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Uzbeks under Gen. Rashid Dostum (Afghanistan)

Last modified: 2006-07-01 by ian macdonald
Keywords: uzbek | dostum (abdul rashid) | people’s muslim movement of afghanistan | jumbesh-i-milli | northern alliance |
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 [Uzbeks under Gen. Rashid Dostum (Afghanistan)]   all three images by Santiago Dotor

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In the 1980s I took notes from TV programmes in ZDF-heute, heute-Journal, ARD-tagesthema, ARD-tagesschau and SFB-Nachrichtensendungen. The following flags could be seen in reports about the war in Afghanistan between the Mujahideen and the Soviet Union, used by the Uzbeks under General Dostum:

  • horizontal stripes ochre sand green-red-black (1:1:1), no emblem (until ca. 1989), sometimes hoisted with colours in reverse order;
  • horizontal stripes black-red-green (1:1:2), no emblem, ocassionally with emblem (though a different emblem to that in FOTW).
  • only in TV reports from Mazar-e-Sharif (eg. BBC on Euronews) could the horizontally striped, black-red-green (1:1:2) flag with emblem on the canton (same emblem as in FOTW) be seen. Elsewhere the black-white-green flag was to be seen.

Jens Pattke, 19 December 2001

People's Muslim Movement of Afghanistan

Jumbesh-i-Milli, used by Gen. Dostum as flag of the North Afghanistan government at Mazar-e-Sharif

[People's Muslim Movement of Afghanistan, used as flag of the North Afghanistan government at Mazar-e-Sharif (Afghanistan)] 2:3 image by Santiago Dotor, coat-of-arms from the Flag Documentation Centre of the Netherlands

I would like to ask for confirmation of the present flag of North Afghanistan anti-Taliban regime in Mazar-e-Sharif. According to Jaume Ollé's Vexillological history of Afghanistan: VII: Islamic Emirate its flag is horizontal black-red-green tricolour (1:1:1) with coat-of-arms near the hoist. As far as I know (see Petr Exner's Czech Vexillological Pages), this tricolour should be 1:1:2 and the coat-of-arms should be placed in its canton (like 1972-1978 republican flag).
Jan Zrzavy
, 20 April 1998

The Flag Documentation Centre of the Netherlands displays a flag representing the North [broken link] of the country in opposition to the Taleban movement:

Flag: Three horizontal stripes 1:1:2. Top black, red and bottom green with in the left top corner the coat-of-arms. The flag became known in 1998 and seems to be used by the opposition against the Taliban.

State Arms: On a white field blue mountains with snow-covered summits, behind which emerges a golden shining sun. On top a map of Afghanistan in green outline with in the center a golden mosque, of which the central room is blue with a silver book therein. All is surrounded left and right by a silver sword with a golden handle. Furthermore corn-ears bound together by a black-red-green ribbon with a text in silver: National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan. Between the cogwheel and the ribbon in black the date 1371 (in our calendar that is 1992). On top in Arabic script the text: Allah Akhbar; below that La Elaha Elala Mohamand Rasul Ulah. Date of introduction unknown.

Pascal Gross, translated by Jarig Bakker, 7 November 2000

Many people in northern Afghanistan (ethnic Uzbeks, Tadjiks) did not support the Taliban. In 1991 general-colonel Abdul Rashid Dostum created an anti-Talib division. In 1992 he and Ahmad-shah Massood created the government of North Afghanistan and the People's Muslim Movement of Afghanistan. In fact North Afghanistan became an independent state. The movement and the state use the old Afghan tricolour (black-red-green horizontal, twice wider green stripe) with the emblem in canton. The emblem [broken link] looks like old socialist emblem but not exactly the same: two ears, green map of the country, yellow mosque, inscriptions "Allah is great", "1371" and the shahada.
Victor Lomantsov
, 5 April 2001

Considering that most similar Afghan flags (1974-1978, 1980-1987, 1987-1992) showed the coat-of-arms with a 'see-through' background, i.e. with the black and red stripes showing through, I have followed this criterion in the above image, rather than placing the arms on a white background as the VDCN does.
Santiago Dotor
, 9-10 October 2001

I recently saw this flag in TV (6 December 2001, ARD channel, Tagesthemen) used as a table-flag by Rashid Dostum, the leader of the Uzbek population in Afghanistan. There was no date given, but this was presumably when Dostum had created his own 'autonomous' government in Mazar-e-Sharif, about 1992-1998. He was definitely younger looking than on recent TV news. So I agree with Jan Zrzavy's statement, that this flag was most probably only the flag of one of the main factions of the Northern Alliance, the Uzbeks under Dostum. As Dostum is, in his opinion, not properly represented in the new transitional government, this flag might be used in the present or near future again.
Marcus Schmöger
, 19 December 2001

In the 25th February issue of the news magazine Der Spiegel there is an article about the power struggle in Mazar-i-Sharif between General Dostum (Uzbek) and General Ustad Atta Mohammed (Tajik). In the text a flag of Dostum's party is mentioned (the party is called Jumbesh-i-Milli), which flows at the entrance to the city. It is only described as black-red-green, but this is obviously the flag shown above.
Marcus Schmöger
, 5 March 2002