I can't go too long without you guys, so I'm back with a new symbol. Let's take some time to talk in this new THREAD about the #scimitar as an ethno-cultural representation historically associated with the #MiddleEast and #NorthAfrica. Should prove to be interesting...
A scimitar is not a specific sword. It's actually a general term used to denote any type of curved swords historically introduced by #Turkic slave soldiers (ghilmān ) to the #Muslim world in the 9th c. [IMAGE: horsemen with curved swords from a 14th c. #Mamluk military treatise]
The light, double-edged and agile curved Turkic swords knew a real breakthrough in the region following the 13th c. #Mongol invasions, becoming a popular weapon among the numerous mounted #Muslim knights (fursān), like the #Mamluks and #Ottoman Sipahi.

[17th c. Ottoman knight]
Because of the status of the so-called furūsiyya (mounted knighthood) among #Medieval Muslim armies, the scimitar was initially associated with the elites. From at least the Ottoman period (14th c.) distinctively curved swords became widespread. ["Islamic Arms And Armour" (1979)]
Although effectively originating the Napoleonic era short cavalry saber, the scimitar was throughout its use mainly associated with the Middle East, Muslim warriors and the Turks, both by Europeans and Muslims themselves. ["Images of #Islam, 1453–1600", Charlotte Colding Smith]
Though curved blades aren't rare (think of the katana, dadao or falchion), the scimitar umbrella covers the following types of related swords:
Kilij (Ottoman)
Shamshir ( #Persia)
Nimcha (North Africa)
Pulwar ( #Afghanistan)
Talwar ( #Mughal)
["Weapon" Richard Holmes ed. (2008)]
The weapon of #Algeria featured an arm holding a broad curved sword, inspired by the North African nimcha (example from Oran around 1732 to the right [MET Museum]). The weapon of Algeria was drawn by Von Hefner in his "Die Wappen der ausserdeutschen Souveraine und Staaten" (1857)
This was probably used by the Regent of Algiers, a vassal state of the #Ottoman Empire. This is further confirmed by the Bowles's Universal Display of the Naval Flags of all Nations chart of 1783, describing it as the Algerian war flag, next to the Barbary corsairs' flag.
The emblem of the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS "Handschar" (1st Croatian), a mountain infantry division of mostly #Bosnian Muslims, featured a curved sword. The name handschar (Bosnian handžar) was actually derived from #Arabic khanjar, the famously curved dagger.
The #Muslim division was formed throughout 1943. It mostly fought a #Nazi-led counter-insurgency campaign against the #Communist Yugoslav Partisan resistance forces in the Independent State of #Croatia throughout the spring and summer of 1944.
The coat of arms of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of #Yemen (1918-1970) features two scimitars of the shamshir type, as illustrated on this commemorative coin issued in 1965 after the death of Winston #Churchill. This coat of arms was adopted in 1956 under king Aḥmed bin Yaḥyā.
The curved sword also appears on its national royal flag, accompanied by five stars. This flag was adopted in 1927, and lasted until 1970. The scimitar represented the armed forces and military struggle, while the 5 stars stood for the 5 pillars of #Islam and the 5 prayers.
Prior to 1973, the sword on the national flag of Saudi Arabia was slightly more curved than the currently used stylized straight sabre. It's reminiscent of the curved #Arab Bedouin sword (left), a local variant of the #Persian shamshir (traditional Arab swords were straight).
Together with a palm tree, two crossed Bedouin swords form the coat of arms of #Saudi Arabia, as seen on this 1 Riyal coin of 1976. The two swords represent the Kingdom of Hijaz and the Kingdom of Najd, united in 1928 by Ibn Saud.
The dynastic banner of the well-known Lebanese Jumblāṭ family features a scimitar of the shamshir type (Jumblāṭ being originally a #Kurdish family) held by a green hand on a red background. The Jumblāṭ are a leading Druze clan of the Shūf area of Mount #Lebanon.
The family settled in Mount Lebanon away from #Syria around the 16th c. Above picture was taken at a special exposition at Dayr Qamar, the Medieval capital of the Druze Ma'n dynasty, the local governing force loyal to the #Ottoman state.
A banner captured by the Dutch colonial army on the Indonesian island of #Sumatra in 1840 during a skirmish with Acehnese troops. The #Dutch had occupied the town of Barus in 1939, an act ill-received by the Aceh Sultanate. The flag belonged to a commander called Iskander.
The flag is painted on wool and cotton and features bullet holes and bloodstains. The #Arabic texts on the banner are prayers cursing the Dutch and encouraging the Acehnese. The scimitar has elements of both the native golok and the #Turkish Pala. [Rijksmuseum Amsterdam]
An informal #Ottoman-Aceh alliance existed since at least the 1530s up till the #Dutch occupation. The Ottomans regularly sent fleets with soldiers, gunsmiths and engineers with ample supplies of weapons and ammunition, teaching the Acehnese how to forge their own cannons.
Excerpt from Thomas Page's 'The Use of the Broad Sword" (1746), a well-known manual on #Scottish swordmanship. Notice how he naturally associates the Scymitar (sic.) with "the #Saracens, #Turks and #Persians", or "Eastern Nations". Excerpts taken from Linacre School of Defence.
A #WWII US Army Persian Gulf service command shoulder sleeve insignia patch. The Persian Gulf command was a US service command established in December 1943 in #Persia to assure the supply of US lend-lease war material to the #USSR. Patch in #Pahlavi colors green, white & red.
Between 1942 and 1945, the US helped to equip the #USSR with thousands of trucks, combat vehicles, tanks, weapons, ammunition and petroleum products in addition to thousands of aircraft until the construction of an aircraft assembly plant at #Abadan.
The logo of the #Muslim Brotherhood features crossed scimitars of the shamshir type, symbolizing the group's steadfastness & adherence to its ideals. The #Arabic word "prepare" is a reference to the Quranic verse: "And prepare against them all you can of power and steeds of war".
Above the crossed swords is a red-colored Qur'an, representing the group's #Islamic character and ideological guidance. The organization was established in the 1920s by the #Egyptian Ḥassan al-Banna (1906-1949), become a well-known transnational religious and social movement.
Contrary to popular belief, the scimitar is not a specific type of sword. It’s in fact a general term used to refer to any type of curved sword originally introduced by Turkic slave soldiers (ghilmān) to the #Muslim world during the #Abbasid era.

The Ḥusaynid dynasty was a ruling dynasty of the Beylik of Tunis, which was of Cretan #Turkish origin. They ruled Tunisia from 1705 until 1957, first under #Ottoman sovereignty, then as a protectorate of #France. Their shield featured a scimitar of the nimcha type.
The left image is from Player's Cigarettes' series "Countries Arms & Flags", which was a series of 50 cards issued in 1912 for collection. The right one is the frontispiece of H. Hugon's book on the #Tunisian Regency (1913). Sometimes, the scimitar is depicted as Dhū al-Faqār.
The nimcha scimitar was kept as part of the modern republic's coat of arms, now brandished by a so-called heraldic lion salient.
Starting from the rank of major general and its equivalents in both the navy and the air force, #Iraqi military #insignia feature two crossed scimitars. In the below picture, an example can be seen of a colonel general patch worn by ‘Izzat Ibrāhīm ad-Dūrī.
The official political logo of #Hamas (Ḥarakat al-Muqāwama al-Islāmiyya) depicts the Golden Dome Mosque flanked by #Palestine's national flag and positioned right behind two crossed scimitars, a reference to the original Muslim Brotherhood, which it's an offshoot of.
The 5th Motorized Brigade of the Bosnian Army was formed in 1992 during the #Bosnian Civil War (1992-1995) and became well-known for their defense of the cut-off city of #Dobrinja for about 72 days. Their patch features two crossed scimitars behind the Bosnian Coat of Arms.
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