Fun Facts: Kazakhstan’s National Flag

Probably the greatest symbol for any country in the world is their flag. Flags have a lot of meaning to a country that many people don’t understand. For example, the American flag has 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies and 50 stars, one for each state. Japan’s flag has a red circle symbolizing the rising sun. Kazakhstan has an interesting flag with much symbolism that represents its culture.

The flag is an azure blue with a golden sun and golden eagle soaring below the sun in the center. To the left is the national ornament which is supposed to be flown vertically on the side of the pole. The flag is the creation of Shaken Niyazbekov, a native Kazakh from Taraz, who is credited to be the founder of Kazakhstan design. His design was chosen from over 1200 entries from different countries when Kazakhstan gained its independence.

The azure blue is a symbol for the Aeon Blue Sky. The territory of modern Kazakhstan is the birth place of the powerful Turkic Khanates of early AD and of the Turkic culture, and Kazakhs share historical heritage with other Turkic nations. For the ancient Turks, the Aeon Blue Sky is the supreme deity. According to the mythology, the Turks were the sons of the Sky and were the first people of the universe, hence where the term “the Blue Turks” comes from. However, the Sky is not just a reflection of Turkic culture. The Aeon Blue Sky also represents its other inhabitants. For centuries many Asian rulers, like Genghis Khan, have occupied Kazakhstan and were sky worshippers. Today, the blue sky symbolizes peace, something Kazakhstan always aspires to preserve. In short, the blue on the flag symbolizes the sky that the many cultures of Kazakhstan throughout the centuries have worshipped that have culminated to create a Kazakh culture.

The golden sun bathing in its rays is the central body in the Sky and is a symbol of placidity and wealth, light and warmth, and even life itself.

The golden tawny eagle is a symbol of might, power, statehood, freedom and independence, generosity, and vigilance. The eagle spreads its wings with strength as both a welcome to friendly nations along with the shrewdness and farseeing to protect the vast steppes of Kazakhstan. The ornament of the left is a symbol of unity and reflects the traditional art pattern of Kazakhstan.

The eagle is also another symbol for Kazakhstan’s heritage based on Turkic mythology. The ancient Turks have a myth that an eagle laid its golden egg between two branches of a poplar tree creating Baiterek, the Tree of Life, and also known as the World Tree that is the central myth to Turkic mythology. In Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, the Baiterek Tower symbolizes the myth that has embodied the culture of Kazakhstan.

The flag of Kazakhstan is a perfect representation of what a flag needs to be: An embodiment of a country’s culture and heritage, symbol of its character, and an icon of its people. The Kazakhstan flag fits all those criteria perfectly and stands out amongst the many flags of the world.

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The Wonderful World of Kazakhstan