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Democratic Union Party (Syria)

Last modified: 2019-06-05 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: syria | democratic union party | pyd | kurdistan |
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image located by Hoang Nhan Nguyen, 01 July 2014


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Description

There's this image of Kurdish origin flag on Al Jazeera posted online in on of their articles on August 13, 2012.
However, when I search for this flag (horizontal, three equal stripes, yellow on top, red on the middle and green on the bottom) the only entity I could think was the Kurdish Parliament in Exile. However, the Kurdish Parliament in Exile has inverted colors compared to the Al-Jazeera flag. So is the flag on Al-Jazeera the flag of the Syrian Kurds?
Esteban Rivera, 27 August 2012

I just found the answer to my own question: the flag reported is that of the Democratic Union Party (Syria) "(Kurdish: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat; Arabic: حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي Hizb Al-Ittihad Al-Dimuqratiy), commonly known as the PYD, is a Syrian Kurdish political party established in 2003 by Kurdish nationalists in northern Syria. The party is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed and considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, the European Union and NATO. The PYD admits that the two parties have an ideological affinity and a close relationship where the PKK does not interfere with the PYD's management of Syrian Kurdish affairs. It is currently not officially registered as a political party in Syria because the Constitution of Syria before 2012 did not allow political parties to be formed without permission."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Union_Party_(Syria)
This party is part of the Syrian opposition fighting the current Civil War.
Its flag is also reported here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ala_kurd%C3%AAn_rojava.svg
For additional information go to: Democratic Union Party (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 27 August 2012

This flag was adopted by the alliance of Kurdish National Council (alliance of 15 o 16 groups, many or all with flag) and the Democratic Union Party (also with flag own) created in 25 July 2012, in the Kurdish Supreme Committee along with a armed wing named Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (Kurdish People's Protection Units) that adopt4ed this flag. The alliance was sponsored by the Kurdistan government and was established in Erbil.
Many images are available in the web. Try searching in Google < PYD Syria > There's even an unfortunately small image with a hundred proposals for the Syrian Kurds flag.
Jaume Ollé, 27 August 2012

There seems to be a crescent as well, painted in white over green and red fields near the hoist.
Tomislav Todorović, 28 August 2012

The video is taken on "Syrian Kurdistan or Western Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistan), also commonly referred to as simply Rojava meaning the West in Kurdish, is a de facto autonomous region in northern and north-eastern Syria".
Regarding the flags in this video, they are the flags of the "Democratic Union Party (Kurdish: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, PYD; Arabic: حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي‎ - Ḥizb Al-Ittiḥad Al-Dimuqraṭiy) ) is a Syrian Kurdish political party established in 2003 by Kurdish activists in northern Syria. An affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and a founder member of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, it is described by the Carnegie Middle East Center as "one of the most important Kurdish opposition parties in Syria". It is said to control a number of towns in northern Syria."
Sources: Democratic Union Party

The PYD "is basically ruling over the Northwestern part of the country. Since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2012 the PYD has quietly constructed its own government in Syria including an army (YPG), police force (Asayis), and even conducts it's own foreign policy." Source: Rise of the PYD in Syria.
So the flags in the Youtube video that you mention from VICE news, are:
- YPG (The People's Protection Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel; Arabic: وحدات حماية الشعب - Wihdat Himayah ash-Sha'ab), commonly known as the YPG, are the official armed wing of the Kurdish Supreme Committee. The militia has been accused of acting as the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), although they deny this. Sources: People's Protection Units - Flag image #1, and Flicker Hive Search.
- Asayish (The Asayis or Asayish, (Arabic: الأسايش‎, Kurdish for security) is the official security organisation of the autonomous administration in Syrian Kurdistan. It was formed during the Syrian Civil War to police areas controlled by the Kurdish Supreme Committee.
Sources: Asayish, Flag Image #1, and Flag Image #2.
The YPD in turn responds to the Kurdish Supreme Committee (Kurdish: Desteya Bilind a Kurd) is a governing body of Syrian Kurdistan, which was founded by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC), following the signing on 12 July 2012 of a cooperation agreement between the two parties in Hewlêr, Iraqi Kurdistan under the auspice of the Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani. The member board consists of an equal number of PYD and KNC members. Source: Kurdish Supreme Committee. For additional information go to the official website of the PYD.
Esteban Rivera, 03 July 2014

I forgot to mention one more flag featured in this video  (3:26 and 4:38): http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/qmwb9FFNICs/hqdefault.jpg  It is the flag of the Kurdish Supreme Committee. They even had a poll or flag contest: "On its official Facebook page, the Kurdish Supreme Committee (KSC) posted a number of sample flags and logos as potential symbols to represent the unity of Syrian Kurds and different political factions working together under the umbrella of the committee.
The samples were designed by Kurdish activists. Efforts to combine the Kurdish national flag with the symbol of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) -- a reference to the unity of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the PYD – could be seen in the samples. The KSC is a collective jointly administered by representatives from both groups.
The initiative of the KSC to find a flag for Kurdish factions in Syria has been widely criticized by activists on their Facebook page, who have called for preserving the Kurdish national flag and its historical role in all parts of Kurdistan, including the sacrifices Kurdish people have made in the shadow of this flag.
Other Syrian Kurdish activists held a referendum to find out public opinion in Kurdish areas regarding changing the Kurdish national flag, saying it was unknown whether the PYD flag or the Kurdish national flag would be raised after the adoption of a new one.
Mesud Perik, a Kurdish activist and member of the Centre for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria, told Rudaw that most activists would find an initiative for a new KSC symbol acceptable “but to think of finding a new Kurdish flag means abandoning the Kurdish national spirit and misleading the Kurdish people in Syria.”
“The administrators of the page on Facebook are unknown and there is no official statement by the KSC regarding the page. It seems as if some activists want to conceal the national and historical Kurdish flag from Syria’s Kurdistan,” Perik told Rudaw.
Kamiran Haj Abdo, a member of the international affairs bureau at the KNC, issued a statement saying that the KSC agreed at its last meeting in Erbil that a logo needed to be designed that represented the factions of the committee. “But a change of the Kurdish national flag is not mentioned at all in that agreement,” he said.
“Activists should be more accurate when dealing with such an important and sensitive issue, and it is unacceptable to manipulate the sanctities of the Kurdish people,” Abdo said.
Prominent Kurdish activist Waleed Shekho sees an attempt to eliminate the constants of the Kurdish nation in the proposal to change the Kurdish national flag.
“Principally, the Kurds have nothing left except their history, the national flag and the national anthem ‘Ey Reqib.’ Thus, to manipulate one of these constants means to eliminate the Kurdish identity and existence in order to follow the ideas and hidden agendas of a few politicians,” Shekho said.
He added, “Undoubtedly, the Kurdish Supreme Committee has the right to choose a suitable symbol to represent it, but I see that some voices are emerging to take advantage of the committee’s decision and promote changing the Kurdish national flag, and providing alternatives shamelessly.”
“Those who have never defended the Kurdish national flag are willing to change it at once with no regrets,” Shekho concluded."
Source: http://northerniraq.info/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9718  (no longer online, available here: https://web.archive.org/web/20120815085555/http://northerniraq.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9718&f=1).
The proposals are seen here: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYfmSi_MaeekzZjXAeQQcZAAb0Tn9Q3y1IUGWH2auUQfud5Avqog
(Source: http://northerniraq.info/forums/portal.php  )
The above mentioned flag is also seen in this other video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmwb9FFNICs
It seems that this flag is actually the Asayish (Police Force) flag. So this flag ( http://rojavareport.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/qamic59flofuneral.jpg) remains an UFE.
Esteban Rivera, 04 July 2014