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Iranian Man Arrested For Using Ancient Flag, Posters Of Deposed Kings

Alireza Gholampour, a fifty-five-year-old resident of Mashhad, has been arrested for supporting monarchism. May 26, 2020.
Alireza Gholampour, a fifty-five-year-old resident of Mashhad, has been arrested for supporting monarchism. May 26, 2020.

Iranian human rights organizations have reported that security forces on Tuesday arrested a man in Mashhad for an alternative tricolored flag with the "Lion and Sun" emblem and posters of Pahlavi kings and the exiled crown prince Reza Pahlavi.

The fifty-five-year-old Alireza Gholampour has been transferred to an unknown location and his family are unaware of his whereabouts, Human Rights News Agency (HRANA) reported.

Mr. Gholampour had put up the flag and posters of kings Reza Shah Pahlavi, his son Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi who was deposed by the Islamic Republic, and the exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi on the gate of his parental residence. He also posted a video clip of himself putting up the posters.

The photo on the right shows police arresting Alireza Gholampour

The tricolor flag of Iran with the "Lion and Sun" emblem an ancient symbol of Iran. It was the national flag during the monarchy overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Police and security forces have not announced the arrest or commented on it.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari whose son Pouya was murdered by security forces during the November 2019 protests has also been fearlessly displaying the "Lion and Sun" flag in social media posts.

Mr. Bakhtiari has openly called for the return of monarchy and the exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi. The Crown Prince personally called the Bakhtiari family to condole them after the 27-year-old Pouya was shot dead. Mr. Bakhtiari has also on several occasions given interviews to foreign-based Persian-language media which the Islamic Republic considers "hostile".

A recent Twitter post which shows the monarchist flag also hoisted by an unnamed activist in the Customs of Bushehr Port in the southern province of Hormozgan is now being widely circulated on social media as part of a monarchist campaign to use the old flag instead of the flag of the Islamic Republic.

Flag associated with the Iranian monarchy recently hoisted in Customs Department of Bushehr, Hormozgan Province.

The "Lion and Sun" emblem in the center of the Iranian flag which had been used since the 16th century on a green Safavid flag has been replaced with the emblem of the Islamic Republic. The emblem used on the current flag is a stylized form of the word Allah.

The emblem has developed over the centuries. During the reign of Fat'h-Ali Shah of the Qajar dynasty a curved sword, presumably a symbol of Islam, was placed in the hand of the lion Passant'ss hand.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.