The colours of the Iranian flag are traditional, probably dating from at least the 18th century. The colours green, white and red can be interpreted as representing Islam, peace and courage, respectively. The flag was designed in the tricolour form in 1907. It’s centrepiece formerly comprised of a lion with a sword standing before a rising sun, with a crown above, but all traditional flags and banners were abolished after the abdication of the Shah in 1979. The new centrepiece is a composite of various elements representing different facets of Islam which, when combined in this device, represent God. The markings in white along the edges of the red and green bands repeat the inscription which translates to ‘God is Great’ 22 times.