Muhammad Ali Dynasty (1805-1922)
To signify his autonomy from the Ottoman porte, and his own grandiose ambitions of challenging the Sultan for control of the Ottoman Empire itself, Muhammed Ali introduced a flag highly reminiscent of the Ottoman flag, with three white crescents and three stars on a red field. It has been suggested that this was to symbolize the victory of his armies in 3 continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe), or his own sovereignty over Egypt, Nubia, and Sudan.
After theUrabi revolt in 1882, British forces occupied the country, igniting ever greater nationalist resentment. This reached a peak in the Revolution of 1919, when both the red Muhammad Ali flag, and a special green banner bearing a crescent and cross (to show that both Muslims and Christians supported the nationalist movement against British occupation) were seen in the streets.
Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1952)
The first official national flag of modern Egypt was adopted by a Royal Decree in 1923, after Britain formally recognized Egyptian independence in 1922. It consisted of a white crescent with three white stars on a green background.
The three stars supposedly represented either the three parts comprising the Kingdom (Egypt, Nubia and Sudan), or the three religious communities of Egypt: Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Republic of Egypt (1952-1958)
Following the 1952 Revolution, the republic initially kept the green flag with the crescent and three stars of the kingdom but later replaced it with a red-white-black horizontal tricolour like today, but with a different style of eagle emblem in the white stripe, bearing a shield of the crescent and stars. It has since seen only changes to the central emblem: under the United Arab Republic (1958-1971), the white stripe contained two green stars; in 1972-1984, a Golden Hawk of Quraish; and since 1984, the Eagle of Saladin with a superimposed shield, and a scroll bearing the country's name in Arabic.
Egypt as United Arab Republic (1958-1972)
In 1958, a Presidential Decree established a new flag for the United Arab Republic which comprised a merger of Syria and Egypt.
Egypt continued to use this flag until January 1, 1972, although the short-lived union saw its dissolution in 1961.
Republic of Egypt (1972-1984)
In 1972, when Egypt joined the Federation of Arab Republics, the Law was amended to change the flag. The stars were removed from the flag and replaced by a golden hawk (the "Hawk of Qureish"), holding a scroll with the Arabic name of the Federation.
The change in 1984, in addition to restoring the Eagle of Saladin, restored the top red stripe to the same red used in the United Arab Republic flag. The flag of 1972 had lightened the red color slightly.
ARMED FORCES FLAGS