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Transcaspian Territory

Turkmeniya S.S.R.







Present Turkmeniya comprises the south-western part of the mediaeval Transoxiana Emirate and Khwarezmian Khanate. This part was captured by Russia in 1873 and in 1881 the Transcaspian Territory was established there. A trunk Khwarezmian Khanate was maintained as a Russian protectorate around the city of Khiva.

In the Russian era Transcaspian Territory was a part of Turkestan General Government. In 1918 this was made the Turkestan A.S.R. and in 1920 the Turkestan A.S.S.R.. In 1924 Turkestan A.S.S.R. was split up and the Socialist Soviet Republic Turkmeniya was established on 27 October 1924.

On 23 August 1990 the Turkmeniya S.S.R. proclaimed its sovereignty and on 27 October 1991 became an independent republic with the name Turkmenistan.




Transcaspian Territory / Закаспиской области


A coat of arms was granted to the territory in 1890. It is blue with a golden base. On it is a silver tiger rampant without claws, holding a bow with broken string. [1]The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica - Felidæ) was living in Turkmeniya. Its range of distribution is from the Caucasus to Manchuria around 40° N.L.. In the arms it symbolizes the subjugated Tekke Turkmens which makes the arms of unalloyed colonialist signature. During the chinese Han-era (207 BC - 220 AD) a white tiger was the symbol of the western part of the empire (Sinkiang, East Turkestan, Uighuria).



Arms: Azure, a clawless Siberian tiger proper, holding a bow with broken string Or; and a base Or.

Crown: A Russian royal crown

Garland: Branches of oak tied with a ribbon Gules.

Granted 1890-01-31


The blason refers to the subjection of the Tekke Turcomans when the Turcoman tiger was robbed of its claws and arms.

By the Kerenski government the crown on the arms was replaced by a two-headed eagle.







ï  Arms of Transkaspian Oblast on a 5 ruble note, 1919.


Today the territory is divided between Kazachstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (Kara Kalpak).



Turkmenian Socialist Soviet Republic



Turkmeniya was separated from the Turkestan Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic on 27 October 1924. A coat of arms or national emblem was adopted by constitution of 1926. It was quarterly with and ecutcheon. In the first two quarters is a landscape with the Kopet-Dag mountains on the southern border, in the distance. On the left (dexter) is a shephard with his flock, symblizing the traditional cattle breeding, and on the right (sinister) is a camel and a tractor for modern times.

In the two lower fields are a bunch of grapes and a branch of cotton, symbolizing the main cash-crops. On the escutcheon is a picture of a Gjul, a rose-pattern often used on Turkmeniyan carpets. Below the shield crested with a five-pointed star, is a rising sun charged with an anvil and around it  is a garland of ears of grain winded with a red ribbon on which is the motto ‘Workers of All Countries Unite!’  in russian and turkmenian. Within the bow of the ribbon are a hammer and sickle in saltire.  [2]



Arms: A circular shield, its edge and dividing lines Gules: ¼: the 1st and 2nd a landscape showing the Kopet Dag Mountains, in the dexter quarter a shepherd with its herd, in the sinister a camel and a tractor with its driver, all proper; in the 3rd Or, a bunch of grapes proper, in the 4th Argent, a branch of cotton also proper. In fess point Argent, a Solor-rose or Gjul Gules.

Crest: A five pointed star Or, voided Gules.

Garland: Ears of wheat Or enclosing a field Azure, in base a rising sun radiant proper, charged with an anvil also proper. On the crossing of the ears a hammer and sickle in saltire proper.

Motto: On a ribbon Gules, on the dexter ПРОЛЕТАРИИ ВСЕХ СТРАН СОЕДИНЯЙТЕСЬ!    and on the sinister Bytin jer Juzinin Proletari Birlesin! in arab script, all in golden lettering.

By Constitution, 26th of October 1926, Art. 82

After the admission of Turkmeniya to the U.S.S.R in 1936 a new national emblem was adopted by constitution of 1937. The central part now shows a landscape with a derrick, a rising sun and a hammer and sickle. In base is a Turkmenian carpet, showing the Gjul-pattern. Bunch of grapes and branches of cotton are incorporated in the garland. The motto in turkmenian is written in latin script.[3]


Arms: A landscape with derricks in fess point before a sun radiant proper. In chief a hammer and sickle in saltire and in base a Turkmenian rug proper.

Crest: A five-pointed star Or, voided Gules.

Garland: Ears of wheat and branches of cotton, in base a bunch of grapes, all proper.

Motto: On a ribbon Gules, on the dexter bytin jer juzinin proletari birlesin! and on the sinister ПРОЛЕТАРИИ ВСЕХ СТРАН СОЕДИНЯЙТЕСЬ!  in golden lettering.

By Constitution, 2nd of March 1937 Art. 121.

Amendment of 1940 (?)


A first change occured probably by constitution of 1940. In chief the cyrillic letters TCCP were added and the text on the dexter windings were written in cyrillic. 


Arms, Crest and Garland as before, the initials TCCP added in chief, the motto on the sinister in cyrillic: эxли юptлapыh ПРОЛЕТАРapлapы биpлeшиh!


Amendment of 1953


In 1953 the letters TCCP were omitted


Emblem: The same, the initials TCCP omitted.


Section 121 about the arms in the Constitution of the Turkmenistan S.S.R. of 1953 reads:


“Государственный герб Туркменской Советской Социалистической Республики состоит из изображения на фоне восходящего солнца серпа и молота, краной звезды, фабричных зданий, обрамленных венком из раскрытого хлобка и колосьев, ковра с надписью обвивающей венок красной ленте, на которой поменещены надписи: слева на туркменском языке «эxли юptлapыh ПРОЛЕТАРapлapы биpлeшиh!» и справа на русском  «ПРОЛЕТАРИИ ВСЕХ СТРАН СОЕДИНЯЙТЕСЬ!».”  



27.10.1991 - present


On 19 February 1992 a new national emblem was adopted. It shows a Akhal-Teke horse surrounded by five traditional carpet motifs (gjul).


The Akhal-Teke horse is famous for its speed and endurance.

The carpets represent the five major tribes or houses, the Teke, Yomut, Arsary, Chowdur, and Saryk. The Salyr, a tribe that declined as a result of military defeat before the modern period, are not represented, nor are several smaller tribes or subtribes.

The carpets also symbolize the traditional and religious values of the country.

The horse-and-carpet emblem is surrounded by a garland of wheat and cotton, borrowed from the earlier national emblems, which should now symbolize Turkmenian hospitality expressed by the offering of salt and bread to guests.

The emblem is crested by a crescent and five five-pointed stars. The  crescent symbolizes the hope of the country for a brilliant  future and the stars represent the five provinces (Welayatlar) of Turkmenistan: Ahal, Balkan, Dashhowuz, Lebap, and Mary.



Arms: Or, a target Azure edged Argent, a horse statant Argent, surrounded by five Turkmenian rug-patterns Gules.

Garland: On a bordure Gules fimbriated Argent, ears of wheat  Or and cotton-flowers in base proper. In chief a constellation of a crescent and five five-pointed stars Argent.

Adopted 19th of February 1992.


Initially the emblem was depicted on an orange or yellow disc, surrounded by a red bordure. [4] Later the main disc was coloured green, the ring charged with the carpets, red. These colours are said to be the historical Turkmen colours.

National emblem of Turkmenistan until 2003


In 2003 the main, green disc was replaced by an eight-pointed star. This figure, a so-called Rub El Hizb symbolizes Islam, the main religion in Turkmenistan.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay


Presidential Flag


A presidential flag was adopted 26 September 1996 (three years before Saparmyrat Niyazov was declared president for life). It showed, on a green cloth, the crescent and stars of the crest and a five-headed eagle with a two-headed snake in its claws. In 2002 its proportions were changed from 1 : 2  to 2 : 3.  The five-headed eagle is inspired by the two-headed eagle of some Samanid amirs ruling over Transoxiana from 864 until 999 AD.

In 2003 the five-headed eagle was surrounded by the legend TÜRKMENISTANYŇ PREZIDENTI / SAPARMYRAT TÜRKMENBASI and an eight-pointed yellow border. In 2007, after the death of Niyazov in 2006, SAPARMYRAT TÜRKMENBASI was omitted from the legend and the flag itself was surrounded by a narrow yellow border.


Presidential flag, 2003-present


Armed Forces


The emblem of the armed forces is the crescent and the constellation of five-pointed stars, surrounded by a garland. On the cap badge the emblem is a sun-burst charged with an eight-pointed frame surrounding the crescent and stars.


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© Hubert de Vries 2011-04-27 Updated 2015-04-07




[1] Ströhl, Hugo Gerard: Russisch-Asiatische Wappenrolle. Die Wappen der Gouvernements, Gebiete und vieler Orte in Kaukasien, Turkestan, der Kirgisensteppe und Siberien. In: Jahrbuch des Heraldisch-Genealogischen Vereins Adler”. 1901, pp. 92-94, Taf. V.

[2] Neubecker, Ottfried: Sowjetheraldik. In: Osteuropa. 5e Jg., Heft 6. Berlin, März 1930, pp. 388-389. Also: The same: „Länderwappen und Nationalfarben“, Album, York Garbaty Zigarettenfabrik. ohne Verlagsangabe, 1933, N°104

[3] Neubecker, Ottfried: Die Wappen der Sowjetunion und ihre Teilrepubliken. In: Der Herold, Vierteljahrsschrift für Heraldik, Genealogie und Verwandte Wissen­schaf­ten. 1943 pp. A8.

[4] Hesmer, K.-H.: Flaggen und Wappen der Welt. Gütersloh,  1992, p. 164.

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