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Star and crescent

The star and crescent is an iconographic symbol used in various historical contexts, including as a prominent symbol of the Ottoman Empire, with numerous modern countries still using it as a national symbol. It was developed in the Greek colony of Byzantium ca. 300 BCE, though it became more widely used as the royal emblem of Pontic king Mithradates VI Eupator after he incorporated Byzantium into his kingdom for a short period. During the 5th century, it was present in coins minted by the Persian Sassanian Empire; the symbol was represented in the coins minted across the empire throughout the Middle East for more than 400 years from the 3rd century until the fall of the Sassanians after the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century. The conquering Muslim rulers kept the symbol in their coinage during the early years of the caliphate, as the coins were exact replicas of the Sassanian coins.

Ancient design of the star and crescent symbol as used in Byzantium in the 1st century BCE
The star and crescent symbol used in the minted coins of the Persian Sassanian Empire from the 3rd century until the 7th century. This coin was coined under Ardashir III.
The modern red star and crescent (a heraldic decrescent) design used as the de facto Emblem of Turkey.

The symbol is the conjoined representation of a crescent and a star. Both elements have a long prior history in the iconography of the Ancient Near East as representing either the Sun and Moon or the Moon and Morning Star (or their divine personifications). Coins with crescent and star symbols represented separately have a longer history, with possible ties to older Mesopotamian iconography. The star, or Sun, is often shown within the arc of the crescent (also called star in crescent, or star within crescent, for disambiguation of depictions of a star and a crescent side by side). In numismatics in particular, the term crescent and pellet is used in cases where the star is simplified to a single dot.

The combination is found comparatively rarely in late medieval and early modern heraldry. It rose to prominence with its adoption as the flag and national symbol of the Ottoman Empire and some of its administrative divisions (eyalets and vilayets) and later in the 19th-century Westernizing tanzimat (reforms). The Ottoman flag of 1844, with a white ay-yıldız (Turkish for "crescent-star") on a red background, continues to be in use as the flag of the Republic of Turkey, with minor modifications. Other states formerly part of the Ottoman Empire also used the symbol, including Libya (1951–1969 and after 2011), Tunisia (1831) and Algeria (1958). The same symbol was used in other national flags introduced during the 20th century, including the flags of Azerbaijan (1918), Pakistan (1947), Malaysia (1948), Singapore (1959), Mauritania (1959), Uzbekistan (1991), Turkmenistan (1991) and Comoros (2001). In the later 20th century, the star and crescent have acquired a popular interpretation as a "symbol of Islam", occasionally embraced by Arab nationalism or Islamism in the 1970s to 1980s but often rejected as erroneous or unfounded by Muslim commentators in more recent times. Unlike the cross, which is a symbol of Jesus' crucifixion in Christianity, there is no solid link that connects the star and crescent symbol with the concept of Islam. The connotation is widely believed to have come from the flag of Ottoman Empire, which was one of the largest empires of the early modern period. Unicode introduced a "star and crescent" character in its Miscellaneous Symbols block, at U+262A (☪).

Contents

Origins and predecessors

Sealing depicting the Neo Sumerian King, Ibbi-Sin seated with a star or Dingir and crescent adjacent to him
Depiction of the emblems of Ishtar (Venus), Sin (Moon), and Shamash (Sun) on a boundary stone of Meli-Shipak II (12th century BCE)
Venus, Sun and Moon on the Stele of Nabonidus (r. 556–539 BCE) found at Harran (Şanlıurfa Museum)

Crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography, the crescent usually being associated with the moon god Sin (Nanna) and the star with Ishtar (Inanna, i.e. Venus), often placed alongside the sun disk of Shamash. In Late Bronze Age Canaan, star and crescent moon motifs are also found on Moabite name seals.

The Egyptian hieroglyphs representing "moon" (
N11) and "star" (
N14) appear in ligature, forming a star-and-crescent shape

, as a determiner for the word for "month", ꜣbd.

The depiction of the crescent-and-star or "star inside crescent" as it would later develop in Bosporan Kingdom is difficult to trace to Mesopotamian art. Exceptionally, a combination of the crescent of Sin with the five-pointed star of Ishtar, with the star placed inside the crescent as in the later Hellenistic-era symbol, placed among numerous other symbols, is found in a boundary stone of Nebuchadnezzar I (12th century BCE; found in Nippur by John Henry Haynes in 1896). An example of such an arrangement is also found in the (highly speculative) reconstruction of a fragmentary stele of Ur-Nammu (Third Dynasty of Ur) discovered in the 1920s.

Classical antiquity

Hellenistic era

Mithradates VI Eupator of Pontus (r. 120–63 BCE) used an eight rayed star with a crescent moon as his emblem. McGing (1986) notes the association of the star and crescent with Mithradates VI, discussing its appearance on his coins, and its survival in the coins of the Bosporan Kingdom where "[t]he star and crescent appear on Pontic royal coins from the time of Mithradates III and seem to have had oriental significance as a dynastic badge of the Mithridatic family, or the arms of the country of Pontus." Several possible interpretations of the emblem have been proposed. In most of these, the "star" is taken to represent the Sun. The combination of the two symbols has been taken as representing Sun and Moon (and by extension Day and Night), the Zoroastrian Mah and Mithra, or deities arising from Greek-Anatolian-Iranian syncretism, the crescent representing Mēn Pharnakou (Μήν Φαρνακου, the local moon god) and the "star" (Sun) representing Ahuramazda (in interpretatio graeca called Zeus Stratios)

Further information: Byzantium § Emblem

By the late Hellenistic or early Roman period, the star and crescent motif had been associated to some degree with Byzantium. If any goddess had a connection with the walls in Constantinople, it was Hecate. Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding. Like Byzas in one legend, she had her origins in Thrace. Hecate was considered the patron goddess of Byzantium because she was said to have saved the city from an attack by Philip of Macedon in 340 BCE by the appearance of a bright light in the sky. To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of the goddess known as the Lampadephoros ("torch-bearer" or "torch-bringer").

Some Byzantine coins of the 1st century BCE and later show the head of Artemis with bow and quiver, and feature a crescent with what appears to be a six-rayed star on the reverse.

  • Star and crescent on a coin of Uranopolis, Macedon, ca. 300 BCE (see also Argead star).

  • A star and crescent symbol with the star shown in a sixteen-rayed "sunburst" design (3rd century BCE).

  • Coin of Mithradates VI Eupator. The obverse side has the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΕΥΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ with a stag feeding, with the star and crescent and monogram of Pergamum placed near the stag's head, all in an ivy-wreath.

  • Roman coin (1st century AD) with a bust of Artemis on the obverse and an eight-rayed star within a crescent on the reverse side.

Greek and Roman iconography

The moon-goddess Selene is commonly depicted with a crescent moon, often accompanied by two stars (the stars represent Phosphorus, the morning star, and Hesperus, the evening star); sometimes, instead of a crescent, a lunar disc is used. Often a crescent moon rests on her brow, or the cusps of a crescent moon protrude, horn-like, from her head, or from behind her head or shoulders.

  • The Moon-goddess Selene or Luna accompanied by the Dioscuri, or Phosphoros (the Morning Star) and Hesperos (the Evening Star). Marble altar, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. From Italy.

  • The goddess Selene, illustration from Meyers Lexikon, 1888.

Iran (Persia)

The star and crescent symbol appears on some coins of the Parthian vassal kingdom of Elymais in the late 1st century CE. The same symbol is present in coins that are possibly associated with Orodes I of Parthia (1st century BCE). In the 2nd century CE, some Parthian coins show a simplified "pellet within crescent" symbol.

  • A star and a crescent appearing (separately) on the obverse side of a coin of Orodes II of Parthia (r. 57–37 BCE).

  • Coin of Vardanes I of Parthia (r. c. CE 40–45)

A coin of Sassanid king Kavadh I (r. 488–531). Kavadh was the first Sassanid ruler to introduce star-and-crescent motifs as decorations on the margin of the obverse side of his coins. Note the continued use of the star and the crescent appearing on either side of the king's head.

The star and crescent motif appears on the margin of Sassanid coins in the 5th century. Sassanid rulers also appear to have used crowns featuring a crescent, sphere and crescent, or star and crescent.

Use of the star-and-crescent combination apparently goes back to the earlier appearance of a star and a crescent on Parthian coins, first under King Orodes II (1st century BCE). In these coins, the two symbols occur separately, on either side of the king's head, and not yet in their combined star-and-crescent form. Such coins are also found further afield in Greater Persia, by the end of the 1st century CE in a coin issues by the Western Satraps ruler Chashtana. This arrangement is likely inherited from its Ancient Near Eastern predecessors; the star and crescent symbols are not frequently found in Achaemenid iconography, but they are present in some cylinder seals of the Achaemenid era.

Ayatollahi (2003) attempts to connect the modern adoption as an "Islamic symbol" to Sassanid coins remaining in circulation after the Islamic conquest which is an analysis that stands in stark contrast to established consensus that there is no evidence for any connection of the symbol with Islam or the Ottomans prior to its adoption in Ottoman flags in the late 18th century.

Roman Empire

In the 2nd century, the star-within-crescent is found on the obverse side of Roman coins minted during the rule of Hadrian, Geta, Caracalla and Septimius Severus, in some cases as part of an arrangement of a crescent and seven stars, one or several of which were placed inside the crescent.

Byzantine Empire

The use of the star within the crescent symbol was extensively used by the Byzantines, continuing from its use from the classical era within the city of Constantinople and beyond.

Medieval and early modern

Christian and classical heraldric usage

The crescent on its own is used in western heraldry from at least the 13th century, while the star and crescent (or "Sun and Moon") emblem is in use in medieval seals at least from the late 12th century. The crescent in pellet symbol is used in Crusader coins of the 12th century, in some cases duplicated in the four corners of a cross, as a variant of the cross-and-crosslets ("Jerusalem cross"). Many Crusader seals and coins show the crescent and the star (or blazing Sun) on either side of the ruler's head (as in the Sassanid tradition), e.g. Bohemond III of Antioch, Richard I of England, Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse. At the same time, the star in crescent is found on the obverse of Crusader coins, e.g. in coins of the County of Tripoli minted under Raymond II or III c. 1140s–1160s show an "eight-rayed star with pellets above crescent".

The star and crescent combination appears in attributed arms from the early 14th century, possibly in a coat of arms of c. 1330, possibly attributed to John Chrysostom, and in the Wernigeroder Wappenbuch (late 15th century) attributed to one of the three Magi, named "Balthasar of Tarsus".

Crescents (without the star) increase in popularity in early modern heraldry in Europe. Siebmachers Wappenbuch (1605) records 48 coats of arms of German families which include one or several crescents.

The star and crescent combination remains rare prior to its adoption by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 18th century. In the late 16th century, the Korenić-Neorić Armorial shows a white star and crescent on a red field as the coat of arms of Illyria.

Muslim usage

Further information: Crescent § Middle ages

While the crescent on its own is depicted as an emblem used on Islamic war flags from the medieval period, at least from the 13th century although it does not seem to have been in frequent use until the 14th or 15th century, the star and crescent in an Islamic context is more rare in the medieval period, but may occasionally be found in depictions of flags from the 14th century onward.

Some Mughal era (17th century) round shields were decorated with a crescent or star and crescent.

Use in the Ottoman Empire

Further information: Flags of the Ottoman Empire
Star-and-crescent flag of the Ottoman Empire, used as the naval ensign and state symbol from late 18th century, and as the official Ottoman national flag from 1844 to 1923.

The adoption of star and crescent as the Ottoman state symbol started during the reign of Mustafa III (1757–1774) and its use became well-established during the periods of Abdul Hamid I (1774–1789) and Selim III (1789–1807). A buyruldu from 1793 states that the ships in the Ottoman navy have that flag, and various other documents from earlier and later years mention its use. The ultimate source of the emblem is unclear. It is mostly derived from the star-and-crescent symbol used by the city of Constantinople in antiquity, possibly by association with the crescent design (without the star) used in Turkish flags since before 1453.

With the Tanzimat reforms in the 19th century, flags were redesigned in the style of the European armies of the day. The flag of the Ottoman Navy was made red, as red was to be the flag of secular institutions and green of religious ones. As the reforms abolished all the various flags (standards) of the Ottoman pashaliks, beyliks and emirates, a single new Ottoman national flag was designed to replace them. The result was the red flag with the white crescent moon and star, which is the precursor to the modern flag of Turkey. A plain red flag was introduced as the civil ensign for all Ottoman subjects. The white crescent with an eight-pointed star on a red field is depicted as the flag of a "Turkish Man of War" in Colton's Delineation of Flags of All Nations (1862). Steenbergen's Vlaggen van alle Natiën of the same year shows a six-pointed star. A plate in Webster's Unabridged of 1882 shows the flag with an eight-pointed star labelled "Turkey, Man of war". The five-pointed star seems to have been present alongside these variants from at least 1857.

In addition to Ottoman imperial insignias, symbols appears on the flag of Bosnia Eyalet (1580–1867) and Bosnia Vilayet (1867–1908), as well as the flag of 1831 Bosnian revolt, while the symbols appeared on some representations of medieval Bosnian coat of arms too.

In the late 19th century, "Star and Crescent" came to be used as a metaphor for Ottoman rule in British literature. The increasingly ubiquitous fashion of using the star and crescent symbol in the ornamentation of Ottoman mosques and minarets led to a gradual association of the symbol with Islam in general in western Orientalism. The "Red Crescent" emblem was used by volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as early as 1877 during the Russo-Turkish War; it was officially adopted in 1929.

After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the new Turkish state maintained the last flag of the Ottoman Empire. Proportional standardisations were introduced in the Turkish Flag Law (Turkish: Türk Bayrağı Kanunu) of May 29, 1936. Besides the most prominent example of Turkey (see Flag of Turkey), a number of other Ottoman successor states adopted the design during the 20th century, including the Emirate of Cyrenaica and the Kingdom of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and the proposed Arab Islamic Republic.

National flags

The Ottoman flag of 1844 with a white "ay-yıldız" (Turkish for "crescent-star") on a red background continues to be in use as the flag of the Republic of Turkey with minor modifications.

Other Ottoman successor states using the star and crescent design in their flag are Tunisia (1831), Libya (1951, re-introduced 2011) and Algeria (1958). The modern emblem of Turkey shows the star outside the arc of the crescent, as it were a "realistic" depiction of a conjunction of Moon and Venus, while in the 19th century, the Ottoman star and crescent was occasionally still drawn as the star-within-crescent. By contrast, the designs of both the flags of Algeria and Tunisia (as well as Mauritania and Pakistan) place the star within the crescent.

The same symbol was used in other national flags introduced during the 20th century, including the flags of Azerbaijan (1918, re-introduced 1991), Pakistan (1947), Malaysia (1948), Mauritania (1959), and the partially recognized states of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1976) and Northern Cyprus (1983). The symbol also may represent flag of cities or emirates such as the emirate of Umm Al-Quwain.

National flags with a crescent alongside several stars:

National flags with star, crescent and other symbols:


Symbol of Islam

Further information: Symbols of Islam
Used as the symbol of Islam by the Nation of Islam

By the mid-20th century, the symbol came to be re-interpreted as the symbol of Islam or the Muslim community. This symbolism was embraced by movements of Arab nationalism or Islamism in the 1970s too, such as the proposed Arab Islamic Republic (1974) and the American Nation of Islam (1973).

Cyril Glassé in his The New Encyclopedia of Islam (2001 edition, s.v. "Moon") states that "in the language of conventional symbols, the crescent and star have become the symbols of Islam as much as the cross is the symbol of Christianity."

By contrast, Crescent magazine — a religious Islamic publication — quoted without giving names that "Many Muslim scholars reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam".

On February 28, 2017, it was announced by the Qira County government in Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang, China that those who reported others for stitching the 'star and crescent moon' insignia on their clothing or personal items or having the words 'East Turkestan' on their mobile phone case, purse or other jewelry, would be eligible for cash payments.

Municipal coats of arms

The star and crescent as a traditional heraldic charge is in continued use in numerous municipal coats of arms (notably the based on the Leliwa (Tarnowski) coat of arms in the case of Polish municipalities).

Sports Club Emblems

In rugby union, Saracens F.C. incorporates the crescent and star in its crest. Drogheda United F.C. and Portsmouth F.C. both borrow the crescent and star from their respective towns' coats of arms. Mohammedan SC in Kolkata, also incorporates the symbol in its crest.

Other uses

  1. Andrew G. Traver, From Polis to Empire, The Ancient World, c. 800 B.C.–A.D. 500, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, p. 257
  2. "The star and crescent are common Persian symbols, being a regular feature of the borders of Sassanian dirhems." Philip Grierson, Byzantine Coins, Taylor & Francis, 1982, p118
  3. "There are also three cases [... viz., associated with the "Danubian Rider Religion"] where the star, figured as a radiate disc 'balancing the crescent moon', must represent Sol, balancing Luna who is represented as a crescent instead of in bust. The 'star in crescent' theme itself appears only once, on an engraved gem, accompanied by the lion and an indecipherable inscription [...] This theme is connected with the Orient and has a long history behind it in the Hittite, Babylonian, Assyrian, Sassanid and Iranian worlds. Campbell gives us valuable particulars. The heavenly bodies thus symbolized were seen as the powerful influence of cosmic fatalism guiding the destinies of men." Dumitru Tudor, Christopher Holme (trans.), Corpus Monumentorum Religionis Equitum Danuvinorum (CMRED) (1976), p. 192 (referencing Leroy A. Campbell, Mithraic Iconography and Ideology' '(1969), 93f.
  4. e.g. Catalogue of the Greek coins in The British Museum (2005), p. 311 (index).
  5. Cyril Glassé , The New Encyclopedia of Islam (revised ed. 2001), s.v. "Moon" (p. 314).
  6. "Many Muslim scholars reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept it." Fiaz Fazli, Crescent magazine, Srinagar, September 2009, p. 42.
  7. A similar stele found in Babylon is kept in the British Museum (no. 90837).
  8. Michael R. Molnar, The Star of Bethlehem, Rutgers University Press, 1999, p78
  9. "the three celestial emblems, the sun disk of Shamash (Utu to the Sumerians), the crescent of Sin (Nanna), and the star of Ishtar (Inanna to the Sumerians)" Irving L. Finkel, Markham J. Geller, Sumerian Gods and Their Representations, Styx, 1997, p71. André Parrot, Sumer: The Dawn of Art, Golden Press, 1961
  10. Othmar Keel, Christoph Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel, Fortress Press, 1998, p. 322.
  11. A.H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar: Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs. 3rd Ed., pub. Griffith Institute, Oxford, 1957 (1st edition 1927), p. 486.
  12. W. J. Hinke, A New Boundary Stone of Nebuchadrezzar I from Nippur with a Concordance of Proper Names and a Glossary of the Kudurru Inscriptions thus far Published (1907), 120f. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, object nr. 29-20-1.
  13. J. V. Canby, Reconstructing the Ur Nammu Stela, Expedition 29.1, 54–64.
  14. B.C. McGing, The Foreign Policy of Mithradates VI Eupator, King of Pontus, Brill, 1986, p 97
  15. "The star and the crescent, the emblem of the Pontus and its kings, were introduced by Mithradates and his successors to the Bosporus and appeared on Bosporan coins and locally produced jewelry. On the coins this symbol often appears near the head of a young man wearing a Phrygian cap, who is identified as either a solar deity or his deified worshipper. [...] the star and the crescent, the badge of the Pontus and its kings, shown on the Colchian amphora stamp, and appearing on engraved finger-rings discovered in this area allude to the possibility of an earlier association of the Pontic dynasty with the cult of mounted Mithra. Mithra in fact must have been one of the most venerated gods of the Pontic Kingdom, since its rulers bore the theophoric name of Mithradates [...] although direct evidence for this cult is rather meager." Yulia Ustinova, The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom, Brill, 1998, 270–274
  16. Strabo (12.3.31) writes that Mēn Pharnakou had a sanctuary at Kabeira in Pontus where the Pontic kings would swear oaths. Mēn Pharnakou is a syncretistic Anatolian-Iranian moon deity not directly comparable to Zoroastrian Māh. Albert F. de Jong, Traditions of the Magi: Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin Literature (1997), %A9n%20Pharmakou&f=false p. 306.
  17. "His royal emblem, an eight rayed star and the crescent moon, represented the dynasty's patron gods, Zeus Stratios, or Ahuramazda, and Mén Pharnakou, a Persian form of the native moon goddess." Andrew G. Traver, From Polis to Empire—The Ancient World c. 800 B.C.–A.D. 450, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, p. 257
  18. "The significance of the star and crescent on royal coins has also been frequently debated. Many scholars have identified the star and the crescent as royal symbols of the Pontic kingdom. Their appearance on every royal issue suggests they were indeed important symbols, and the connection of this symbol to the royal family is definite. The nature of it, however, is still uncertain. Kleiner believed they were symbols of an indigenous god and had their origins in Persia. He associated the star and crescent with the god Men and saw them as representations of night and day (the star may be considered the sun here). Ritter, on the other hand, suggested that the star and crescent symbols derived from Perseus, just as the star symbol of the Macedonians did. […] Ma and Mithras are two other deities with whom the star and crescent symbol are associated. Olshausen believed that the star and crescent could be related to a syncretism of Pontic and Iranian iconography: the crescent for Men and the star for Ahura Mazda. Recently, Summerer has convincingly suggested that Men alone was the inspiration for the symbol on the royal coins of the Pontic kingdom. Deniz Burcu Erciyas, "Wealth, Aristocracy, and Royal Propaganda Under The Hellenistic Kingdom of The Mithradatids in The Central Black Sea Region in Turkey", Colloquia Pontica Vol.12, Brill, 2005, p 131
  19. "Devotion to Hecate was especially favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon. Her symbols were the crescent and star, and the walls of her city were her provenance." Vasiliki Limberis, Divine Heiress, Routledge, 1994, p 15. "In 340 B.C., however, the Byzantines, with the aid of the Athenians, withstood a siege successfully, an occurrence the more remarkable as they were attacked by the greatest general of the age, Philip of Macedon. In the course of this beleaguerment, it is related, on a certain wet and moonless night the enemy attempted a surprise, but were foiled by reason of a bright light which, appearing suddenly in the heavens, startled all the dogs in the town and thus roused the garrison to a sense of their danger. To commemorate this timely phenomenon, which was attributed to Hecate, they erected a public statue to that goddess [...]" William Gordon Holmes, The Age of Justinian and Theodora, 2003 p 5-6; "If any goddess had a connection with the walls in Constantinople, it was Hecate. Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding. Like Byzas in one legend, she had her origins in Thrace. Since Hecate was the guardian of "liminal places", in Byzantium small temples in her honor were placed close to the gates of the city. Hecate's importance to Byzantium was above all as deity of protection. When Philip of Macedon was about to attack the city, according to the legend she alerted the townspeople with her ever-present torches, and with her pack of dogs, which served as her constant companions. Her mythic qualities thenceforth forever entered the fabric of Byzantine history. A statue known as the 'Lampadephoros' was erected on the hill above the Bosphorous to commemorate Hecate's defensive aid." Vasiliki Limberis, Divine Heiress, Routledge, 1994, p 126-127. This story survived in the works , who in all probability lived in the time of Justinian I. His works survive only in fragments preserved in Photius and the 10th century lexicographer Suidas. The tale is also related by Stephanus of Byzantium, and Eustathius.
  20. "Cybele Plaque" from Ai Khanoum, Bactria, 3rd century BCE. Helios is shown separately in the form of a bust with a rayed halo of thirteen rays. F. Tissot, Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan, 1931-1985 (2006), p. 42.
  21. H. G. Liddell, A History of Rome from the earliest times to the establishment of the Empire (1857), p. 605. C.f. forumancientcoins.com.
  22. LIMC, Selene, Luna 35.
  23. Cohen, Beth, "Outline as a Special Technique in Black- and Red-figure Vase-painting", in The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases, Getty Publications, 2006, ISBN 9780892369423, pp. 178–179;
  24. Savignoni L. 1899. "On Representations of Helios and of Selene." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 19: pp. 270–271
  25. Zschietzschmann, W, Hellas and Rome: The Classical World in Pictures, Kessinger Publishing, 2006. ISBN 9781428655447. p.23
  26. British Museum 1923,0401.199; LIMC Selene, Luna 21; LIMC Selene, Luna 4; LIMC Mithras 113; LIMC Selene, Luna 15; LIMC Selene, Luna 34; LIMC Selene, Luna 2; LIMC Selene, Luna 7; LIMC Selene, Luna 9; LIMC Selene, Luna 10; LIMC Selene, Luna 19. For the close association between the crescent moon and horns see Cashford.
  27. Michael Alram, Nomina Propria Iranica in Nummis, Materialgrundlagen zu den iranischen Personennamen auf Antiken Münzen (1986); C. Augé, "Quelques monnaies d'Elymaïde," Bulletin de la Société Française de Numismatique, November 1976; N. Renaud, "Un nouveau souverain d'Elymaïde," Bulletin de la Société Française de Numismatique, January 1999, pp. 1-5. Coins of Elymais (parthia.com).
  28. "The star and crescent are common Persian symbols, being a regular feature of the borders of Sassanian dirhems." Philip Grierson, Byzantine Coins, Taylor & Francis, 1982, p118
  29. "A rare type with crescent and star alone on the reverse is probably Chashtana's earliest issue, struck before he extended his power into Malwa." H.H. Dodwell (Ed.), The Cambridge Shorter History of India, Cambridge University Press, 1935, p. 83.
  30. Achaemenid period: "not normally associated with scenes cut in the Court Style"; Persepolis seal PFS 71 (M. B. Garrison in Curtis and Simpson (eds.), The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East (2010), p. 354) PFS 9 (M. B. Garrison, Seals And The Elite At Persepolis; Some Observations On Early Achaemenid Persian Art (1991), p. 8). Parthian period: "[t]he Parthian king Mithradates I conquered Mesopotamia around 147 BC, and Susa in about 140 BC A later Parthian king, Orodes II (58-38 BC), issued coins at Susa and elsewhere which display a star and crescent on the obverse. The succeeding ruler, Phraates IV (38-3/2 BC), minted coins showing either a star alone or a star with crescent moon. In representing the star and crescent on their coins the Parthians thus adopted traditional symbols used in Mesopotamia and Elam more than two millennia before their own arrival in those parts." John Hansman, "The great gods of Elymais" in Acta Iranica, Encyclopédie Permanente Des Etudes Iraniennes, v.X, Papers in Honor of Professor Mary Boyce, Brill Archive, 1985, pp 229–232
  31. "Sasani coins remained in circulation in Moslem countries up to the end of the first century (Hijra). This detailed description of Sasani crowns was presented because the motifs mentioned, particularly the crescent and star gradually changed into Islamic symbols and have often appeared in the decorative patterns of various periods of Islamic art. [...] The flags of many Islamic countries bear crescents and stars and are proof of this Sasani innovation." Habibollah Ayatollahi (trans. Shermin Haghshenās), The Book of Iran: The History of Iranian Art, Alhoda UK, 2003, pp 155–157
  32. "when we come to examine the history of the crescent as a badge of Muhammadanism, we are confronted by the fact that it was not employed by the Arabs or any of the first peoples who embraced the faith of the prophet" "The truth is that the crescent was not identified with Islam until after the appearance of the Osmanli Turks, whilst on the other hand there is the clearest evidence that in the time of the Crusades, and long before, the crescent and star were a regular badge of Byzantium and the Byzantine Emperors, some of whom placed it on their coins." William Ridgeway, "The Origin of the Turkish Crescent", in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 38 (Jul. - Dec. 1908), pp. 241-258 (p 241)
  33. Selene and Luna on Roman Coins (forumancientcoins.com): "Bronze coin of Caracalla from Nicopolis ad Istrum with a single star in the arms of the crescent moon; coin of Geta showing five stars; a denarius of Septimius Severus with an array of seven stars." Roman-era coins from Carrhae (Harran): Carrhae, Mesopotamia, modern day Harran (wildwinds.com)
  34. "Post-Classical star and crescent". 10 April 2019.
  35. In the 12th century found on pennies of William the Lion (r. 1174–1195). William Till, An Essay on the Roman Denarius and English Silver Penny (1838), p. 73. E.g. "Rev: short cross with crescent and pellets in angles and +RAVLD[ ] legend for the moneyer Raul Derling at Berwick or Roxburgh mint" (timelineauctions.com). Seaby SE5025 "Rev. [+RAV]L ON ROC, short cross with crescents & pellets in quarters" (wildwinds.com).
  36. Bohemond III of Antioch (r. 1163–1201) "Obv. Helmeted head of king in chain-maille armor, crescent and star to sides" (ancientresource.com)
  37. "Billon denier, struck c. late 1140s-1164. + RA[M]VNDVS COMS, cross pattée, pellet in 1st and 2nd quarters / CIVI[TAS T]RIPOLIS, eight-rayed star with pellets above crescent. ref: CCS 6-8; Metcalf 509 (ancientresource.com).
  38. "The earliest church in the Morea to include a saint holding a shield marked by the crescent and star may be St. John Chrysostom, which has been dated on the basis of style to ca. 1300 [...]" Angeliki E. Laiou, Roy P. Mottahedeh, The Crusades From the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World, Dumbarton Oaks, 2001, p 278
  39. ; adopted by Virgil Solis in his Wappenbüchlein (1555)
  40. Sara L. Uckelman, An Ordinary of Siebmacher's Wappenbuch (ellipsis.cx) (2014)
  41. Richard is depicted as seated between a crescent and a "Sun full radiant" in his second Great Seal of 1198. English heraldic tradition of the early modern period associates the star and crescent design with Richard, with his victory over Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus in 1192, and with the arms of Portsmouth (Francis Wise A Letter to Dr Mead Concerning Some Antiquities in Berkshire, 1738, p. 18). Heraldic tradition also attributes a star-and-crescent to Richard (Charles Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1909, p. 468).
  42. Found in the 19th century at the site of the Biais commandery, in Saint-Père-en-Retz, Loire-Atlantique, France, now in the Musée Dobré in Nantes, inv. no. 303. Philippe Josserand, "Les Templiers en Bretagne au Moyen Âge : mythes et réalités", Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l’Ouest 119.4 (2012), 7–33 (p.24).
  43. In 15th-century Europe, it was widely assumed that the gypsies were Egyptians (hence the name gypsies), and several gypsy leaders are known to have styled themselves as "counts of lesser Egypt". Wilhelm Ferdinand Bischoff, Deutsch-Zigeunerisches Wörterbuch (1827), p.14
  44. Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, "What Is The Significance Of The Crescent Moon In Islam?". bismikaallahuma.org. RetrievedSeptember 21, 2017.
  45. Pamela Berger, The Crescent on the Temple: The Dome of the Rock as Image of the Ancient Jewish Sanctuary (2012), p. 164f
  46. İslâm Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish). 4. Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı. 1991. p. 298.
  47. "It seems possible, though not certain, that after the conquest Mehmed took over the crescent and star as an emblem of sovereignty from the Byzantines. The half-moon alone on a blood red flag, allegedly conferred on the Janissaries by Emir Orhan, was much older, as is demonstrated by numerous references to it dating from before 1453. But since these flags lack the star, which along with the half-moon is to be found on Sassanid and Byzantine municipal coins, it may be regarded as an innovation of Mehmed. It seems certain that in the interior of Asia tribes of Turkish nomads had been using the half-moon alone as an emblem for some time past, but it is equally certain that crescent and star together are attested only for a much later period. There is good reason to believe that old Turkish and Byzantine traditions were combined in the emblem of Ottoman and, much later, present-day Republican Turkish sovereignty." Franz Babinger (William C. Hickman Ed., Ralph Manheim Trans.), Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time, Princeton University Press, 1992, p 108
  48. e.g. A. Locher, "With Star and Crescent: A Full and Authentic Account of a Recent Journey with a Caravan from Bombay to Constantinope"; Andrew Haggard, "Under Crescent and Star" (1895).
  49. "Mosque and minaret are surmounted by crescents; the air glowing over the Golden Horn is, as it were, full of moons." Hezekiah Butterworth, Zigzag journeys in the Orient vol. 3 (1882), p. 481.
  50. The symbolism of the star and crescent in the flag of the Kingdom of Libya (1951–1969) was explained in an English language booklet, The Libyan Flag & The National Anthem, issued by the Ministry of Information and Guidance of the Kingdom of Libya (year unknown, cited after Jos Poels at FOTW, 1997) as follows: "The crescent is symbolic of the beginning of the lunar month according to the Muslim calendar. It brings back to our minds the story of Hijra (migration) of our Prophet Mohammed from his home in order to spread Islam and teach the principles of right and virtue. The Star represents our smiling hope, the beauty of aim and object and the light of our belief in God, in our country, its dignity and honour which illuminate our way and puts an end to darkness."
  51. Edward E. Curtis, Black Muslim religion in the Nation of Islam, 1960–1975 (2006), p. 157.
  52. Joshua Lipes, Jilil Kashgary (4 April 2017). "Xinjiang Police Search Uyghur Homes For 'Illegal Items'". Radio Free Asia. Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Retrieved16 December 2019. A second announcement, issued Feb. 28 by the Chira (Cele) county government, said those who report individuals for having “stitched the ‘star and crescent moon’ insignia on their clothing or personal items” or the words “East Turkestan”—referring to the name of a short-lived Uyghur republic—on their mobile phone case, purse or other jewelry, were also eligible for cash payments.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  53. The blazon of the coat of arms is attested in the 19th century, as Azure a crescent or, surmounted by an estoile of eight points of the last (William Berry, Robert Glover, Encyclopædia Heraldica, 1828). This is apparently based on minor seals used by Portsmouth mayors in the 18th century (Robert East H. Lewis, Extracts from Records in the Possession of the Municipal Corporation of the Borough of Portsmouth and from Other Documents Relating Thereto, 1891, p. 656). The medieval seal showed no such design (Henry Press Wright, The Story of the 'Domus Dei' of Portsmouth: Commonly Called the Royal Garrison Church, 1873, p. 12). The claim connecting the star and crescent design to the Great Seal of Richard I originates in the mid 20th century (Valentine Dyall, Unsolved Mysteries: A Collection of Weird Problems from the Past, 1954, p. 14).
  54. Peter Ziegler (ed.), Die Gemeindewappen des Kantons Zürich (1977), 74–77.
  • Charles Boutell, "Device of Star (or Sun) and Crescent". In The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume XXXVI (New Series). London: John Nicols & Son, London, 1851, pp. 514–515
  • Media related to Star and crescent at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of at Wiktionary

Star and crescent
Star and crescent Article Talk Language Watch Edit The star and crescent is an iconographic symbol used in various historical contexts including as a prominent symbol of the Ottoman Empire with numerous modern countries still using it as a national symbol It was developed in the Greek colony of Byzantium ca 300 BCE though it became more widely used as the royal emblem of Pontic king Mithradates VI Eupator after he incorporated Byzantium into his kingdom for a short period 1 During the 5th century it was present in coins minted by the Persian Sassanian Empire the symbol was represented in the coins minted across the empire throughout the Middle East for more than 400 years from the 3rd century until the fall of the Sassanians after the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century 2 The conquering Muslim rulers kept the symbol in their coinage during the early years of the caliphate as the coins were exact replicas of the Sassanian coins Ancient design of the star and crescent symbol as used in Byzantium in the 1st century BCEThe star and crescent symbol used in the minted coins of the Persian Sassanian Empire from the 3rd century until the 7th century This coin was coined under Ardashir III The modern red star and crescent a heraldic decrescent design used as the de facto Emblem of Turkey The symbol is the conjoined representation of a crescent and a star Both elements have a long prior history in the iconography of the Ancient Near East as representing either the Sun and Moon or the Moon and Morning Star or their divine personifications Coins with crescent and star symbols represented separately have a longer history with possible ties to older Mesopotamian iconography The star or Sun is often shown within the arc of the crescent also called star in crescent or star within crescent for disambiguation of depictions of a star and a crescent side by side 3 In numismatics in particular the term crescent and pellet is used in cases where the star is simplified to a single dot 4 The combination is found comparatively rarely in late medieval and early modern heraldry It rose to prominence with its adoption as the flag and national symbol of the Ottoman Empire and some of its administrative divisions eyalets and vilayets and later in the 19th century Westernizing tanzimat reforms The Ottoman flag of 1844 with a white ay yildiz Turkish for crescent star on a red background continues to be in use as the flag of the Republic of Turkey with minor modifications Other states formerly part of the Ottoman Empire also used the symbol including Libya 1951 1969 and after 2011 Tunisia 1831 and Algeria 1958 The same symbol was used in other national flags introduced during the 20th century including the flags of Azerbaijan 1918 Pakistan 1947 Malaysia 1948 Singapore 1959 Mauritania 1959 Uzbekistan 1991 Turkmenistan 1991 and Comoros 2001 In the later 20th century the star and crescent have acquired a popular interpretation as a symbol of Islam 5 occasionally embraced by Arab nationalism or Islamism in the 1970s to 1980s but often rejected as erroneous or unfounded by Muslim commentators in more recent times 6 Unlike the cross which is a symbol of Jesus crucifixion in Christianity there is no solid link that connects the star and crescent symbol with the concept of Islam The connotation is widely believed to have come from the flag of Ottoman Empire which was one of the largest empires of the early modern period Unicode introduced a star and crescent character in its Miscellaneous Symbols block at U 262A Contents 1 History 1 1 Origins and predecessors 1 2 Classical antiquity 1 2 1 Hellenistic era 1 2 2 Greek and Roman iconography 1 2 3 Iran Persia 1 2 4 Roman Empire 1 2 5 Byzantine Empire 1 3 Medieval and early modern 1 3 1 Christian and classical heraldric usage 1 3 2 Muslim usage 1 4 Use in the Ottoman Empire 2 Contemporary use 2 1 National flags 2 2 Symbol of Islam 2 3 Municipal coats of arms 2 4 Sports Club Emblems 2 5 Other uses 3 See also 4 References 5 External linksHistory EditOrigins and predecessors Edit Sealing depicting the Neo Sumerian King Ibbi Sin seated with a star or Dingir and crescent adjacent to him Depiction of the emblems of Ishtar Venus Sin Moon and Shamash Sun on a boundary stone of Meli Shipak II 12th century BCE Venus Sun and Moon on the Stele of Nabonidus r 556 539 BCE found at Harran Sanliurfa Museum 7 Crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography the crescent usually being associated with the moon god Sin Nanna and the star with Ishtar Inanna i e Venus often placed alongside the sun disk of Shamash 8 9 In Late Bronze Age Canaan star and crescent moon motifs are also found on Moabite name seals 10 The Egyptian hieroglyphs representing moon N11 and star N14 appear in ligature forming a star and crescent shape as a determiner for the word for month ꜣbd 11 The depiction of the crescent and star or star inside crescent as it would later develop in Bosporan Kingdom is difficult to trace to Mesopotamian art Exceptionally a combination of the crescent of Sin with the five pointed star of Ishtar with the star placed inside the crescent as in the later Hellenistic era symbol placed among numerous other symbols is found in a boundary stone of Nebuchadnezzar I 12th century BCE found in Nippur by John Henry Haynes in 1896 12 An example of such an arrangement is also found in the highly speculative reconstruction of a fragmentary stele of Ur Nammu Third Dynasty of Ur discovered in the 1920s 13 Classical antiquity Edit Hellenistic era Edit Mithradates VI Eupator of Pontus r 120 63 BCE used an eight rayed star with a crescent moon as his emblem McGing 1986 notes the association of the star and crescent with Mithradates VI discussing its appearance on his coins and its survival in the coins of the Bosporan Kingdom where t he star and crescent appear on Pontic royal coins from the time of Mithradates III and seem to have had oriental significance as a dynastic badge of the Mithridatic family or the arms of the country of Pontus 14 Several possible interpretations of the emblem have been proposed In most of these the star is taken to represent the Sun The combination of the two symbols has been taken as representing Sun and Moon and by extension Day and Night the Zoroastrian Mah and Mithra 15 or deities arising from Greek Anatolian Iranian syncretism the crescent representing Men Pharnakou Mhn Farnakoy the local moon god 16 and the star Sun representing Ahuramazda in interpretatio graeca called Zeus Stratios 17 18 Further information Byzantium Emblem By the late Hellenistic or early Roman period the star and crescent motif had been associated to some degree with Byzantium If any goddess had a connection with the walls in Constantinople it was Hecate Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding Like Byzas in one legend she had her origins in Thrace Hecate was considered the patron goddess of Byzantium because she was said to have saved the city from an attack by Philip of Macedon in 340 BCE by the appearance of a bright light in the sky To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of the goddess known as the Lampadephoros torch bearer or torch bringer 19 Some Byzantine coins of the 1st century BCE and later show the head of Artemis with bow and quiver and feature a crescent with what appears to be a six rayed star on the reverse Star and crescent on a coin of Uranopolis Macedon ca 300 BCE see also Argead star A star and crescent symbol with the star shown in a sixteen rayed sunburst design 3rd century BCE 20 Coin of Mithradates VI Eupator The obverse side has the inscription BASILEWS MI8RADATOY EYPATOROS with a stag feeding with the star and crescent and monogram of Pergamum placed near the stag s head all in an ivy wreath 21 Roman coin 1st century AD with a bust of Artemis on the obverse and an eight rayed star within a crescent on the reverse side Greek and Roman iconography Edit The moon goddess Selene is commonly depicted with a crescent moon often accompanied by two stars the stars represent Phosphorus the morning star and Hesperus the evening star sometimes instead of a crescent a lunar disc is used 22 23 24 25 Often a crescent moon rests on her brow or the cusps of a crescent moon protrude horn like from her head or from behind her head or shoulders 26 The Moon goddess Selene or Luna accompanied by the Dioscuri or Phosphoros the Morning Star and Hesperos the Evening Star Marble altar Roman artwork 2nd century CE From Italy The goddess Selene illustration from Meyers Lexikon 1888 Iran Persia Edit The star and crescent symbol appears on some coins of the Parthian vassal kingdom of Elymais in the late 1st century CE The same symbol is present in coins that are possibly associated with Orodes I of Parthia 1st century BCE In the 2nd century CE some Parthian coins show a simplified pellet within crescent symbol 27 A star and a crescent appearing separately on the obverse side of a coin of Orodes II of Parthia r 57 37 BCE Coin of Vardanes I of Parthia r c CE 40 45 A coin of Sassanid king Kavadh I r 488 531 Kavadh was the first Sassanid ruler to introduce star and crescent motifs as decorations on the margin of the obverse side of his coins Note the continued use of the star and the crescent appearing on either side of the king s head The star and crescent motif appears on the margin of Sassanid coins in the 5th century 28 Sassanid rulers also appear to have used crowns featuring a crescent sphere and crescent or star and crescent Use of the star and crescent combination apparently goes back to the earlier appearance of a star and a crescent on Parthian coins first under King Orodes II 1st century BCE In these coins the two symbols occur separately on either side of the king s head and not yet in their combined star and crescent form Such coins are also found further afield in Greater Persia by the end of the 1st century CE in a coin issues by the Western Satraps ruler Chashtana 29 This arrangement is likely inherited from its Ancient Near Eastern predecessors the star and crescent symbols are not frequently found in Achaemenid iconography but they are present in some cylinder seals of the Achaemenid era 30 Ayatollahi 2003 attempts to connect the modern adoption as an Islamic symbol to Sassanid coins remaining in circulation after the Islamic conquest 31 which is an analysis that stands in stark contrast to established consensus that there is no evidence for any connection of the symbol with Islam or the Ottomans prior to its adoption in Ottoman flags in the late 18th century 32 Roman Empire Edit In the 2nd century the star within crescent is found on the obverse side of Roman coins minted during the rule of Hadrian Geta Caracalla and Septimius Severus in some cases as part of an arrangement of a crescent and seven stars one or several of which were placed inside the crescent 33 Coin of Roman Emperor Hadrian r 117 138 The reverse shows an eight rayed star within a crescent Roman period limestone pediment from Perge Turkey Antalya Museum showing Diana Artemis with a crescent and a radiant crown Byzantine Empire Edit The use of the star within the crescent symbol was extensively used by the Byzantines continuing from its use from the classical era within the city of Constantinople and beyond 34 Adoration of the Magi by Stefan Lochner Notice the Byzantine attendees on the left hand side represented by a star and crescent moon flag This is one of the Three Magi pennants the other two can be seen on the right of the image Attributed arms of the Byzantine ruler Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus Medieval and early modern Edit Christian and classical heraldric usage Edit Further information Crescent heraldry Star heraldry and Sun heraldry The crescent on its own is used in western heraldry from at least the 13th century while the star and crescent or Sun and Moon emblem is in use in medieval seals at least from the late 12th century The crescent in pellet symbol is used in Crusader coins of the 12th century in some cases duplicated in the four corners of a cross as a variant of the cross and crosslets Jerusalem cross 35 Many Crusader seals and coins show the crescent and the star or blazing Sun on either side of the ruler s head as in the Sassanid tradition e g Bohemond III of Antioch Richard I of England Raymond VI Count of Toulouse 36 At the same time the star in crescent is found on the obverse of Crusader coins e g in coins of the County of Tripoli minted under Raymond II or III c 1140s 1160s show an eight rayed star with pellets above crescent 37 The star and crescent combination appears in attributed arms from the early 14th century possibly in a coat of arms of c 1330 possibly attributed to John Chrysostom 38 and in the Wernigeroder Wappenbuch late 15th century attributed to one of the three Magi named Balthasar of Tarsus 39 Crescents without the star increase in popularity in early modern heraldry in Europe Siebmachers Wappenbuch 1605 records 48 coats of arms of German families which include one or several crescents 40 The star and crescent combination remains rare prior to its adoption by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 18th century In the late 16th century the Korenic Neoric Armorial shows a white star and crescent on a red field as the coat of arms of Illyria Great Seal of Richard I of England 1198 41 Equestrian seal of Raymond VI Count of Toulouse with a star and a crescent 13th century The crescent flag ascribed to the Hungarians against the Mongol Golden Horde in the Battle of Mohi 1241 Historical coat of arms of Kunsag where Cumans in Hungary settled 1279 Templar seal of the 13th century probably of the preceptor of the commanderies at Coudrie and Biais Brittany 42 The Polish Leliwa coat of arms 14th century seal Coats of arms of the Three Magi with Baltasar of Tarsus being attributed a star and crescent increscent in a blue field Wernigerode Armorial c 1490 Coat of arms of John Freigraf of Lesser Egypt i e Romani gypsy 43 18th century drawing of a 1498 coat of arms in Pforzheim church Depictions of stars with crescents are a common motif on the stecak 12th to 16th century tombstones of medieval Bosnia 1668 representation by Joan Blaeu of Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bosnia from 1595 Korenic Neoric Armorial The coat of arms of Illyria from the Korenic Neoric Armorial 1590s Banner of Cumania used at the coronation of Ferdinand II of Hungary in 1618 and assigned to Gaspar Caspar Illeshazy Star and crescent on the obverse of the Jelacic Gulden of the Kingdom of Croatia 1848 Coat of arms of the noble family Slatte 1625 1699 in Sweden Coat of arms of the noble family Finckenberg 1627 1809 in Sweden Coat of arms of the noble family Boose 1642 1727 in Sweden Muslim usage Edit Further information Crescent Middle ages While the crescent on its own is depicted as an emblem used on Islamic war flags from the medieval period at least from the 13th century although it does not seem to have been in frequent use until the 14th or 15th century 44 45 the star and crescent in an Islamic context is more rare in the medieval period but may occasionally be found in depictions of flags from the 14th century onward Some Mughal era 17th century round shields were decorated with a crescent or star and crescent Depiction of a star and crescent flag on the Saracen side in the Battle of Yarmouk manuscript illustration of the History of the Tatars Catalan workshop early 14th century A miniature painting from a Padshahnama manuscript c 1640 depicting Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as bearing a shield with a star and crescent decoration A painting from a Padshahnama manuscript 1633 depicts the scene of Aurangzeb facing the maddened war elephant Sudhakar Sowar s shield is decorated with a star and crescent Ottoman sipahis in battle holding the crescent banner by Jozef Brandt Flag of the Kingdom of Egypt 1922 1953 and co official flag of the Republic of Egypt 1953 1958 Use in the Ottoman Empire Edit Further information Flags of the Ottoman Empire Star and crescent flag of the Ottoman Empire used as the naval ensign and state symbol from late 18th century and as the official Ottoman national flag from 1844 to 1923 The adoption of star and crescent as the Ottoman state symbol started during the reign of Mustafa III 1757 1774 and its use became well established during the periods of Abdul Hamid I 1774 1789 and Selim III 1789 1807 46 A buyruldu from 1793 states that the ships in the Ottoman navy have that flag and various other documents from earlier and later years mention its use 46 The ultimate source of the emblem is unclear It is mostly derived from the star and crescent symbol used by the city of Constantinople in antiquity possibly by association with the crescent design without the star used in Turkish flags since before 1453 47 With the Tanzimat reforms in the 19th century flags were redesigned in the style of the European armies of the day The flag of the Ottoman Navy was made red as red was to be the flag of secular institutions and green of religious ones As the reforms abolished all the various flags standards of the Ottoman pashaliks beyliks and emirates a single new Ottoman national flag was designed to replace them The result was the red flag with the white crescent moon and star which is the precursor to the modern flag of Turkey A plain red flag was introduced as the civil ensign for all Ottoman subjects The white crescent with an eight pointed star on a red field is depicted as the flag of a Turkish Man of War in Colton s Delineation of Flags of All Nations 1862 Steenbergen s Vlaggen van alle Natien of the same year shows a six pointed star A plate in Webster s Unabridged of 1882 shows the flag with an eight pointed star labelled Turkey Man of war The five pointed star seems to have been present alongside these variants from at least 1857 In addition to Ottoman imperial insignias symbols appears on the flag of Bosnia Eyalet 1580 1867 and Bosnia Vilayet 1867 1908 as well as the flag of 1831 Bosnian revolt while the symbols appeared on some representations of medieval Bosnian coat of arms too In the late 19th century Star and Crescent came to be used as a metaphor for Ottoman rule in British literature 48 The increasingly ubiquitous fashion of using the star and crescent symbol in the ornamentation of Ottoman mosques and minarets led to a gradual association of the symbol with Islam in general in western Orientalism 49 The Red Crescent emblem was used by volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC as early as 1877 during the Russo Turkish War it was officially adopted in 1929 After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 the new Turkish state maintained the last flag of the Ottoman Empire Proportional standardisations were introduced in the Turkish Flag Law Turkish Turk Bayragi Kanunu of May 29 1936 Besides the most prominent example of Turkey see Flag of Turkey a number of other Ottoman successor states adopted the design during the 20th century including the Emirate of Cyrenaica and the Kingdom of Libya Algeria Tunisia and the proposed Arab Islamic Republic Contemporary use EditNational flags Edit The Ottoman flag of 1844 with a white ay yildiz Turkish for crescent star on a red background continues to be in use as the flag of the Republic of Turkey with minor modifications Other Ottoman successor states using the star and crescent design in their flag are Tunisia 1831 Libya 1951 re introduced 2011 and Algeria 1958 The modern emblem of Turkey shows the star outside the arc of the crescent as it were a realistic depiction of a conjunction of Moon and Venus while in the 19th century the Ottoman star and crescent was occasionally still drawn as the star within crescent By contrast the designs of both the flags of Algeria and Tunisia as well as Mauritania and Pakistan place the star within the crescent Flag of Turkey Flag of Algeria Flag of Libya Flag of Tunisia The same symbol was used in other national flags introduced during the 20th century including the flags of Azerbaijan 1918 re introduced 1991 Pakistan 1947 Malaysia 1948 Mauritania 1959 and the partially recognized states of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic 1976 and Northern Cyprus 1983 The symbol also may represent flag of cities or emirates such as the emirate of Umm Al Quwain Flag of Azerbaijan Flag of Pakistan Flag of Malaysia Flag of Mauritania Flag of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Flag of Northern Cyprus Flag of Umm al Quwain Flag of East Turkestan 1934 Flag of Iraq Turkmens Flag of Syrian Turkmen National flags with a crescent alongside several stars Flag of Singapore 1965 crescent and five stars Flag of Uzbekistan 1991 crescent and twelve stars Flag of Turkmenistan 2001 crescent and five stars representing five provinces Flag of the Comoros 2002 crescent and four stars representing four islands Flag of the Cocos Keeling Islands of Australia 2003 crescent and southern cross National flags with star crescent and other symbols Flag of Moldova 1990 Flag of Croatia 1990 Flag of Miꞌkmaꞌki 1867 Symbol of Islam Edit Further information Symbols of Islam Used as the symbol of Islam by the Nation of Islam By the mid 20th century the symbol came to be re interpreted as the symbol of Islam or the Muslim community 50 This symbolism was embraced by movements of Arab nationalism or Islamism in the 1970s too such as the proposed Arab Islamic Republic 1974 and the American Nation of Islam 1973 51 Cyril Glasse in his The New Encyclopedia of Islam 2001 edition s v Moon states that in the language of conventional symbols the crescent and star have become the symbols of Islam as much as the cross is the symbol of Christianity 5 By contrast Crescent magazine a religious Islamic publication quoted without giving names that Many Muslim scholars reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam 6 On February 28 2017 it was announced by the Qira County government in Hotan Prefecture Xinjiang China that those who reported others for stitching the star and crescent moon insignia on their clothing or personal items or having the words East Turkestan on their mobile phone case purse or other jewelry would be eligible for cash payments 52 Municipal coats of arms Edit The star and crescent as a traditional heraldic charge is in continued use in numerous municipal coats of arms notably the based on the Leliwa Tarnowski coat of arms in the case of Polish municipalities Coat of arms of Halle an der Saale Germany 1327 Coat of arms of Minsk Mazowiecki Poland Coat of arms of Przeworsk Poland Coat of arms of Tarnobrzeg Poland Coat of arms of Tarnow Poland Coat of arms of Zagreb Croatia Flag of Portsmouth England 18th century crescent and estoile with eight wavy rays 53 Coat of arms of Mattighofen Austria 1781 Coat of arms of Oelde Germany 1910 Coat of arms of Niederglatt Switzerland 1928 54 Coat of arms of Oberglatt Switzerland 1928 54 Coat of arms of Niederweningen Switzerland 1928 54 Coat of arms of Drogheda Ireland Coat of arms of Algueirao Mem Martins parish Portugal Coat of arms of Aljezur parish Portugal Coat of arms of Casal de Cambra parish Portugal Coat of arms of Celorico da Beira municipality Portugal Coat of arms of Nisa municipality Portugal Coat of arms of Nossa Senhora das Misericordias parish Portugal Coat of arms of Oliveira do Bairro municipality Portugal Coat of arms of Penacova municipality Portugal Coat of arms of Sao Bras de Alportel parish Portugal Coat of arms of Sintra municipality Portugal Coat of arms of Sobreda parish Portugal Coat of arms of Vouzela municipality PortugalSports Club Emblems Edit In rugby union Saracens F C incorporates the crescent and star in its crest Drogheda United F C and Portsmouth F C both borrow the crescent and star from their respective towns coats of arms Mohammedan SC in Kolkata also incorporates the symbol in its crest Emblem of Saracens F C Other uses Edit Post WWII flag of the Japan Air Self Defense Force JASDF Turkish Air Force aviator badge Flag of the Pakistan Army Flag of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternitySee also EditCrescent Lunar phase Phosphorus morning star Hesperus Pentagram of Venus New Orleans Police DepartmentReferences Edit Andrew G Traver From Polis to Empire The Ancient World c 800 B C A D 500 Greenwood Publishing Group 2002 p 257 The star and crescent are common Persian symbols being a regular feature of the borders of Sassanian dirhems Philip Grierson Byzantine Coins Taylor amp Francis 1982 p118 There are also three cases viz associated with the Danubian Rider Religion where the star figured as a radiate disc balancing the crescent moon must represent Sol balancing Luna who is represented as a crescent instead of in bust The star in crescent theme itself appears only once on an engraved gem accompanied by the lion and an indecipherable inscription This theme is connected with the Orient and has a long history behind it in the Hittite Babylonian Assyrian Sassanid and Iranian worlds Campbell gives us valuable particulars The heavenly bodies thus symbolized were seen as the powerful influence of cosmic fatalism guiding the destinies of men Dumitru Tudor Christopher Holme trans Corpus Monumentorum Religionis Equitum Danuvinorum CMRED 1976 p 192 referencing Leroy A Campbell Mithraic Iconography and Ideology 1969 93f e g Catalogue of the Greek coins in The British Museum 2005 p 311 index a b Cyril Glasse The New Encyclopedia of Islam revised ed 2001 s v Moon p 314 a b Many Muslim scholars reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam The faith of Islam historically had no symbol and many refuse to accept it Fiaz Fazli Crescent magazine Srinagar September 2009 p 42 A similar stele found in Babylon is kept in the British Museum no 90837 Michael R Molnar The Star of Bethlehem Rutgers University Press 1999 p78 the three celestial emblems the sun disk of Shamash Utu to the Sumerians the crescent of Sin Nanna and the star of Ishtar Inanna to the Sumerians Irving L Finkel Markham J Geller Sumerian Gods and Their Representations Styx 1997 p71 Andre Parrot Sumer The Dawn of Art Golden Press 1961 Othmar Keel Christoph Uehlinger Gods Goddesses and Images of God in Ancient Israel Fortress Press 1998 p 322 A H Gardiner Egyptian Grammar Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs 3rd Ed pub Griffith Institute Oxford 1957 1st edition 1927 p 486 W J Hinke A New Boundary Stone of Nebuchadrezzar I from Nippur with a Concordance of Proper Names and a Glossary of the Kudurru Inscriptions thus far Published 1907 120f University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology object nr 29 20 1 J V Canby Reconstructing the Ur Nammu Stela Expedition 29 1 54 64 B C McGing The Foreign Policy of Mithradates VI Eupator King of Pontus Brill 1986 p 97 The star and the crescent the emblem of the Pontus and its kings were introduced by Mithradates and his successors to the Bosporus and appeared on Bosporan coins and locally produced jewelry On the coins this symbol often appears near the head of a young man wearing a Phrygian cap who is identified as either a solar deity or his deified worshipper the star and the crescent the badge of the Pontus and its kings shown on the Colchian amphora stamp and appearing on engraved finger rings discovered in this area allude to the possibility of an earlier association of the Pontic dynasty with the cult of mounted Mithra Mithra in fact must have been one of the most venerated gods of the Pontic Kingdom since its rulers bore the theophoric name of Mithradates although direct evidence for this cult is rather meager Yulia Ustinova The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom Brill 1998 270 274 Strabo 12 3 31 writes that Men Pharnakou had a sanctuary at Kabeira in Pontus where the Pontic kings would swear oaths Men Pharnakou is a syncretistic Anatolian Iranian moon deity not directly comparable to Zoroastrian Mah Albert F de Jong Traditions of the Magi Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin Literature 1997 A9n 20Pharmakou amp f false p 306 His royal emblem an eight rayed star and the crescent moon represented the dynasty s patron gods Zeus Stratios or Ahuramazda and Men Pharnakou a Persian form of the native moon goddess Andrew G Traver From Polis to Empire The Ancient World c 800 B C A D 450 Greenwood Publishing Group 2002 p 257 The significance of the star and crescent on royal coins has also been frequently debated Many scholars have identified the star and the crescent as royal symbols of the Pontic kingdom Their appearance on every royal issue suggests they were indeed important symbols and the connection of this symbol to the royal family is definite The nature of it however is still uncertain Kleiner believed they were symbols of an indigenous god and had their origins in Persia He associated the star and crescent with the god Men and saw them as representations of night and day the star may be considered the sun here Ritter on the other hand suggested that the star and crescent symbols derived from Perseus just as the star symbol of the Macedonians did Ma and Mithras are two other deities with whom the star and crescent symbol are associated Olshausen believed that the star and crescent could be related to a syncretism of Pontic and Iranian iconography the crescent for Men and the star for Ahura Mazda Recently Summerer has convincingly suggested that Men alone was the inspiration for the symbol on the royal coins of the Pontic kingdom Deniz Burcu Erciyas Wealth Aristocracy and Royal Propaganda Under The Hellenistic Kingdom of The Mithradatids in The Central Black Sea Region in Turkey Colloquia Pontica Vol 12 Brill 2005 p 131 Devotion to Hecate was especially favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon Her symbols were the crescent and star and the walls of her city were her provenance Vasiliki Limberis Divine Heiress Routledge 1994 p 15 In 340 B C however the Byzantines with the aid of the Athenians withstood a siege successfully an occurrence the more remarkable as they were attacked by the greatest general of the age Philip of Macedon In the course of this beleaguerment it is related on a certain wet and moonless night the enemy attempted a surprise but were foiled by reason of a bright light which appearing suddenly in the heavens startled all the dogs in the town and thus roused the garrison to a sense of their danger To commemorate this timely phenomenon which was attributed to Hecate they erected a public statue to that goddess William Gordon Holmes The Age of Justinian and Theodora 2003 p 5 6 If any goddess had a connection with the walls in Constantinople it was Hecate Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding Like Byzas in one legend she had her origins in Thrace Since Hecate was the guardian of liminal places in Byzantium small temples in her honor were placed close to the gates of the city Hecate s importance to Byzantium was above all as deity of protection When Philip of Macedon was about to attack the city according to the legend she alerted the townspeople with her ever present torches and with her pack of dogs which served as her constant companions Her mythic qualities thenceforth forever entered the fabric of Byzantine history A statue known as the Lampadephoros was erected on the hill above the Bosphorous to commemorate Hecate s defensive aid Vasiliki Limberis Divine Heiress Routledge 1994 p 126 127 This story survived in the works who in all probability lived in the time of Justinian I His works survive only in fragments preserved in Photius and the 10th century lexicographer Suidas The tale is also related by Stephanus of Byzantium and Eustathius Cybele Plaque from Ai Khanoum Bactria 3rd century BCE Helios is shown separately in the form of a bust with a rayed halo of thirteen rays F Tissot Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan 1931 1985 2006 p 42 H G Liddell A History of Rome from the earliest times to the establishment of the Empire 1857 p 605 C f forumancientcoins com LIMC Selene Luna 35 Cohen Beth Outline as a Special Technique in Black and Red figure Vase painting in The Colors of Clay Special Techniques in Athenian Vases Getty Publications 2006 ISBN 9780892369423 pp 178 179 Savignoni L 1899 On Representations of Helios and of Selene The Journal of Hellenic Studies 19 pp 270 271 Zschietzschmann W Hellas and Rome The Classical World in Pictures Kessinger Publishing 2006 ISBN 9781428655447 p 23 British Museum 1923 0401 199 LIMC Selene Luna 21 LIMC Selene Luna 4 LIMC Mithras 113 LIMC Selene Luna 15 LIMC Selene Luna 34 LIMC Selene Luna 2 LIMC Selene Luna 7 LIMC Selene Luna 9 LIMC Selene Luna 10 LIMC Selene Luna 19 For the close association between the crescent moon and horns see Cashford Michael Alram Nomina Propria Iranica in Nummis Materialgrundlagen zu den iranischen Personennamen auf Antiken Munzen 1986 C Auge Quelques monnaies d Elymaide Bulletin de la Societe Francaise de Numismatique November 1976 N Renaud Un nouveau souverain d Elymaide Bulletin de la Societe Francaise de Numismatique January 1999 pp 1 5 Coins of Elymais parthia com The star and crescent are common Persian symbols being a regular feature of the borders of Sassanian dirhems Philip Grierson Byzantine Coins Taylor amp Francis 1982 p118 A rare type with crescent and star alone on the reverse is probably Chashtana s earliest issue struck before he extended his power into Malwa H H Dodwell Ed The Cambridge Shorter History of India Cambridge University Press 1935 p 83 Achaemenid period not normally associated with scenes cut in the Court Style Persepolis seal PFS 71 M B Garrison in Curtis and Simpson eds The World of Achaemenid Persia History Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East 2010 p 354 PFS 9 M B Garrison Seals And The Elite At Persepolis Some Observations On Early Achaemenid Persian Art 1991 p 8 Parthian period t he Parthian king Mithradates I conquered Mesopotamia around 147 BC and Susa in about 140 BC A later Parthian king Orodes II 58 38 BC issued coins at Susa and elsewhere which display a star and crescent on the obverse The succeeding ruler Phraates IV 38 3 2 BC minted coins showing either a star alone or a star with crescent moon In representing the star and crescent on their coins the Parthians thus adopted traditional symbols used in Mesopotamia and Elam more than two millennia before their own arrival in those parts John Hansman The great gods of Elymais in Acta Iranica Encyclopedie Permanente Des Etudes Iraniennes v X Papers in Honor of Professor Mary Boyce Brill Archive 1985 pp 229 232 Sasani coins remained in circulation in Moslem countries up to the end of the first century Hijra This detailed description of Sasani crowns was presented because the motifs mentioned particularly the crescent and star gradually changed into Islamic symbols and have often appeared in the decorative patterns of various periods of Islamic art The flags of many Islamic countries bear crescents and stars and are proof of this Sasani innovation Habibollah Ayatollahi trans Shermin Haghshenas The Book of Iran The History of Iranian Art Alhoda UK 2003 pp 155 157 when we come to examine the history of the crescent as a badge of Muhammadanism we are confronted by the fact that it was not employed by the Arabs or any of the first peoples who embraced the faith of the prophet The truth is that the crescent was not identified with Islam until after the appearance of the Osmanli Turks whilst on the other hand there is the clearest evidence that in the time of the Crusades and long before the crescent and star were a regular badge of Byzantium and the Byzantine Emperors some of whom placed it on their coins William Ridgeway The Origin of the Turkish Crescent in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Vol 38 Jul Dec 1908 pp 241 258 p 241 Selene and Luna on Roman Coins forumancientcoins com Bronze coin of Caracalla from Nicopolis ad Istrum with a single star in the arms of the crescent moon coin of Geta showing five stars a denarius of Septimius Severus with an array of seven stars Roman era coins from Carrhae Harran Carrhae Mesopotamia modern day Harran wildwinds com Post Classical star and crescent 10 April 2019 In the 12th century found on pennies of William the Lion r 1174 1195 William Till An Essay on the Roman Denarius and English Silver Penny 1838 p 73 E g Rev short cross with crescent and pellets in angles and RAVLD legend for the moneyer Raul Derling at Berwick or Roxburgh mint timelineauctions com Seaby SE5025 Rev RAV L ON ROC short cross with crescents amp pellets in quarters wildwinds com Bohemond III of Antioch r 1163 1201 Obv Helmeted head of king in chain maille armor crescent and star to sides ancientresource com Billon denier struck c late 1140s 1164 RA M VNDVS COMS cross pattee pellet in 1st and 2nd quarters CIVI TAS T RIPOLIS eight rayed star with pellets above crescent ref CCS 6 8 Metcalf 509 ancientresource com The earliest church in the Morea to include a saint holding a shield marked by the crescent and star may be St John Chrysostom which has been dated on the basis of style to ca 1300 Angeliki E Laiou Roy P Mottahedeh The Crusades From the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World Dumbarton Oaks 2001 p 278 p 21 adopted by Virgil Solis in his Wappenbuchlein 1555 Sara L Uckelman An Ordinary of Siebmacher s Wappenbuch ellipsis cx 2014 Richard is depicted as seated between a crescent and a Sun full radiant in his second Great Seal of 1198 English heraldic tradition of the early modern period associates the star and crescent design with Richard with his victory over Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus in 1192 and with the arms of Portsmouth Francis Wise A Letter to Dr Mead Concerning Some Antiquities in Berkshire 1738 p 18 Heraldic tradition also attributes a star and crescent badge to Richard Charles Fox Davies A Complete Guide to Heraldry 1909 p 468 Found in the 19th century at the site of the Biais commandery in Saint Pere en Retz Loire Atlantique France now in the Musee Dobre in Nantes inv no 303 Philippe Josserand Les Templiers en Bretagne au Moyen Age mythes et realites Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l Ouest 119 4 2012 7 33 p 24 In 15th century Europe it was widely assumed that the gypsies were Egyptians hence the name gypsies and several gypsy leaders are known to have styled themselves as counts of lesser Egypt Wilhelm Ferdinand Bischoff Deutsch Zigeunerisches Worterbuch 1827 p 14 Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi What Is The Significance Of The Crescent Moon In Islam bismikaallahuma org Retrieved September 21 2017 Pamela Berger The Crescent on the Temple The Dome of the Rock as Image of the Ancient Jewish Sanctuary 2012 p 164f a b Islam Ansiklopedisi in Turkish 4 Istanbul Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi 1991 p 298 It seems possible though not certain that after the conquest Mehmed took over the crescent and star as an emblem of sovereignty from the Byzantines The half moon alone on a blood red flag allegedly conferred on the Janissaries by Emir Orhan was much older as is demonstrated by numerous references to it dating from before 1453 But since these flags lack the star which along with the half moon is to be found on Sassanid and Byzantine municipal coins it may be regarded as an innovation of Mehmed It seems certain that in the interior of Asia tribes of Turkish nomads had been using the half moon alone as an emblem for some time past but it is equally certain that crescent and star together are attested only for a much later period There is good reason to believe that old Turkish and Byzantine traditions were combined in the emblem of Ottoman and much later present day Republican Turkish sovereignty Franz Babinger William C Hickman Ed Ralph Manheim Trans Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time Princeton University Press 1992 p 108 e g A Locher With Star and Crescent A Full and Authentic Account of a Recent Journey with a Caravan from Bombay to Constantinope Andrew Haggard Under Crescent and Star 1895 Mosque and minaret are surmounted by crescents the air glowing over the Golden Horn is as it were full of moons Hezekiah Butterworth Zigzag journeys in the Orient vol 3 1882 p 481 The symbolism of the star and crescent in the flag of the Kingdom of Libya 1951 1969 was explained in an English language booklet The Libyan Flag amp The National Anthem issued by the Ministry of Information and Guidance of the Kingdom of Libya year unknown cited after Jos Poels at FOTW 1997 as follows The crescent is symbolic of the beginning of the lunar month according to the Muslim calendar It brings back to our minds the story of Hijra migration of our Prophet Mohammed from his home in order to spread Islam and teach the principles of right and virtue The Star represents our smiling hope the beauty of aim and object and the light of our belief in God in our country its dignity and honour which illuminate our way and puts an end to darkness Edward E Curtis Black Muslim religion in the Nation of Islam 1960 1975 2006 p 157 Joshua Lipes Jilil Kashgary 4 April 2017 Xinjiang Police Search Uyghur Homes For Illegal Items Radio Free Asia Translated by Mamatjan Juma Retrieved 16 December 2019 A second announcement issued Feb 28 by the Chira Cele county government said those who report individuals for having stitched the star and crescent moon insignia on their clothing or personal items or the words East Turkestan referring to the name of a short lived Uyghur republic on their mobile phone case purse or other jewelry were also eligible for cash payments CS1 maint uses authors parameter link The blazon of the coat of arms is attested in the 19th century as Azure a crescent or surmounted by an estoile of eight points of the last William Berry Robert Glover Encyclopaedia Heraldica 1828 This is apparently based on minor seals used by Portsmouth mayors in the 18th century Robert East H Lewis Extracts from Records in the Possession of the Municipal Corporation of the Borough of Portsmouth and from Other Documents Relating Thereto 1891 p 656 The medieval seal showed no such design Henry Press Wright The Story of the Domus Dei of Portsmouth Commonly Called the Royal Garrison Church 1873 p 12 The claim connecting the star and crescent design to the Great Seal of Richard I originates in the mid 20th century Valentine Dyall Unsolved Mysteries A Collection of Weird Problems from the Past 1954 p 14 a b c Peter Ziegler ed Die Gemeindewappen des Kantons Zurich 1977 74 77 Charles Boutell Device of Star or Sun and Crescent In The Gentleman s Magazine Volume XXXVI New Series London John Nicols amp Son London 1851 pp 514 515External links Edit Media related to Star and crescent at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of at Wiktionary Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Star and 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