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Iranian Empire (Pahlavi Dynasty, 1964-1979)

Iran Shahanshahiye Keshvare

Last modified: 2024-05-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: state ensign | naval ensign | war flag | crown (yellow) | pahlavi | sword (yellow) | sun (yellow) | lion (yellow) | triband: horizontal (green white red) |
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[Iranian flag 1964-79] 4:7   image by Martin Grieve

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National Flag and Civil Ensign

The national flag and civil ensign is shown by Smith Flags Through the Ages and Around the World as a horizontal triband green-white-red with proportion 4:7.

According to Smith, the basic tricolor dates from the Constitution of 14 August 1905, with artistic alterations in 1912, 1933, and ca. 1964. From the chronology, the change from 1:3 to 4:7 proportions most probably occurred ca. 1964.
Ivan Sache
, 16 October 1999

State Flag 1964-1980

[Iranian State Flag, 1964-79] 4:7 image by Martin Grieve

National flag with the national emblem in the middle, proportion 4:7.
Smith Flags Through the Ages and Around the World
There was never any crown above the lion and sun emblem--at least not on the state flag and ensign. Whitney Smith shows the emblem in the centre of the white stripe with no crown.
Martin Grieve, 18 January 2003

State Emblem

[Iranian Imperial State Emblem] image by Martin Grieve

The emblem shows the traditional Persian lion holding a sword with a rising sun in the background and surmonted by an Imperial crown. The lion stands on a scroll without any writing on it.
Source: Smith Flags Through the Ages and Around the World
Ivan Sache
, 20 August 2002

I would like to point out that the emblem on the old Iranian national flag is a far older symbol than the Qajar dynasty. The Epic of the Kings, written in the 1100s about the centruies before the conquest of Islam, refers to the Iranian army or king as marching under a banner with "the lion and the sunrise." The sword was added in the 1800s to make it more Islamic. The lion was the symbol of pre-Islamic Iran (Persia) along with the cypress tree, though I've never seen the two used together.
Robert Wilson, 26 December 2002

War Flag and Naval Ensign

[Iranian War Flag and Naval Ensign, 1964-79] 4:7 image by Martin Grieve

Like the state ensign, but the emblem is smaller and flanked by two golden wreaths that join beneath the emblem.
Source: Smith Flags Through the Ages and Around the World
Jaume Ollé
, 25 August 2002

The war flag/naval ensigns during this period had the lion and sun with the imperial crown.
Martin Grieve, 18 January 2003


Yesterday I found several Jane's Fighting Ships from the 1970s. In the Iran section there was a photo that clearly showed an Iranian warship flying the usual naval ensign, and a *white* version of the square jack, which confirmed the authenticity of the white square jack in Flags of All Nations, (HMSO 1955).
Miles Li, 19 July 2003

Ongoing use of imperial flags

[Iranian War Flag and Naval Ensign, 1964-79] image located by Martin Karner, 4 April 2024

On a video about a pro-Israel counter demonstration in London on 30 March 2024 an Iranian opposition flag can be seen a few times (pictures taken at 4:57 and 1:25:22). The flag shows on the green-white-red tricolor the golden lion of the national emblem surrounded by a wreath of the same, beside a portrait photo of Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran and leader of the oppositional National Council of Iran, residing in Virginia, USA. Below the photo is the writing "KING OF IRAN" in white on red. The portrait photo is on the hoist side.
The video is made by the British vlogger Mahyar Tousi:

Martin Karner, 4 April 2024

This flag is a mix between the Iranian Empire (Pahlavi dynasty, 1925-1964) War Flag and the Crown
Prince of Iran.
Esteban Rivera, 6 April 2024