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DERAFSH KAVIANI

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As the symbol of the Sassanid state, Derafš-e Kāvīān was the representative of the Iranian Empire and tied to the concept of Iranian nationhood. Considered to have been the first national flag of Iran, The latter meaning is an identification with an Iranian legend called "Kaveh" a mythological Persian blacksmith-turned-hero. Recalling the legend, the 10th-century epic Shahnameh recasts Zahhak as an evil and tyrannical ruler, against whom Kaveh called the people to arms, using his leather blacksmith apron as a standard, with a spear as its hoist. In the story, after the war that called for the kingship of Fereydun had been won, the people decorated the apron with jewels and the flag became the symbol of Iranian nationalism and resistance against foreign tyranny. It was used until the fall of the Sasanian Empire in the battle of Qādesīya (ca. 16/637), in which the invading Arabs defeated the Sasanian army.

 

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