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Turkey Flag

Red has been prominent in Turkish flags for 700 years. The star and crescent are Muslim symbols, but also have a long pre-Islamic past in Asia Minor. The basic form of the national flag was apparently established in 1793 under Sultan Selim III, when the green flags used by the navy were changed to red and a white crescent and multi-pointed star were added.

The five-pointed star dates from approximately 1844. Many traditions explain the star and crescent symbol. It is known that Diana was the patron goddess of Byzantium and that her symbol was a moon. In 330, the Emperor Constantine rededicated the city - which he called Constantinople - to the Virgin Mary, whose star symbol was superimposed over the crescent. In 1453 Constantinople was captured by the Ottoman Turks and renamed Istanbul, but its new rulers may have adopted the existing emblem for their own use.

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