Afghan National Flag Raised Above Castle for First Time

Reprinted from US Forces- Afghanistan Facebook Page

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Afghan national flag was raised above Khan Neshin castle in the Rig District Centre July 8 for the first time, signalling the arrival of Afghan governance in the southern reaches of Helmand province.

Khan Neshin and the areas south of the Helmand River have never experienced the sustained presence of coalition forces or Afghan national security forces, until now, seven days after the beginning of Operation Khanjar.

"The number one question we get from the people is, ‘when are you leaving?’" said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commanding general of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan. "The answer is we’re not leaving until the transition for security is made to the provincial government, to include the Afghan forces."

Afghans from the local populace came to Khan Neshin shortly after the flag was raised, where they heard statements from Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal and newly-appointed Rig District Governor Massoud Jan. Dozens of locals then gathered around a large courtyard within the district centre to sign up for voting in the upcoming national elections.

"Look at them," said Gen. Muhaidin, brigade commander, 3rd Afghan National Army Brigade, 205 Corps, gesturing toward the crowd. "Now they know that the government is here and they have security. [The Afghans] have hope, that’s why they’re here."



Afghan citizens and members of the Afghan National Army raise the Afghan national flag above Khan Neshin castle in the Rig District Centre July 8 for the first time. (International Security Assistance Force Photo)

12 thoughts on “Afghan National Flag Raised Above Castle for First Time”

  1. I’ve been following the Afghanistan war since it’s begining. The picture above show one of many beatiful moments in hope for peace. I recommend you to google “you cant press pause in this call of duty”, it’s a great article about war in general.

    Sharing my 5 cents, thanks for the post!

    Caspar from Bröllopsdekorationer

  2. This is a really excellent article, both for its face value and for what it means to me as an American citizen. For one, it is great to see the Afghan people be able to take back some of their land and symbolize this action by raising their flag in a way like this. Of more importance to me personally is actually having stumbled upon this blog, because in all honesty I have not been keeping up with the war. In part, I wouldn’t completely blame myself as the mainstream media has completely ignored it in so many respects. My brother recently departed for Iraq as well, which makes the war across the seas even more real to me. He went to Afganistan about 7 years ago, and to see him leave again is just devastating. I just hope things keep going as well as they seem to be over in Afganistan (and Iraq by extension). I look forward to keeping up with this blog, as it seems to be one of the few that actually pay attention to the war anymore.

  3. This has been a hot topic for the news and everything lately, I found it interesting to hear about and was often sad to hear how depressed the area is over there. I really hope for the best to turn out with this type of situation.

  4. I was pretty suprised by this hot news! I hope that will improve the current situation in this area. Although it looked darn hag-ridden. I used to observe the Afganistan state from the beggining. And I think the Afgans have made a very brave step to raise the flag in this way.
    I am looking forward to getting more news about the situation in Afganistan.

  5. The media has reported only the bad things that happen here. I’ve been in country and Kabul since March, and outside of the usual disturbances, it’s not all that bad.

  6. I have always been a great enthusiast on reading the articles that is related to the world’s affairs. So this article really provoked me. I am sure that after this step the conditions will improve a little.

  7. Afghans are most comfortable when they are left to their own devices. They abhor any kind of foreign interference. Peter Hopkirk’s “The Great Game” explains the whole Afghan mentality in detail.

    1. Zulufire, Afghans aren’t special. EVERYONE is more comfortable when they are left alone. Nobody, not even Americans like foreign interference. However if you stick your head in the sand and not stand up to defend your people and your country then this happens. Funny you say this because Afghanistan has pretty much been occupied by “foreign interference” for most of its history as a country, and almost completely since the 80s. They can “abhor” it all they want, but until they stand up and do something about it then they should not complain. Maybe now, when the US leaves they will be able to defend themselves for once….maybe.

      1. Afghanistan has always had strategic importance due to its geography and many have tried to conquer and annex this part of world over the centuries. History tells us, none have really been able to contain or control the Afghans. I too believe that the spirit of patriotism and nationalism isn’t too strong in Afghans but the will to stay FREE is…

        You said: They can “abhor” it all they want, but until they stand up and do something about it then they should not complain.

        who did they complain to??? The last time I checked, they complained to no one. They didn’t ask for anyone’s intervention, not UN’s, not Pakistan’s and certainly not US.

        1. They can stand up and kick the bad guys out who use their country as safe haven. How come every Hazara Village I have been to has no problem with night letters, being bullied by roving insurgents, or otherwise threatened? It is because they won’t take that crap and they defend their village and won’t allow insurgents bent on doing bad things into their village. I know Hazaras as looked down upon by many other tribes in Afghanistan (which I never understood), but they do police themselves up and keep their villages safe. Now if all the tribes would do that and not just roll over, the US would not have had to come there to kill the people that attacked us.

  8. Afganistan is always in a state of war. If they occupied, they fight against occupants, otherwise they fight against each other, tribe versus tribe. I think it will never stop… They have no resources on their land to produce something other than drugs.

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