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Afghanistan 2021

Taliban regime, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Last modified: 2021-10-23 by ian macdonald
Keywords: afghanistan | taliban |
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[Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2021 (Afghanistan)] image located by Dave Martucci, 10 August 2021

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A photo that appears in several news feeds of the Taliban flag flying at the Kunduz border crossing on 8 August 2021 appears to have the Shahada much larger than the flag shown on the Afghanistan 1996-2001 page. There appears to be an additional inscription below.
Dave Martucci, 10 August 2021

The flag of the "National Resistance Front of Afghanistan" can be considered as the new flag of Afghanistan since August 19, because the Vice-President Amrullah Saleh (self-proclaimed President on August 17, two days after the flight of the elected President ) and Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah, leader of Panjshir since August 16, use the same flag. Two versions exist, one almost identical to that of the previous Northern Alliance and one without the central yellow weapons. The 2004 constitutional flag continues to be used in parallel.

For the moment, the new Taliban regime did not obtain international recognition, so that their flag is still that of the "de facto Afghanistan", but not that of the "de jure Afghanistan".
Jean-Marc Merklin, 21 August 2021

Regarding Jean's comments that "there were some resistance", in fact this is an actual and ongoing effort led, among many others, by such historical figures as Bismillah Khan, former Chief of Staff (2002-2010) of the Afghan Army as well as former Minister of Interior (2010-2012), Abdul Rashid Dostum, Marshall of the Army and former Vice President (2014-2020), Amrullah Saleh,
former Vice President (2020), former Minister of Interior (2018-2019) and Director of National Directorate of Security (2004-2010) and currently acting (caretaker) President (since August 17, 2021), as well as Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Masood. They are being joined by General Haibatullah Alizai, the Commander of Special Operations Command of the Afghan
National Army (ANA), and General Sami Sadat, Commander of ANA's 215th Corps "Maiwand", among many others.

In fact, in a previous statement by (now former President) Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's official Twitter account, he mentioned the following (dated August 10, 2021): "The head of the "د ملي مصالحې عالي شورا " (English: National Reconciliation High Council) (led by Abdullah Abdullah who is also the Massoud Foundation since 2006), the leaders of both houses (Meshrano Jirga (Pashto: مشرانوجرګه‎) transliterated as House of Elders or more properly Senate: an upper house with 102 seats, Wolesi Jirga (Pashto: ولسي جرګه‎) transliterated as Council of the People, or more properly the House of Representatives of the People, abbreviated as House of the People: a lower house with 250 seats) of the "ملي شورا د دو" (English: National Assembly) and prominent political and jihadist leaders of the country unanimously expressed their readiness to work side by side with the security and defense forces for the continuation and defense of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan"
It was soon followed the same day by another message: "It was decided that under the direct supervision and leadership of the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at the center and in the provinces, a universally acceptable practical mechanism for coordinating, managing, equipping and supporting popular uprisings would soon be established. And implementation will begin" (source:

In the meeting, some notable leaders are seen, such as Abdullah Abdullah and Abdul Rashid Dostum for instance, in a clear fact that an opposition alliance was in the process of being established and this is most likely related to the current resistance movement mentioned above, with the full backing of government officials (as seen in this message dated July 31, 2021 in which they pledge allegiance to the "نیروهای امنیتی و دفاعی کشور " (English: (Afghan) Security and Defense Forces, ANDSF). Other military leaders expected to join soon are General Hasib Panjshiri, General Hamid Saifi (1st Border Battalion Commander of 6th Brigade of 209 falcon Corps (A.N.A) and Commander Khalid Amiri Special Forces (image:, source:, suggesting the account belongs to a member of Kandak 201).

This new resistance movement has been labeled as "پنجشیر مقاومت" (English: Panjshir resistance) since it is located in that Province, but it has also been labeled as the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, Second Resistance, Resistance 2.0, and Resistance II. It is a military alliance of former Northern Alliance members and anti-Taliban fighters, created after the 2021 Taliban offensive, under the leadership of the Afghan politician and military leader Ahmad Massoud and the former vice president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh, born in Panjshir.

The group exercises de facto control over the Panjshir Valley, which is largely contiguous with Panjshir Province and, as of August 2021, is "the only region out of the Taliban's hands". The alliance constitutes the only organized resistance to the Taliban in the country, and is possibly planning an anti-Taliban guerilla struggle. The resistance has called for an "inclusive government" of Afghanistan; one of their objectives is speculated to be a stake in the new Afghan government.

On 17 August 2021, Saleh—citing provisions of the Constitution of Afghanistan—declared himself President of Afghanistan from the base of operations in the Panjshir Valley, and said that he would continue military operations against the Taliban from there. His claim to the presidency was endorsed by Massoud and former Afghan Minister of Defence Bismillah Mohammadi along with the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan and its ambassador Mohammad Zahir Aghbar. Panjshir resistance uses the flag of the Islamic State of Afghanistan.

The current situation as of today is that there is a ceasefire agreement and negotiations are underway.
Sources: (official Twitter account of Bismillah Khan) (official Twitter account of Amrullah Saleh) (official Twitter account of Ahmad Massoud) (official Twitter account of General Sami Sadat) (official Twitter account of 215 Corps) (official Twitter account of Ashraf Ghani).

Image located here:, source: Picture caption reads: "Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban uprising forces stand guard on a hilltop in the Astana area of Bazarak in Panjshir province on August 27" © AFP via Getty Images. Notice that the image file identifies it as being a photograph from the Daily Mail (
Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

It appears that the Taliban flag introduced as the current national flag is not intended to be permanent:
"Taliban to decide on new flag, national anthem for Afghanistan" - World News
The Taliban will be deciding on a new flag for Afghanistan along with a new national anthem as they give final touches to government formation after taking control of the country.
Dave Fowler, 7 September 2021

Variations of the flag

[Taliban variations] image compiled by Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

A brief insight into what the Taliban can be found in this Wikipedia article,, acknowledging that it is a compilation of many respected sources but also the fact that it is an open source platform.

The images above are all dated 2021, displaying variants which can also be used as a symbol of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

[Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 2021 (Afghanistan)] image located by Bill Garrison, 15 August 2021

A Taliban official said the regime will return the nation to its pre-war name, which was only recognized by a handful of countries from 1996 to 2001. This long variety of the Taliban flag; c. Aug. 2021 ahs unidentified slogans on bottom line.
Bill Garrison, 15 August 2021

Availability of the flag

Currently, no Taliban flags are being offered for sale on Ebay. Apparently, Ebay has a policy of not selling any flags that they deem to be socially unacceptable. Therefore, Ebay does not allow the sale of certain offensive flags, whether original or reproduction: Nazi, (U.S.)-Confederate or racist groups, al-Qaeda, and certain Islamist-jihad militias scattered throughout the Middle East -- including Taliban flags.
Bill Garrison, 15 August 2021