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Karachay people (Russia)

Last modified: 2013-12-07 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: karachay | stars: ring | stars: 8 | arrows: 3 | mountain | crescent: points up (yellow) | star: 5 points (red) | star: 5 points (yellow) |
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Karachay flag

Karachay flag
image by Stuart Notholt, 17 Sep 1995

The Karachay flag comprises 8 red stars in a circle on a yellow field. The design and colouring suggests it is related to the Cherkess flag.
Stuart Notholt, 17 Sep 1995

This flag is listed under number 106 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: «Karachay Republic (Karachays) - North Caucasus, Russia».
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999


Alternate Karachay flag

alternate Karachay flag
image by Jaume Ollé, 28 Oct 1996
Server narod.yandex.ru is no longer hosting a page about Karachay flags we once got reported in FotW-ml. It was in Russian only, and was intitled "Nas^ Flag : Varianty neoficialhnyq flagov karac^aв" ("Our flag : Unofficial variants of the Karachay flag") and actually shown not really variants of any of the two flags we show at , but indeed three quite different designs, along with text information -- unfortunately very scarce for the first two flags.

I saved a copy of this page back in 2003.03.05 and here's my report on it. Comments are welcome!

1. «Historical flag of the Karachay» (Исторический флаг Карачая) : White 1:2 flag with two main line art black images on it, taking up roughly the same area: Above, a stylized twin peak mountain summit profile with eight "things" lined horizontally by its slope; bellow the shahadda, with callygraphic details slightly different from the Saudi flag, especially in the final part. Vertical green stripe (~1/3rd of the flag's width) at the hoist (see bellow) charged on its top with a yellow crescent and star.

The mountains are be the Elbrus, as in the flags of Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabard-Balkaria (q.v.), and also shown in the Karachay flag reported by Jaume on 28 Oct 1996 (source?), and in the "alternative" flag (see bellow).

The eight "things" are in the same number as the stars in the Aspirant Chart flag #106 [eba94] and in the "alternative" flag (see bellow).

This design is puzzling as the general layout and the orientation of the crescent suggests that this image is dexter hoisted (i.e., shown with the hoist at the viewer’s left hand), but the Arabic inscription reads correctly -- and that is quite unexpected.

2. «Alternative Karachay flag, comprising eight stars above white Elbrus on a green background» ("Альтернативный карачаевский флаг, включающий 8 звезд в полукруге над белым Эльбрусом, на зеленом полотне.") : This image was originally 216x431 px so I suspect this comes from Jaume's, Željko's or Mark's sites, or from a very old copy of FotW-ws (but FWIW, I'm the RU editor since early 1998 and I never saw this one here). Credit mostely to the original, as I made only minor changes.

3. "Karachay flag" (or rather "flag of the Karachay") (Карачаевский флаг) (fully redrawn).

Green 1:2 flag with centered white emblem, consisting of a white ring added within with four arch sectors whose tips touch each other and the inner side of the ring's edge, and with a small white disc in the center.

The page documents this emblem as an old Karachay-Balkar traditional Cosmogonic symbol. The four-sides stand for Geographic and Elemental quarterings of the Universe, in typical Caucasian mix of ancestral, byzantine and modern religious (Muslim, Christian Orthodox or Christian Armenian) influences.

The green color was chosen for its liveliness -- in Karacay-Balkar language the words "джашил | dz^as^il" (="green") and "джашау́ | dz^as^aъ" (="life") are etymological cognates. (That said, it should be noted that we have seen plenty of non-green Karachay flags…)

This page further shows the official republic flag of Karachay-Cherkessia, with no additional comments.