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Independentist flag of Chechnya (Russia, 1990s)

Ичкерия - Chechen Republic of Ichkeria

Last modified: 2022-12-31 by valentin poposki
Keywords: separatist | ichkeria | crescent: points to top hoist (white) | wolf | star: 5 points (white) | error | ikhda al-khusnayin | sultan (ûŝev) | asena | turan |
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Flag of Chechenia image by António Martins, 18 Apr 2000
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Status and description of the flag

After two days Moscow government recognizes the old Chechnya puppet government. The flag of the old government is adopted for Chechnya within the Russia federation?
Jaume Ollé, 02 Oct 1999

No official flag change. And as far as I can see in the TV reports everybody uses the white-red-white flag. The yellow/blue embblem with wolf and stars also occurs, but usually not in flags. I didn’t saw any red-white-red flag nor any chechen flag (neither arrangement) with crescent and star.
António Martins, 03 Oct 1999

I’ve seen the traditional Chechen flag (VWRWV) as a table flag during the post-invasion election (earlier this year, TV spot).
Jan Zrzavy, 04 Dec 2000

Chechnya declared autonomous on 27 November 1990, had adopted the National flag on 23 November 1990 with stripes of red-white-red. Proclamation of Republic was on 27 October 1991, and on 1 November 1991 the new national flag with corrected stripes (white-red-white) was adopted; flag and arms were officially introduced on 9 November 1991. The stripes are equal in width. The flag is not dark green, but green, several shades are (were) in use. The badge is only on the avers. A version without badge is also used (civic flag?). The stars get smaller from the center outwards, the top point of each star points to the center of the badge, the stars are silver. The proportions were never 1:2 but different from that. If 3:5, 5:8 or 7:11 cannot be said certainly, but it is around that. As far as we know the proportions have not been fixed, and so we published a picture in Flaggenforum (No.5, January 1992) [flf] based on large pictures we have on video recordings. The resulting proportions were ca. 48:80. In that publication we misinterpreted the moon (assuming it was a sun, but in fact it is a moon). Our information about the first flag came directly from Alexander Bassov in Kiev, a vexillologist generally quite reliable.
Ralf Stelter, Jun 1999

Though on Nov 23 1990 Chechen adopted their national flag with red, white, red stripes, I don’t think this is the same flag as the flag of Government of national renovation of Chechnya with red, white, red in 1994.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 24 Jan 2000

The exact proportions of the Chechen flag, according Sayyed Hasan Musa Khadjiev (Symbols of the Chechen State) [qdjXX] is 8:1:1:1:1.

The flag of the Chechen Republic is a rectangle that consists of the following horizontal strips: Upper is green takes up 2/3 of the flag. The next 1/3 equal strips of white, red, white and green, Three colors of the Chechen Flag: Green, White and Red have combined all the previous national pallet of colors which confirms peoples devotion to its historic traditions, which is a clear proof of continuity through generations.
Jaume Ollé, 15 Apr 2000

By virtue of the recent conflict, the Chechen flag, which is dark green in proportions 1:2 with three stripes of white-red-white at the base, is relatively well known. It remains to be seen whether this will continue to be used by any future Russian-sponsored Chechen government.
Stuart Notholt, 1995

The Flag Bulletin (Sep-Oct 1992, no. 148) [tfb] reported this flag as «state flag».
David Lewellen

Lux-Wurm’ book [lux01] calls this the «national flag, November 1991-October 1992» (which was followed by the version with the emblem).
Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

About the white Khadjiev (speaking of the flag adopted 23 November 1990) say: Second color, following in significance, is white. It means peace and quiet which was so lacking in the North Caucasus, which became the arena for conflict of interests of different colonial countries because of its advantaged military strategic location. This color, as was stated earlier, occupied a dominant position on the flags during the Caucasus war. White color in the highlander costume reflected deep religious devotion and search for purity in thoughts and actions.
Jaume Ollé, 26 Jan 2000

According to Lëma Usmanov (one of the Chechen Parliament members who discussed the flag in November 1991), addition of crescent and star was rejected, and green is not included in the flag meaning Islam because secular way was adopted — green has other meaning.
Jaume Ollé, 19 Jan 2001

Flag with emblem

According to Lux-Wurm’ book [lux01], the «national flag, October 1992», is similar in design to the preceding flag, but in proportions 1:2, the height of the green field being 60% of the total height of the flag and an emblem being placed on the green stripe.
Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

An article in NYTimes (Nov 1,96) concerning the situation in Chechnya states:

Officials in Moscow discuss the future of the region with great intensity, always saying that Chechnya must never be independent. But for the Chechens, that kind of talk means nothing any more: The traditional green Chechen flag of the lone wolf flies over every battle-scared town hall in the shattered republic.

Now, I have seen Chechen flags of green with the white-red-white stripes near the botom; and blue-disc with white outline, containing either and seated lamb and stars above it; the other version in the blue disc had an horizontally displayed infinity symbol of sorts, with stars above it.
Steve Stringfellow, 01 Nov 1996

I believe that the symbol in the circle of Chechen flag is referred to as the grey (or white?) wolf, in any case a wolf, not a lamb nor anything else. If it is so, the description in the article might have been correct, assuming that journalist described only the most prominent elements of the flag (as someone told him, I guess) not a flag that he had seen. I would also read his sentence as ’the lone wolf flag’ being the name or nick name of the flag, or maybe describing just the most important (at the time) element of the flag, and assuming that other elements are well known.
Željko Heimer, 02 Nov 1996

Emblem detail

Chechen emblem image by M. Schmoeger, 03 Feb 1997

The grey wolf is a symbol of [pan]Turkish nationalists. But it is also a Chechen national symbol which characterizes the Chechen character. The first wolf and the flag design was painted by Yushaev Sultan [Ûŝev Sultan | Юшаев Султан], a Chechen from Hasav-Yurt. Later, the wolf was taken out of the Chechen flag as Islam bans putting animals or anything which has soul in it on the national symbols or even painting them. Nine stars symbolize nine Chechen tukhums which give birth to the Chechen nation.
Jaume Ollé, 20 Jan 2001, quoting Emmil Kasaev

Lux-Wurm’ book [lux01] gives the symbolic of the emblem, which he calls the «national arms». The wolf and the moon refers to the mythical origin of the Turan/Turkish peoples. The nine stars recall the nine Imams whose names are quoted in the silsile, the chain of initial transmission. These names are given in Kazi-Kumuk Sheik Jamaleddyn’s Adab al-Marziyah, which was translated into Russian in Sbornik Svedenii o Kavkazkikh Gortsakh (Tbilisi, 1869):

  1. Sheik Ismail of Kürdamir
  2. Sheik Khalid of Süleymaniyeh, Abdullah of Delhi’s disciple
  3. Sheikh Abdullah of Delhi
  4. Sheik Khas Muhammad Efendi of Yaraglar
  5. Sheik Mansur Ushurma
  6. Sheik Jamaleddyn of Kazi-Kumukh
  7. Sheik Ghazi Muhammad
  8. Imam Chamyl
  9. Sheikh Tasho Haji of Indiri, one of Chamyl’s disciples, who introduced the Nakshbandiyya brotherhood in Chechenia.

Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

Turkish version of the PanTurkist ideology outlines its principles under 9 headings, which are called the Nine Lights. I do not know if it is a coincidence that there are 9 lights on the Chechen Presidential standard and the PanTurkist ideology, or whether the 9 lights also have a significance as far as Turkish ancient folklore is concerned, bearing in mind that Chechens are not genetically Turkic. And let us not forget the beautiful grey she-wolf, Asena, which lies in the middle of the Chechen Presidential standard.
Jaume Ollé, 20 Jan 2001, quoting K. Biritan


There are several variants of the state flag reported, mainly differing in the circular symbol, especially in colouring of it. Flags without the symbol are also reported to be in use. Variations in width of the white stripes, and even flags without them are reported, but they seem to be erroneous.

Large black emblem

Flag of Chechenia image by M. Schmoeger, 03 Feb 1997

Photo of "Lone Wolf" Chechnya/ Chechenia flag.
William Garrison, 25 April 2013

This flag was seen in the daily update of the Ukraine War Map:
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 16 September 2022

The flag most likely represents members of the Ichkerian Special Purpose Battalion which in turn is part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, also known as the Ukrainian Foreign Legion which is a foreign military unit of the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Foreign Legion was created on 27 February 2022. There are also other Chechen military Units fighting on the Ukrainian side, namely the Dzhokhar Dudayev International Peacekeeping Battalion and the Sheikh Mansour International Peacekeeping Battalion, BShM, both established in 2014. These units also use the
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as its flag.
Esteban Rivera, 16 September 2022

Small yellow emblem

Flag of Chechenia image by Željko Heimer

Small yellow emblem with red stars

Flag of Chechenia image by Željko Heimer and Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

In Lux-Wurm’ book [lux01] the height of the stripes is different as well as some colouring of the emblem: Lux-Wurm’s flag has a white wolf and moon and red stars.
Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

Erroneous and variant depictions

Small green field (13+2+2+2+2)

Flag of Chechenia image by António Martins, 17 Feb 2001

Flag 105:165 cm, stripes 65:10:10:10:10; I received this information from Czechia. I have no official documents.
Victor Lomantsov, 17 Apr 2000

Smaller green field (6+1+1+1+1)

Flag of Chechenia image by Ivan Sache, 07 Apr 2000

This flag, with a stripe pattern of 6+1+1+1+1, is listed under number 108 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: «Nokhchyïchuo (Chechens) - North Caucasus, Russia».
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999

Even smaller green field (4+1+1+1+1)

Flag of Chechenia image by Jorge Candeias, 03 Nov 1999

In today’s newspaper there was a picture of one Chechen leader holding a Chechen flag in such a way that it’s perfectly visible. The stripes undoubtedly are green-white-red-white-green in proportions 4:1:1:1:1. At least in that particular flag, that could be hand-made. No further decorations in the flag.
Jorge Candeias, 11 Nov 1999

and 2:3 ratio

Flag of Chechenia image by Jorge Candeias, 03 Nov 1999

Lux-Wurm’ book [lux01] gives also stripe proportions 4:1:1:1, but 2:3 height to width ratio.
Ivan Sache, 13 Jun 2003

Equal stripes

Flag of Chechenia image by António Martins, 18 Apr 2000

For news reports on the Chechen conflict on SBS television in Australia, the graphic behind the newsreader features a “flag” with equal bands of green - white - red - white - green.
Dylan Crawfoot, 02 Nov 1999

27 October 1991 until 1 November 1991

Flag of Chechenia image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 March 2018

From 27 October 1991 until 1 November 1991 (or 9 November 1991), the Republic had the 23 November 1990 flag as its flag.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 March 2018