Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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National Insignia, Signs, and Monuments: Iran
(927 words)

In Iran the most important iconic sign of modern nation/statehood has been the Lion and Sun emblem. When first adopted in 1836 by Muḥammad Shāh Qājār (r. 1834–48) as the official emblem of the Iranian state, the lion was male, the sun (fe)male, that is, a beautiful face, which in Qājār iconography could be either male or female. Over the following decades the sun burst into a magnificent Qājārī face and the lion became more masculinized (see Figure 2). By the early twentieth century, however, the sun gra…

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Najmabadi, Afsaneh, “National Insignia, Signs, and Monuments: Iran”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0121b>
First published online: 2009

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