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Iraqi Kurdistan: Political Parties

Last modified: 2022-12-17 by ian macdonald
Keywords: kdp | puk | kurdistan democratic party | patriotic union of kurdistan | rizgary party |
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Kurdistan Democratic Party

Partiya Demokrata Kurdistane

Kurdistan Democratic Party image by Manuel Gabina Villascán

In a TV report on 26 March, I saw troops of the Kurdish KDP party with a flag similar to the one we have (below) as the KDP flag, but with a red disk instead of the blue disk; the disk was considerably smaller than in our image.

M. Schmöger, 28 March 2003

In a Yahoonews report [no longer available] there's a picture of the raising of the KDP flag. The caption in Yahoo reads: "Iraqi Kurdish militia fighters raise a KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) flag in the Qushtapa area, 50 km (30 miles) south of the Kurdish-controlled town of Irbil." The flag is yellow with a red disk with a stylized sigla PDK within.

Jorge Candeias, 29 March and 2 April 2003

In Flag Report 25 were reported the flags of the main opposition parties in Iraq. Before, in Flag Report 23, was reported the flag of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, with a red circle (previously reported as blue). It stated that the color yellow was used since 1946 as the party color. The circle means the mountains that protected Kurdistan throughout history. The designer of this flag was Hussain Haider.

Jaume Ollé, 06 April 2003

Former Flag of the KDP

[Former KDP flag] image by T. F. Mills

In 1946 Mustafa Barzani founded the Partiya Demokrata Kurdistane (PDK) [or Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP)]. In 1959 this was renamed the Kurdistan Democratic Party to signify that it stood for equal rights of all peoples who fell within its geographic jurisdiction. The Iraqi branch of the party eventually adopted a blue and yellow banner. The yellow again represents the sun (light, life, etc.) and is considered the principal colour of the party. The blue represents the "farsightedness and loftiness" of the Party's ideals. Barzani's son Massoud now leads the party, and it represents the more traditional and tribal parts of Kurdish society in Iraq.

T. F. Mills, 27 September 1997

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

Yekiti Nistimani Kurdistan

After the disastrous defeat of the Iraqi Kurds in 1975, Jalal Talabani split from the KDP and founded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), whose base is primarily urban intellectuals. The party's principal colour is green, but I have not seen a good representation of a flag or banner. In 1964 the Kurdish Revolutionary Party split from the PDK, and has almost always been a stooge of the Bagdad regime. I don't know about their flag either.
T. F. Mills, 27 September 1997

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan image located by Bill Garrison, 12 November 2022

The flag of the "Patriotic Union of Kurdistan" (PUK; Kurdish: یەکێتیی نیشتمانیی کوردستان, romanized: Yekîtiya Nîştimanî ya Kurdistanê), c. Oct. 2022.
Bill Garrison, 12 November 2022

Rizgary Party of Kurdistan

Rizgary Party of Kurdistan (Iraq) image by Jens Pattke

Here is the flag of the Rizgary Party of Kurdistan.

Jens Pattke, 05 April 2003

Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party

Parti Sosyalisti Demokrati Kurdistan

Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party image by Jens Pattke

Here is the flag of the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party.

Jens Pattke, 05 April 2003

Other Flags Seen in Iraqi Kurdistan

I have seen several times in the news three flags over Iraqi Kurdistan:

Green-Yellow-Red Tricolor

Flag Seen in 
Iraqi Kurdistan image by Jaume Ollé

Three horizontal bands, green, yellow and red (1970's and 1980's).
Jaume Ollé
, 06 September 1996

[Kurdish revolt flag ?] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 April 2017

Three horizontal bands, yellow, red and green (1991), seen in CNN images during the Kurdish uprising in Mosul, after the Gulf War.

Jaume Ollé, 06 September 1996

[Iraqi Kurdish party flag ?] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 13 November 2016

Three bands, red, green, yellow, with a red five-pointed star in the center of the green band (1994), possibly the flag of the Kurdish Revolutionary Party.
Jaume Ollé
, 06 September 1996

Kurdish flag in other countries

This picture of Kurds in Beirut, marching in support of their brethren in northern Syria features a large triband of green, red and yellow. This appears to be another variation of the various Kurdish flags shown at Iraqi Kurdistan.
Jason Saber, 25 July 2015

Maybe it's this flag upside down?
Esteban Rivera, 26 July 2015