The lion and sun symbol is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations: the ancient sign of the sun in the house of Leo, which itself is traced backed to Babylonian astrology and Near Eastern traditions.
The motif has many historical meanings. First, it was only an astrological and zodiacal symbol. Under Safavid and the first Qajar kings, it became more associated with Shia Islam. During the Safavid era, the lion and sun stood for the two pillars of society, the state and the Islamic religion. It became a national emblem during the Qajar era. In the 19th century, European visitors at the Qajar court attributed the lion and sun to remote antiquity; since then, it has acquired a nationalistic interpretation. The meaning of the symbol changed several times between the Qajar era and the 1979 revolution. The lion could be interpreted as a metaphor for Ali, for the heroes of Iran who are ready to protect the country against enemies, or for its ancient meaning as the symbol of kingship. The Sun has alternately been interpreted as symbol of the king, Jamshid, the mythical king of Iran, and the motherland.
The emblem remained the official symbol of Iran until the 1979 revolution, when the “Lion and Sun” symbol was removed from public spaces and government organisations, and replaced by the present-day Coat of arms of Iran.
* Posts in ShahreFarang are projects-in-process. If you have pictures that you would like to include in this post please contact ShahreFarang.
* Never miss a post! Subscribe to ShahreFarang newsletter now for updates. (No spam, we promise) You can also follow ShahreFarang on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or grab ShahreFarang RSS feed in English!
Donate to ShahreFarang
If you visit ShahreFarang regularly and would like to help keep the site on the Internet, please consider donating a small sum. There is no minimum donation, any sum is appreciated.
TagsBooks Building California Cards Childhood Children Books cityscapes Clothing Costume Decorations Documents Education Graphic Design Illustration Islam Los Angeles Magazines Miniatures Murals Music neighborhood Orientalism Painting Photography Pop Music Portrait Postcards Propaganda Qajar Religion Restaurants Revolution Shia Shiism Shiraz Shops Show Sport Street Talisman Tehran Textbook Theater Vinyl Records War