This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Protest flags, Iran

Last modified: 2023-04-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: iran | protest flags |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

Pirooz/Pirouz-cheetah -- Women's Lib (Mahsa Amini) "freedom protest flag"

Libyan flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 28 November 2022


While resembling the national flag of Iran, this flag's logo in the middle of the white stripe is missing the usual "Allah" symbol and is replaced with a multi-colored word "Iran" and to its left near the flag's "hoist side" appears a faint gray image of a young "cheetah". This cheetah-image is that of the endangered "Persian/Asiatic cheetah", now surviving only in Iran/(Persia). Three rare cheetah cubs were born on 1 May 2022 at the Touran Wildlife Refuge, but only "Pirooz/Pirouz" ("Victor" -- as in "victory") survived. He became a nationwide cheetah-logo that is being used in two seemingly contradictory ways: (1) cited in the "Baraye" song protesting Iran's police crackdown against women for failing to appropriately cover their hair [and the beating death of Mahsa Amini], and (2) a pro-Iran-pride flag in support of the Iranian soccer team participating in the "World Cup" soccer games in Qatar (which is a sandy country northeast of Saudi Arabia) in Nov. 2022. "Baraye" means "For" or "Because of"; sort of a "Because of the police crackdown, we are demonstrating For freedom." {The song's lyrics are on the internet.} Ironically, the police and protesters could be both waving this flag at the same time. The police could wave it to rally "Victor" support for the government, while the protesters wave it while demonstrating against the government's stifling restrictions. In Iran, the cheetah is looked at as a sign of life or freedom; hence, its use by protesters. This flag appeared on 25 Nov 2022 in Sadeghieh Square in Tehran, Iran, during a street celebration after Iran defeated Wales [a hilly 'country' west of England] in Qatar's "World Cup" soccer games. [The photograph's original caption read: "Two anti-riot police officers wave the Iranian flags during a street celebration after Iran defeated Wales in Qatar's World Cup, at Sadeghieh Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022."]
Bill Garrison, 28 November 2022

Anti-mullah, pro-"Mahsa Amini" flag, pro-freedom protest flags

Libyan flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 30 November 2022


A black-field [a mourning color] flag with "Women, Life, Freedom, Mahsa Amini" words in green/white/red colors (mimicking the colors of the Iran national flag); as seen being held by Iranian soccer fans prior to a World Cup soccer/football match between England and Iran, on Nov. 21, 2022, in Doha, Qatar. (Alessandra Tarantino/The Associated Press).. "Mahsa Amini" was the young Iranian woman who died on Sept. 16 while in Iranian police custody after being arrested several days earlier for not sufficiently covering her hair in public. Her death has sparked at least two months of public protests against the authoritarian mullah-ruled regime.
Bill Garrison, 30 November 2022

Libyan flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 30 November 2022

From, a pro-freedom protest flag (with "Woman Life Freedom" slogan) mimicking that of the Iran national flag (but missing the usual Allah-tulip logo) at the Khalifa Internation Stadium ahead of England v. Iran, at the FIFA World Cup soccer/football cup on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar. (Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
Bill Garrison,
30 November 2022

Libyan flag] image located by Bill Garrison, 30 November 2022

From, a pro-Freedom protest flag (with a step-sloping "Women Life Freedom" slogan) and by looking through the white stripe one can see that the word "IRAN" is printed on the backside. It mimics the national flag of Iran, but is lacking the normally-seen Allah-tulip logo. [Actually, it resembles the pre-1979 national Iran flag.] Seen at the FIFA World Cup soccer/football cup on Nov. 21 in Doha, Qatar.
Bill Garrison, 30 November 2022

Protests in 2023 (water & electricity shortages, women's rights, gasoline shortages

protest flag   protest flag image by Tomislav Todorovic, 14 March 2023

These protests are due to constant water and electricity cuts and shortages, but also to advocate for women's rights as well. Some even mention that they well may be a continuation of the 2019 gasoline price rises protests, since they are related to energy (source:

The protests follow yet another set of previous demonstrations, such as the general 2019–2020 Iranian protests (known as Bloody November), the general strike 2018-2019 and the 2017–2018 protests against the economic policies of the country's government.

Now, the current (2022-2023) protests are in themselves a series of consecutive and overlapping demonstrations:
- Food shortage (since May 2022-present) (source:
- Economic crisis, lack of freedom of expression, violation of women's rights (since July 2021-present) (source:
- Mahsa Amini protests (since September 2022-present) (source:

Regarding the (now) most widely spread (both locally and internationally) and thus, relevant demonstrations, the Mahsa Amini protests, they began in September 2022 but have also faced counter-demonstrations as well since the very beginning (source:

Protestors have used a wide variaty of flags during their rallies. Another flag frequently used is the "State Flag 1964-1980" as seen here: (source), and explained here: "Apparent pro-government supporters have waved it, shouting at those demonstrating over Amini's death. Others at matches have waved Iran's lion and sun flag, an emblem of its former ruler, the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi." (source:

Another flag used is the People's Mojahedin Army, as seen in this video in 2022 (from 1:01 onwards):

Also as already mentioned on the featured section, the main slogan is "Woman Life Freedom", also seen in other languages across Europe and elsewhere (such as "Mujer / Vida / Libertad" in Spanish, during demonstrations in Chile, as seen here:, source). A variant of this slogan is "Woman Life Liberty" (source: Additionally, other languages are featured as well, as seen in several cities across the globe: "But there are some concerns about how the phrase is being used, which highlight historic issues impacting Kurdish populations in Iran and the Middle East. “There's been criticism from many Kurds, particularly many Kurdish women, that the slogan has sometimes been separated from its Kurdish roots,” says Bodette, especially when it is used by the international media, celebrities, brands and politicians. For example, the words are occasionally only written in Persian or English, not Kurdish", seen for instance in Berlin: "Protesters stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate illuminated with the words "Woman, Life, Freedom" in various languages, in Berlin, 13 December, 2022. (image, source)

There's one particular flag featured during these protests which seems to feature some sort of anagram, which, according to this website featuring several items for purchase with the same design pattern, is the slogan "women life freedom" in farsi script (زن زندگی آزادی ) , pronounced Zan Zendegi Azadi. It is claimed that this chant was first used by Kurdish women in their struggle for both Kurdish independence and confederalist movements (source: Other sources mentioned that it was also used during their fight with ISIS and the subsequent establishment of self-rule in bordering Iraq and Syria (

cropped image from the original located here:, source
- image 2, image 3, image 4 (screenshots from Euronews live broadcasted on January 16, 2023)
- flag shown above (cropped image from the original located here:, source)
- slogan in Farsi script (cropped image from the original located here:, source)

For additional information go to Women Life Freedom (official website):

Esteban Rivera, 10 March 2023