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Ba'ath Party (Syria)

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
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[Ba'ath Party (Syria)] 2:3 image by M. Schmöger

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Besides the national flag there is almost always another flag flying or hanging, that of the ruling Ba'ath Party, which is essentially the same as the flag of Palestine.
M. Schmöger, 01 May 1997

Does the Ba'ath party in Iraq or other states use this same flag? Since I seem to recall that this was originally a pan-Arab movement, it would not surprise me.
Josh Fruhlinger, 01 May 1997

As a Syrian, please allow me to make a correction. The flag of the Ba'ath Party is upside down – green should be on top. This is the flag adopted by both factions of the Party and is supposed to be derived from the flag of the Arab Revolt of 1916. The flag you have with black on top is the flag of Palestine.
Moaz Marouf, 10 Oct 2000

In 1997 I reported on my flag observations in Syria and I described the flag of the Syrian ruling Ba'ath Party as a black-white-green horizontal triband with a red triangle at the hoist. However Moaz Marouf claimed the flag should be upside down. I carefully checked, what information led (and leads) me to believe that the correct order is black-white-green.

  1. All the photos I made of the Ba'ath party flag in Syria (if it is a normal flag, not a vertical hanging flag of some kind, see below) clearly show the black on top. The photos were made in different locations:
    • Ar-Raqqah: a Ba'ath party flag (with white fringe) waved by two young boys.
    • Lataqia: some trailers decorated for a festival procession showed Syrian and Ba'ath flags on wooden poles as well as painted on the sides.
    • Damascus: At the camping site where our bus was parked.
  2. A poster depicted in my travel guide (Walter Weiss, Syrien – mit Ausflug in den Libanon, DuMont, Cologne, 1996) shows former president Hafez al-Assad in front of the Ba'ath and Syrian flags.
  3. On most Syrian websites (governmental, media etc.) you see at least the national flag. On the website of the Teshreen Foundation (publishing three newspapers: Teshreen, Syria Times and Teshreen al-Osboi) you also see the Teshreen logo including the Ba'ath flag (black at top). Also the website of Al-Ba'ath, the Ba'ath Party's daily newspaper shows the Ba'ath flag (black at top).

However, most of the flags I observed in Syria were not normal hoisted flags, but hanging flags. As these displayed the colours of the national flag as well as of the Ba'ath flag side by side, it is difficult to decide from these arrangements, which colour would be on top. Obviously in most cases I observed, the arrangement of the national flag and the Ba'ath flag differ, i.e. the national flag is rotated 90 counterclockwise and the Ba'ath flag 90 clockwise. So if you look at these flags, the red of the national flag would be on your left and the black of the Ba'ath flag on your right. For clarification see this picture of a wall painting at Homs (Hafez al-Assad between national and Ba'ath flag). This arrangement was also used on the lines over streets or in the suqs where little national and Ba'ath flags were hanging. So you would have (from left) red-white-green (national flag), then green-white-black (Ba'ath flag).
From all this I conclude that the order of the colours in the Ba'ath party flag is indeed (from top) black-white-green. From the arrangement of hanging flags, however, one could erroneously conclude that it would be green-white-black.
M. Schmöger, 18 Mar 2001

I sent some e-mails to Syrian addresses (newspapers, ministry of information etc.) and got the answer, that the information is at the Ba'ath party website. There you can find a party logo showing the flag (order black-white-green) and some text (Arab only). Can any Arab reader translate the texts?
M. Schmöger, 17 Jul 2001

The complete name for the Ba'ath Party is BASP (Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party).
The Ba'ath Parties (also spelled Baath or Ba'th) comprise political parties representing the political face of the Ba'ath movement. The original Ba'ath Party functioned as a pan-Arab party with branches in different Arab countries. In 1966 the Party split into two, one branch based in Syria and the other in Iraq. Both Ba'ath parties maintain parallel structures in the Arab world. The Arabic word Ba'ath means "rebirth". Ba'athist beliefs combine Arab Socialism, militarism, nationalism, and Pan-Arabism. The mostly secular ideology often contrasts with that of other Arab governments in the Middle East, which sometimes tend to have leanings towards Islamism and theocracy.
The motto of the Party is Wahdah, Hurriyah, Ishtirrakiyah means "Unity, Freedom, Socialism". "Unity" refers to pan-Arab unity, "Freedom'" emphasizes freedom from Western interests in particular, and "Socialism" specifically references Arab Socialism.
Esteban Rivera, 03 July 2005

The Iraqi and Syrian are fiercely opposite factions. They use a different order of stripes.
Santiago Dotor, 04 July 2005


[Ba'ath Party Emblem] image located by Esteban Rivera, 03 July 2005

The party emblem is the same for all the representations abroad (i.e. Iraq, Syria, Sudan, etc.)
Esteban Rivera, 03 July 2005

The green shape seem to be a map -- solid outlines of northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. (Too small for non-trivial details, though.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 03 July 2005