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Tigray (Ethiopia)

Tigray National Regional State

Last modified: 2014-06-07 by bruce berry
Keywords: tigray | ethiopia | star |
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Image by  Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 1999

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According to the Ethiopian Parliament websitesite, "the State of Tigray consists of 4 administrative zones, one special zone, 35 woredas and 74 towns. It is located at the northern tip of the country. The region shares common borders with Eritrea in the north, the State of Afar in the east, the State of Amhara in the south, and the Republic of the Sudan in the west. The capital city is Mekele and the State of Tigray has an estimated area of 80,000 square kilometers."

What this means is that the old province of Tigray grew with territory formerly belonging to the province of Gonder to give birth to this state (eventually with border arrangements with other administrative divisions). Mekele was previously the capital of the old province.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 1999

Flag of Tigray

The flag adopted for the state is red with a golden yellow triangle at the hoist and a large star of the same colour centered in the fly.  The star is rotated to point at the fly.

Image by Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 1999

The flag of Tigray is based on the design of the flag of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPFL). In The World of Flags by William Crampton (1990) [cra90] it states that "The Tigre Liberation Front is fighting a similar battle in the Ethiopian province of Tigre [he refers here to the Eritrean People's Liberation Front] and is one of the more successful of several such secessionist groups in Ethiopia."

The TPLF flag according to Crampton is only different in its dimensions and rotation of the star (which is upright).
Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 1999

Emblem of Tigray (?)

I ran across a receipt from a trip I took to Ethiopia a year and a half ago. Most of it is in Amharic and only English text on it reads: "Tigray National Regional Administration." The amazing thing is that the symbol at the top is almost the same as the symbol found on the flag used between 1987-1991. The difference is that there is no star and it is split horizontally in half. The upper half has the leaves, cog wheel, Axum obalisk and spears. On the bottom half the leaves turn into a cog wheel and the dividing line holds two ends of a scale, like a scale of justice.

So why is it that the Tigray administration is using a modified communist symbol, especially considering that Tigray was the region most opposed to the communist regime in Ethiopia?
Robert Wilson
, 02 Feb 2004