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Empires to Nation States

Islamic Period

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The Flag of the French Mandate of Lebanon

The Flag of the French Mandate of Lebanon

The flags of the European Mandates in the Middle East speak clearly to the political relationships that existed between European powers and the newly formed Mandates in the interwar era. Here we have the flag of the French Mandate of Lebanon, which is simply the French flag with the famous Lebanon cedar tree superimposed upon it. Similarly, other Mandates such as Syria, Palestine and Transjordan had flags that were based primarily upon the flags of the European powers holding the Mandate. While the terms of the League of Nations Mandates claimed that the Mandatory powers were preparing the new nations for independent statehood, it is very clear that the Mandates were mainly European colonialism wrapped up in new packaging. Thus the flag represents the presence of France in the Middle East, rather than focusing on the creation of a new political entity.

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