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Flags in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (China)

Last modified: 2014-03-28 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: xinjiang uygur autonomous region | china | china xinjiang airlines | crescent | swan |
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In the Flag Bulletin there is an article about flags tiltled Field Vexillological Report: Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, written by Whitney Smith

A summary of the article:

Xinjiang is one of the five "autonomous regions" of China, its status dating from 1 October 1955. Whitney Smith visited Urumqi (the capital) and Turpan on 13-15 October 2000 and reports on flags and other symbols he observed there. Government buildings: on the top of the facade the arms of the People's Republic; on a free-standing pole the state flag. Police buildings: police force emblem instead of the arms. Many public and private buildings: poles on the roof with the Chinese flag in the center, flanked by plain flags (pink, light blue, light green, violet, yellow and red) in different formats (square, oblong or triangular) and combinations. Banks and Hotels: frequently three flag poles in front of the building, state flag in the center, corporate flags (LOBs) on the other poles.

W. Smith writes: "While it was not possible to obtain a definitive answer from an official source, everyone queried insisted that there was no Xinjiang Ujgur Autonomous Region flag nor any Urumqi civic flag. It would appear that the only local symbols allowed in China are those of the Special Administrative Regions, i.e. Hong Kong and Macao."

Surprisingly the colours blue and white are frequently used in Xinjiang. Crescents are seen on minarets, signs and some flags; the crescent being usually blue on white or, less often, white on blue. Car license plates are blue with white numbers, many signs have blue inscriptions on white. Xinjiang Tourist Office and an official travel agency use blue disks with a white camel or horse, respectively.

China Xinjiang Airlines
[flag of China Xinjiang Airlines] by Marcus Schmöger

Reverse of the flag
[flag of China Xinjiang Airlines] by Marcus Schmöger

The China Xinjiang Airlines uses a logo combined of a crescent and a flying swan (a symbol of good luck). The logo is used on the tail of the aircraft, on publications and signs, and on flags. "Outside the waiting room at the Urumqi airport, in view of incoming and outgoing passengers, there are six identical flags of blue. On the obverse each bears in white the airline's name in Chinese and English below the swan and crescent logo. The reverse side of the flag is plain blue." W. Smith refers to the use of blue as a colour in flags in central Asia, including Xinjiang. "In 1933-34 a "Republic of Uygurstan, later renamed the "Islamic Republic of Eastern Turkestan", was established in southern Xinjiang with its capital at Kashgar (formerly known as Kashi or Sule). Its coins showed a triangular flag bearing a star and crescent, with flammules along the outer edges; the colors were white and blue." In the footnotes W. Smith mentions several sources showing these historical flags either blue with white symbols of the other way round.

I am not sure about the shade of the blue, as in the article there is no clear hint regarding the shade. I am not sure about the colour images in Flag Bulletin, either, as the flag Bulletin just recently started with some colour pages.
Marcus Schmöger, 21 August 2001