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Islamic Resistance Movement (Palestine)

حركة حماس, Hamas

Last modified: 2013-12-05 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: islamic resistance movement | harakat al-muqawamah al-islamiyya | hamas | mosque | scimitar | sword (golden) | sword (white) | shahada | map |
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حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement)

[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
 
 
adapted from Wikipedia, 08 May 2007

image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 Apr 2006

 
 

See also:

Description

The Hamas flag is white with the Hamas symbol (a complex, ovoid, somewhat seal-like device) in the center. I saw it several times in TV reports during the campaign for the palestinian elections, but never managed to get hold of a still rendition of the symbol or the flag.
Jorge Candeias, 03 Mar 2006

The military branch of Hamas has a different flag, green with Shahada on it. Maybe that's why there is a confusion about the Hamas flag. One is white with Hamas emblem on it, and the military branch's flag is green with a shahada? At least, the green flag is there at all protests and demonstrations.
An image of Hamas' military branch logo is here.
Valentin Poposki, 03 Mar 2006

Hamas mainly uses two types of flag: green with a distinct type of shahada and white or green with its seal. The shahada is different from the Saudi one; one word (possibly "Allah"?) protrudes above the rest of the calligraphy in a kind of "bump."
The seal flags are white or – rarely – green, with considerable variation in the precise coloring of the emblem; some of the paint jobs are rather garish.
I wonder if the seal flag is the real flag of Hamas, and the Shahada flag that of the Hamas military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades? A similar green flag with shahada appears in the Brigades' emblem.
There are additionally at least two or three additional variants;

  1. green, with a different, older Hamas seal – similar to the emblem of the Muslim brotherhood;
  2. a vertical banner covered with calligraphy; see below.
  3. a previously unreported flag of Hamas, shown in this photo.

Finally, in a recent newspaper article, the reporter also made a brief mention of "the green flags of Hamas and the white/black flags of the Hamas Executive Force" militia, which had taken over policing duties in Gaza. This appears to be a separate body from the Izzedine al-Qassam militia.
Eugene Ipavec, 17 Jul 2007


"Shahada" Flag

Variant

[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
adapted from Wikipedia, 08 May 2007

Here are photos of two versions of the Hamas political party flag. [1, 2] The first one is the most common version.
What is unusual about the second flag is that I believe the word "Hamas" in Arabic is printed beneath the usual Shahada. I believe that the second flag was printed in the West Bank.
Bill Garrison, 24 Feb 2007

Hamas' flag is green (Muslim colour) with Arabic words in white. I saw this flag several times at Hamas demonstrations and at generic anti-Israel events in Palestine. Hamas emblem is here.
Santiago Tazón, 20 Dec 2001

What do those Arabic inscriptions read? In several flags they look very much like the shahada (actually they look exactly like a Saudi Arabian flag), but others appear to be different.
On one or two ocassions I have seen Hamas representatives speaking on BBC News beside a Palestine flag with a black Arabic inscription on the white stripe, similar to this one and also similar to the two crossed flags in the Hamas emblem. By the way, please note that both flags on the emblem show a sinister hoist.
Santiago Dotor, 21 Dec 2001

Green flags are mainly used by Hamas, but also used by other groups. They bear a white or black Quranic inscription on green (associated with Islam).
Jaume Ollé, 28 Mar 2003

I just noticed a very good photo of the Hamas flag on today's German News.
Volker Moerbitz, 28 Aug 2003

Possibly not really a Hamas-flag, but rather one of several flags used by Hamas. What does the inscription say?
Santiago Dotor, 17 Sep 2003

Here you can see the closest look at Hamas flags I've seen this far. Green with a fancy shahada in white, almost like a Saudi flag without the sword.
And here there's another version of it, where a very different shahada can be seen in counter-light of vertically oriented green flags.
Jorge Candeias, 29 Mar 2003

It would be wrong to name the flag as the Hamas flag. Such flags, with the Sha'ada in white on green or black, are used by other Islamic groups and are not unique to Hamas. Therefore it is not the "Hamas flag" but rather a flag used also by the Hamas.
Dov Gutterman, 29 Mar 2003


"Emblem" Flag

Variants

[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
 
 
image by Eugene Ipavec, 15 May 2006
Reported by Bill Garrison, 24 Feb 2007
image by Eugene Ipavec, 15 May 2006
Reported by Jorge Candeias, 03 Mar 2006
 
 
[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
 
 
image by Eugene Ipavec, 15 May 2007
Reported by Eugene Ipavec, 15 May 2007
image by Eugene Ipavec, 15 May 2007
Reported by Raed Badawi, 14 Oct 2006
 
 
[Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas (Palestine)]
 
 
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Nov 2007
Reported by Bill Garrison, 05 Nov 2007
 
 

This Hamas website [broken link, try here] gives the following description of the emblem, including translations of the inscriptions:

The movement's emblem consists of a picture of the mosque of the Dome of the Rock. At the top of the emblem is a small map of Palestine and surrounding it are two Palestinian flags in a semicircular shape which appear as if they were embracing the Dome. The right flag bears the phrase, "There is no god but Allah," and the left flag bears the phrase, "Mohammed is the messenger of Allah." Under the Dome are two swords which cross one another at the dome's base and drift apart forming a lower frame for the Dome. "Palestine" is written under the picture and below it is a strip with the phrase, "Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas".

The picture of the mosque together with the phrases "There is no god but Allah," and "Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah," symbolize the Islamic character of the cause and its ideological essence. The map is indicative of Hamas' attitude that the conflict aims to restore (from the occupiers) the entire Palestine with its Mandate borders and that Hamas rejects the issue to be limited to the lands occupied in 1967.

The two swords symbolize the images of might and nobility that have always dwelled in the Arab mind. In its fight against an enemy who pays no heed to any human values, Hamas adheres to the values of nobility and honor and targets its might against its actual enemy, relentlessly and without deviation.

Joseph McMillan, 21 Dec 2001

Newspaper Yediot Akhronot of 23 December 2001 shows this photo of a Hamas flag seen in an Islamic Jihad member's funeral.
Anonymous, 23 Dec 2001

The Hamas emblem consists of a circular seal with a stylized representation of the al-Aqsa mosque and a map encompassing the boundaries of the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, encircled right and left by two Palestinian flags, each with an Arabic inscription on the white stripe: "There is no god but Allah," and "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." At the bottom of the seal are two scimitars crossed saltirewise, and the word "Palestine" written in Arabic underneath. Below the seal there is is a scroll reading "Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas."
Ron Lahav, Esteban Rivera, and Dov Gutterman, 26 Mar 2005


Introduction

The Hamas is a Palestinian group, most Palestinians belonging to the Sunni branch of Islam. Hamas is not to be confused with the Hezbollah (i.e. Party of God) which is Lebanese and Shia'a.
Anonymous, 22 Sep 1998

Hamas, the main Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories, was born soon after the first Palestinian intifada erupted in 1987. Hamas does not recognise the right of Israel to exist, nor does it recognize the Palestinian Authority. Its long-term aim is to establish an Islamic state on the land originally known as Palestine. Hamas has built schools and hospitals in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The military wing of Hamas is known as the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. The leader of Hamas is a 64-year-old quadriplegic, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Hamas were allowed to operate in Jordan in the past, but their headquarters were closed by the current King of Jordan, and they moved to Qatar. Sources: BBC and CNN.
Santiago Tazón, 24 July 2001

From the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism website:

The Hamas (a word meaning courage and bravery) is a radical Islamic organization which became active in the early stages of the Intifada, operating primarily in the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank. (...) In its initial period, the movement was headed primarily by people identified with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in the Territories. In the course of the Intifada, Hamas gained momentum, expanding its activity also in the West Bank, to become the dominant Islamic fundamentalist organization in the Territories. It defined its highest priority as Jihad (Holy War) for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic Palestine "from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River". (...) As a result of its subversive and terrorist activity, Hamas was outlawed in September 1989. (...) Today it is the second most powerful group, after Fatah, and is sometimes viewed as threatening the hegemony of the secular nationalists. (...)
Hamas is the Arabic acronym for "The Islamic Resistance Movement" (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya). The organizational and ideological sources of Hamas can be found in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) which was set up in the 1920s in Egypt and renewed and strengthened its activity in the 1960s and 1970s in the Arab world, mainly in Jordan and Egypt. The Muslim Brothers were also active in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood is the system of essentially social activity which they call Da'wah. In the twenty years preceding the Intifada, they built an impressive social, religious, educational and cultural infrastructure, which gave them a political stronghold, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It was successful despite their lack of support for the nationalist policy of armed struggle.
The Hamas movement was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma Al Islami, which widened its base of supporters and sympathizers by religious propaganda and social work. A great part of the success of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood is due to their influence in the Gaza Strip. (...) Another factor, which served the popularity of the Islamic phenomena, was that the Palestinian nationalist movement and the PLO moved the center of their political power away from Palestine, by consolidating an external leadership at the expense of the internal one in the Territories. In contrast, the Islamic camp and its leadership developed entirely within Palestine (al-dakhil) and could thus better serve the interests of the Palestinians. (...) Hamas' prestige is based on both its ideological and practical capabilities, as a movement whose contribution to the daily life of the Palestinians is not less than its contribution to the struggle against Israel and the occupation.
The significant change in the Muslim Brotherhood movement was the transition from passivity towards the Israeli rule to militancy and large-scale violent activity, especially in and from the Gaza Strip. The movement changed its name to the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas, and emphasized its Palestinian character and patriotism. It professed to be not just a parallel force but an alternative to the almost absolute control of the PLO and its factions over the Palestinians in the Territories. In August 1988 Hamas published the Islamic Covenant – its ideological credo, which presented its policy on all levels of the struggle, both against Israel and the national movement of the PLO. The Hamas Covenant challenged the PLO and its claim to be the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, but it did not call for its elimination. (...)
The military apparatus was called Mujahidin [holy fighters]. At first, the leadership did not strive to large numbers of activists in the organization. The aim of the founders was to set up instruments of activity that will rely on a small number of central activists. But a new generation of street leaders emerged out of the complex structural system built by the MB over the years. This generation, obedient and full of religious fervor has become the spearhead of the Islamic struggle. (...)
There is a Hamas emblem here.
Santiago Dotor, 10 Apr 2002

Abbreviation of Harakat Al-Mouqawama Al-Islamiyya – meaning "enthusiasm" or "zeal." Palestinian fundamentalist political movement grown out of religious associations and claims to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Emerged shortly after the outbreak of the Intifada in Jan. 1988, and was initially tolerated if not encouraged, by the Israeli authorities as an alternative to the PLO. Spiritual leader and founding father is Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, who was freed from an Israeli jail after nine years in prison on 1 Oct. 1997.
The Hamas Covenant, issued in Aug. 1988, proclaims Jihad against Israel. Advocates an Islamic states in all of historic Palestine and the application of Shar'ia Law. Not a PLO member; worked independently from the United National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU) during the Intifada but does not question the role of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people at an international level.
Gained popularity through charitable efforts and the provisions of educational and health services. Rejects any political settlement with Israel and has been responsible for many attacks on Israeli targets (mostly carried out by its military wing, the Izz Eddine Al-Qassem Units: Military wing of Hamas and nominally controlled by it, but largely a nebula of small groups; responsible for numerous attacks on Israeli targets, including a series of suicide bombings since 1994). Strongly opposes the Oslo Agreements; member of the "Alliance of Palestinian Forces" opposed to the peace process. Boycotted the Palestinian elections of Jan. 1996. After Fateh, largest Palestinian faction, but shows signs of a rift between a rather moderate dialogue-based approach (Gaza) and one of violence (advocated by the Amman-based leadership).
Source: Palestinian National Authority website
Esteban Rivera, 05 Sep 2005


Vertical Banner

[Hamas (Palestine)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 01 Oct 2005


Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades

[Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades/Hamas (Palestine)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 20 Jul 2007

The Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades is/are the military wing of Hamas. I found a photo of their flag in an otherwise context-free blog post. The flag is their logo in white outline on green.
Eugene Ipavec, 20 Jul 2007


Hamas Flag Poster

I have seen a Hamas poster in memory of Sheik Yassin. It depicts a montage with several pictures of armed men in paramilitary disguise with balaclavas and Hamas’ green headbands, including several flags:

A close up of six parallel flags flying:

  1. Hamas flag (green background with shahada in white)
  2. Islamic Jihad flag (black background with shahada in white)
  3. UFE red version (same kind of flag with a red background with shahada in white)
  4. Former Afghan national flag (Taliban regime) (white background with shahada in green)
  5. Palestinian national flag
  6. Variant of Palestinian national flag incorporating shahada in black over the central white stripe. and
  7. A big green flag (wider than longer) with Arabic words in white is carried by a horseman in the distance.

Santiago Tazón, 05 Sep 2005