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DRAFSH KAVIANI.....

The Derafsh-e Kavian was the legendary royal standard of the Sassanid kings. The banner was also sometimes called the standard of Jamshid (Derafsh-e Jamshid), the standard of Fereydun (Derafsh-e Fereydun), and the royal standard

The name Derafsh-e Kaviani means the standard of the kay(s) (i.e., kavis kings) or of Kava. The latter meaning is an identification with an Iranian legend in which the Derafsh-e Kaviani was the standard of a mythological blacksmith-turned-hero named Kava (Modern Persian: Kāveh), who led a popular uprising against the foreign demon-like ruler Dahag (Modern Persian: Zahhak). Recalling the Sassanid-era legend, the 10th century epic Shahnama recasts Zahhak as an evil and tyrannical Arab, against whom Kaveh called the people to arms, using the blacksmith's leather apron on a spear as a standard. In the story, after the war that called for the kingship of Fereydun (Middle Persian: Freidoon) had been won, the people decorated the apron with jewels and the flag became the symbol of Iranian independence and resistance towards foreign tyranny.

By the late Sassanid era (224-651), a real Derafsh-e Kaviani had emerged as the standard of the Sassanid dynasts. It was thus also representative of the Sassanid state - ErAnshahr, the Kingdom of Iran - and may so be considered to have been the first national flag of Iran. The banner consisted of a star (the akotar) on a purple field, was encrusted with jewels and had trailing red, gold and purple streamers on its edges. The term akotar was significant since the star also represented fortune, and the capture and destruction of the banner on a field of battle implied the loss of the battle (and hence the loss of fortune). Following the defeat of the Sassanids at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah, the Sassanid standard was recovered by one Zerar bin Kattab,[1] who received 30,000 dinars for it. After the jewels were removed the caliph Omar is said to have burned the standard.

As the symbol of the Sassanid state, the Derafsh-e Kavian was irrevocably tied to the concept of Eranshahr and hence with the concept of Iranian nationhood. Thus, in 867, when the Saffarid Yaqub Layt 'claimed the inheritance of the kings of Persia' and sought 'to revive their glory,' a poem written on his behalf sent to the Abbasid caliph said: 'With me is the Derafsh-e Kavian, through which I hope to rule the nations'. Although no evidence that Yaqub Layt ever re-recreated such a flag survives, star imagery in banners remained popular until the ascendance of the lion and sun symbol.