Islamic tradition reports Muhammad said the advent of the Mahdi, a sign of the last days, would be signaled by “Black Flags” proceeding Khorasan (Middle Persia) a historic region lying in the middle of the North East of Iran; an Islamic prophecy warning that all Muslims should take heed when they see the “black standards” appear.
Islamic eschatology, an ancient branch of study in theology concerned with the final events in the history of mankind, says the Mahdi the prophesied redeemer of Islam will rule before the day of judgement and will rid the world of evil. There is no explicit reference to the Mahdi in the Quran but references to him are found in hadith (the reports and traditions of Muhammad’s teachings collected after his death).
The tradition goes like this, “It starts when you see the black flags coming from the East, it says, follow them even if you have to crawl over snow because it is the flag of the Imam Mahdi.” It is clearly tied into the End Time apocalyptic scenario and the creation of a world Caliphate and world religion.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, is known for its social media, twittering and videos through their magazine DABIQ but they are more readily recognized for a traditional propaganda technique using fear through their “Black Flag”. This is clearly the black flag Muhammad was speaking about in the traditions that we see in all their video’s and carried by ISIS followers.
Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags and related emblems.
Ted Kaye a vexillologist, who studies flags and seeks to understand and explain the important part played by flags in the modern world, gave his assertions on some basic flag principles of flag designs and how ISIS flag shapes up. “The first and most important principle of flag design is it should be so simple a child could draw it from memory and it must be seen from a distance and from their opposite side. Only simple flags are effective. The ISIS flag is not simple, it has writing on it that’s rather complex. However, the overall design is indeed simple. It’s recognizable from a distance, it’s easily made and a child could draw it from memory,” he says.
Another rule you could outline is using meaningful symbolism. So what does the ISIS flag tell us about how that organization is trying to portray itself to the world? Kaye says in this case, “the most important symbolism is two things-one, the flag is black itself, which is Muhammad’s banner. The black flag of [Muhammad’s prophecy] is what’s being called up by ISIS. It’s very unusual to see a black flag in today’s world. The other important part is Muhammad’s seal, the white disk in the center of the flag, which ISIS is using its symbolism to legitimize itself in the Islamic world.”
ISIS flag has become a familiar symbol that’s hard to avoid in the news, a black flag with white ancient Arabic font writing across the top flown by militant ISIS, and displayed everywhere from the suburbs of New Jersey to a store window of a Sydney café during a hostage crisis.
What’s the origin of the flag and what does the Arabic writing mean? “The Black Banner or Black Standard of Islam goes back to the 8th century, when the second dynasty of Islam came to power with Black Banners,” says Jonathan Bloom a professor of Islamic art at Boston College. The white writing that you see at the top of the flag is the first half of an Islamic phrase called the Shahada, or declaration of faith which reads: “There is no god but Allah.” The seal of Muhammad which is the white circular emblem in the middle of the flag is the second part of the Shahada. On it are the words written, “Muhammad is the final messenger of Allah or the final prophet of Allah.”
Using this phrase sends an important message that all Muslims must work to evoke an image of the historical Islamic caliphate, the massive state that ISIS claims it is resurrecting.
Besides carrying the Black Standard of Muhammad, ISIS militants are now using a single raised index finger as the symbol of their cause. It’s a well- known sign of power and victory around the world, but it has a more sinister and dangerous meaning when it comes to ISIS traditional thinking.
Nathaniel Zelinsky writes in Foreign Affairs the gesture of one raised finger refers to the tawhid, “The belief in the oneness of God is a key component to the Muslim religion.” More specifically, it refers to their fundamentalist interpretation of the tawhid, which rejects any other view, including other Islamic interpretations as ideology. Zelinsky writes that “when ISIS uses the gesture, it is affirming an ideology that (demands the destruction of the West) as well as any form of pluralism. For potential recruits around the globe, it also shows their belief that they will dominate the World.”
A militant fighter poses for a picture, waves the black flag and gestures with one raised index finger as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Northern Raqqa province. They all cry out “death to America, our flag will fly over your White House, praise, Allah”, all respecting their flag of hatred.
In contrast, unbelievably here in America our Universities and high schools are teaching our young to hate the U.S. flag which stands for, strength, unity, truth, exceptionalism, liberty, peace, bravery and a God of Love .
Raymond Ibrahim, expert in Middle East and Islamic Affairs made a startling but obvious conclusion about this Obama admin. He said, “Whenever the U.S. intervenes in an Islamic nation, Islamists come to power, like the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt did and Christians and minorities suffered extreme persecution. Why does the U.S. empower forces that are hostile to Christianity when those forces are also inevitably hostile to all things Western especially the U.S.? We as a nation are destroying ourselves with a notion that Christianity and Islam are the same and worship the (same God). This thinking is wrong and deadly.”
Monotheism, the belief that there is but one God is an interesting similarity between the two religions but not an equalizer. Then again the Media has (no concept of religion) so they conflate the two like “they know” what they are talking about on the subject when they and Mr. Obama clearly don’t.
Their flag doesn’t say Jesus is God and the prophet of the good news in the Bible. No, it succinctly says Allah is the “only god” and Muhammad is the prophet.
As a Christian this tells me exactly who these people really are extracting all the attention from the whole world with their subjugation of forced conversion or death. ISIS’s flag describes and exposes all by itself, they are satanic worshipers with an annihilation strategy, of anyone not Muslim, forming a cleansed one world government, (Caliphate) and one world religion.
ISIS one finger gesture speaks boldly to the whole world they are against Pluralism, Convert or Die, clearly says it all.
We’ve learned ISIS flag’s message skillfully states their goal, world Caliphate dominance and Allah is the only god exemplified again by the single finger gesture (no Pluralism) among religions-there is only Islam. When the Iranians were videoed chanting “death to America” with their regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini urging his followers to spread the revolution throughout the world, Mr. Obama said, “They don’t really mean it.”
Mr. Netanyahu said, “Iranian people are very talented but have been hijacked by religious zealots.” Obama says ISIS isn’t even religious. America, I think we should heed ISIS threats as grave and sincere, just like Israel does, preparing for something dangerous and sinister in the near future especially now with ISIS black flag “final warning” hovering over our horizon.