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Hunza (Pre-independence Pakistan)

Last modified: 2017-05-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | british india | hunza | mountains | bow and arrow | crescent |
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[Hunza] image by Eugene Ipavec, 3 February 2011

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About Hunza

State of Hunza in Gilgit Agency which is North of North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Recognized by the British as a semi-independent principality in 1850s, Hunza progressively lost sovereignty in the process of constitutional changes in Pakistan. State was incorporated into Pakistan in 1974. Last ruler was Mir Mohammad Jamal Khan 1946-74. Hunza is supposedly one of the most beautiful corners of the world.
Chris Kretowicz, 31 Mar 2001

From Encyclopaedia Universalis CD-ROM 1998:

The Hunza are a mountain ethnic group located in the Karakoram area in Pakistan. They might have settled in the Karakorum are more than 15 centuries ago.
translated by Ivan Sache, 16 Sep 1999

The State of Hunza, Pakistan, existed since before 1710 to 26 September 1974.
O. Myszor, 2 January 2002

Description of the flag

Black mountains with snow, below a green "sky". In the green field, white crescent and star and golden bow and arrow, pointing to the lower fly.
Source: Flags of Aspirant Peoples

The symbolism of the flag is quite clear: green, crescent and star for Muslims, mountains and snow for the country (mountains in the area are schistose, thus explaining the black colour). I am a bit puzzled by the bow and arrow, because the Hunza are famous for their gardening and water management skills (the Mir himself must prove his skills) but not for hunting.
Ivan Sache, 16 Sep 1999

I colorize the image of the flag which I got from the excellent book by the renowned French vexillologist - André Flicher (Drapeaux et Armoiries des Etats Princiers de l'Empire des Indes). There, André is quoting as his source for the Hunza flag another renowned French vexillologist - Lucien Philippe (Recueil du IVe Congrès International de Vexillologie: "Les Drapeaux De Quelques Principautés Hindoues"; CISV, Turin, 1971).

If you want to see a splendid rendition of the Hunza flag, go the Robero Breschi's website at
Chrystian Kretowicz, 21 January 2011

An alternate version (mistaken)

[Hunza] image by John McMeekin, 19 January 2011

This is an another version of the flag of Hunza. I do not know the date, but it is probably before 1947 (the date 1947 was when the British left).
John McMeekin, 19 January 2011

The flag image which John McMeekin provided is not any old flag of Hunza but a free-lance attempt of Oskar Mysztor (Poland) to "improve" on an image I supplied to FOTW-ml in the past. That particular image was presented here for some time, then removed. However, it is available elsewhere on the Internet, in error.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 21 January 2011


[Arms of Hunza]
from Chris Kretowicz, 31 Mar 2001