Throughout the history of Egypt, multiple flags were designed to fly over and represent the country. 

They symbolized - with each color and icon used - nationalism, political alliances, and struggles to reach full independence.

Flags can explain and show a country's history as much as history books can. Here's a look at different flags of Egypt over the past 200 years: 

1. The flag of the Ottoman Empire (1517-1844)

Source: Wikipedia

In 1517, Egypt was absorbed into the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which was led by Selim I. In 1525, the Ottoman administration of Egypt was defined and strengthened under sultan Süleyman I. 

2. The flag of Egypt under Muhammad Ali Pasha (1844-1867)

Source: Youm7

In 1805, the Ottoman Albanian commander Muhammad Ali Pasha established his progeny that ruled Egypt and Sudan for nearly 150 years, although nominally part of the Ottoman Empire. 

3. The flag of the Khedivate of Egypt (1867-1881) and the Sultanate of Egypt (1914-1923)

Source: Wikipedia

Khedive Ismail changed Muhammad Ali's flag in 1867, replacing it with three white crescents, in front of each a white five-pointed star. 

The crescents and stars symbolized Egypt, Nubia, and Sudan, and the victory of the Egyptian armies in the era of Muhammad Ali in Africa, Europe, and Asia. 

This flag kept flying over Egypt until the British occupation of the country in 1882. Following a brief return to the old flag of Muhammad Ali in 1882, the flag of Ismail was readopted again in 1914. 

4. The flag of the Kingdom of Egypt (1923-1952)

Source: Youm7

In 1922, Britain recognized Egyptian independence and ended the protectorate state. Subsequently, the Sultan of Egypt, Fuad I, became the King of the country. 

He adopted a new national flag of three white stars in a white crescent on a green background. This flag continued to serve as Egypt's national flag after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952. 

5. The flag of the United Arab Republic (1958-1971)

Source: Wikipedia

United Arab Republic (UAR) was a short-lived political union between Egypt and Syria, proclaimed on February 22, 1958. 

It lasted for less than four years and came to an end in 1961 after Syria declared itself independent of Egypt following a military coup.

Egypt retained the name and the flag of UAR until 1971. 

6. The flag of the Federation of Arab Republics (1971-1984)

Source: Wikipedia

On January 1, 1972, Libya formed the Federation of Arab Republics along with Syria and Egypt. The flag of the federation was similar to the flag of UAR, with the two stars replaced by the golden hawk of Quraysh - the symbol of the famous Arab tribe to which the Prophet Muhammad had belonged. 

Even though the alliance lasted for only five years, Egypt retained the name and the flag of the alliance until 1984.

7. The flag of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1984-)

Source: Wikipedia

The current flag was adopted in 1984; the hawk of Quraysh was replaced by the Eagle of Saladin, standing on a scroll bearing the name of the country in Kufic Arabic script.

The color red refers to the blood of martyrs, while white symbolizes peace and prosperity, and black for the end of the oppression of Egyptians at the hands of colonialism.