Taliban’s white flag replaces the Afghan tricolor atop Kabul hill

Kabul, Mar 31 (EFE).- The Taliban Thursday replaced the black-red-and-green Afghan national flag atop the historic Wazir Akbar Khan hill in Kabul with their white banner that bears the Islamic proclamation of faith inscribed in black.

The event to replace the biggest national flag of the previous government took place in the afternoon in the presence of several government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, Taliban spokesperson Inamullah Samangani tweeted.

The issue of replacing the national flag, which had become a symbol of resistance days before the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan last year in August, had become precarious.

The people generally did not want the Islamist militia to substitute the vertical tricolor national flag, a symbol of nationalism for millions of Afghans they associated with democracy and freedom for two decades after the fall of the previous Taliban region in 2001.

The Afghans held several demonstrations holding the tricolor, urging the Taliban not to replace the flag since they seized power in Kabul on Aug.15, 2021.

The Taliban avoided the controversy, saying they would resolve the issue later.

But the event came as a surprise to fly atop the historic hill the white banner bearing the Shahada, which in Arabic reads: “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is Allah’s messenger,” the proclamation of the Islamic faith.

Several social activists and politicians reiterated their call on the Taliban government not to remove the tricolor from government offices and public places and recognize it as the national flag.

“The tricolor flag is…part of our history. We have given hundreds of thousands of martyrs” to keep it flying, Baryali, a Kabul resident, told EFE.

Even as the Taliban removed the flag from different government buildings and changed the logo of the national broadcaster from the tricolor to white, the Afghans kept the banner flying on their housetops and street corners.

“The tricolor is not just a flag, it is our history,” university student Kaihan told EFE.

He explained that the black color means Afghanistan’s troubled past, the red color represents the blood of those who fought for independence, and the green is the hope for a prosperous future.

Social activist Nahid Noori asked the Taliban to respect the wishes and nationalistic sentiments of the people.

“We respect the Taliban government flag. They can keep it in their offices. But the tricolor is our national flag. It is impossible to change. It has to remain our national flag,” Noori told EFE. EFE


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