Istanbul Flag and symbol of the city showing the white logo on a blue background

The Enduring City Flag of Istanbul

The Istanbul Flag (not to be confused with the Turkish Flag), is a symbol of the city’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage.

Representing one of the largest and most populous cities in the world, the Flag of Istanbul is a commonly utulized source of pride for almost all Governmet Departments, and is an enduring testament to its historical past.

Lets dive in and discover all we can about the city flag – how it was created, where it is used and what it means.

Who Designed the Municipal Istanbul Flag?

The futuristic flag design of Istanbul was created by a graphic artist by the name of Metin Edremit back in 1969 when the IBB (Istanbul Metropolitan Authority) held a competition proposing designs for what was to be the new symbol of the city.

So good were Metin’s designs that unbelievably, he actually claimed the first three places in the competition. In the process he won himself the tidy sum of about TL18,000, which at the time, was a very impressive sum indeed.

The fact that the same design is still used as the Istanbul Flag to this day suggests that Metin was well ahead of his time with his skills as a graphic artist.

What Does The Istanbul Flag Design Represent?

The design of the flag represents the geographical area of the city (at that time) as well as highlighting its most famous architecture, and the waterway on which the city stand to this day – the Bosphorus.

The seven separate triangles are representative of the seven ancient hills on which Istanbul was founded as follows:

  • Topkapi Palace Hill
  • Cemberlitas Hill
  • Beyazıt Hill
  • Fatih Hill
  • Yavuz Selim Hill
  • Edirnekapi Hill
  • Kocamustafapaşa Hill

The minarets are obviously testament to the Hagia Sophia and the city’s fabulous “minaret laden” skyline. The city walls flank the hills and the mosque icon on either sode of the logo and are split in two, which is meant to represent the Bosphorus and the fact that the city now stands on two continents.

What Does The Istanbul Flag Text Say?

The writing on the flag states İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi which translates to Metropolitan Municipality and can be found either curved or horizontal under the symbol itself. Somethime you’ll find the word Istanbul on top of the symbol.

Where Can I see the Istanbul Flag?

Whilst the red Turkish Flag is often seen flying high from buildings everywhere across the city you’ll likely only spot the Istanbul Flag upon Government Department and Istanbul Municipal buildings.

There are three color versions of the flag being white on red background, white on blue background and blue on white background all of which can be used.

The Istanbul Flag | Final Commments

In our past research into the Istanbul Flag we dug deep as we attempted to find out more about its designer Metin Edremit, but very little information could be uncovered about his life.

We often ponder what became of him after he won the competition and whether he is still with us to this day.

What we can say about Metin however, is that he has certainly left a legacy.

Where else in the world could be said that a Government Symbol, such as that which adornes the Istanbul Flag, has endured for so long – more than half a century to this point!

Thanks for reading!

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