s):  SHATERI MITRA*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 
Flags are not only pieces of fabric fluttering. From ancient times what makes these objects differ from the other objects with the same material, color and design, are the special functions. Flags and Banners in every period had different functions such as military, religious, ethnic or economic. In any case, flags are charts of ideas, thoughts, goals, ideology and worldview of their owners, so pictorial motives and theirs various components should be simple and clear, it needs to transfer the basic concepts of beliefs, goals and objectives of their owners. For this reason, considering the closer inspection banners, components and symbols used on them, it should be notified about the foundations comprehensive military, political, religious, class and social achieved in that period, an aspect which in studies less attention has been paid recently. Flags, because of their special duty, are distinguished from the other objects which are the same color and have same role. Making banners is always the best kind of material were used and the position of carrying the banner was always one of the high ranking position, therefor it shows that how high is its place in the passage way of history. Among some of the documents remaining from the Safavid period there are references to all kinds of flags and banners in this period which compared to other historical periods their quantity and quality are considerable. Besides of documents; artifacts and archaeological evidences, such as a variety of related paintings in manuscripts, murals paintings, Moraqa’ s, coins, flag finials or the few remaining textiles are useful for the classification and recognition better and more efficient of flags in this period. Author is trying to rely on the remaining documents and archaeological artifacts from Safavid period, presenting a comprehensive classification of different flags and banners in functions and forms. This study is based on the findings method and through library and field research and their combination, and descriptive analysis is applied. The results of literature reviewing and remaining evidences from the Safavid period indicates the presence of flags with various functions in political, military, religious, economic, ethnic-tribal and royal with different forms, colors and signs. One of the most important groups in Safavid period was official flags. These flags had a motif as the lion and sun and they were triangular form with one or two tenons or multi-blades. Before this period, lion and sun was as a symbol of prosperity and power. Official flags were used in international and diplomatic relations to reflect the power and greatness of the Safavid dynasty. Official flags were different from Royal one which used for the king and the high level princes. Royal flags used to confirm the presence of the king and the princes in combat, parties or even for hunting. Special flags for morning times used for the funeral of high level people and court officials and also used in rituals of the Shia’ s Imams (AS), especially in particular ceremonies of mourning for Imam Hussein (AS). These flags were in different forms like triangular or band shapes or Kotal shapes. Safavid kings used these religious flags in their battle field because they wanted to show their combat as a religious one. They also have used some holy verses or phrase or holy names for divine help for their victory in the battle fields. Expanding the economic relations with neighbor countries or other states was the reasons of presenting the commercial flags and because of this foreign communications; the motif on the flags was the lion and sun. Documents in the Safavid period referred to local flags, but unfortunately due to lack of documentation, there are not a lot of details about it.
 
Keyword(s): Flags,Stamen,Safavid,Kotal,Lion and Sun
 
References: 
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