A young woman with her face painted with the rebel Syrian flag attends a demonstration against Assad in front of the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul on Dec. 16, 2011. At this point, more than 5,000 people had been killed in Syria.
The opposition flag's black and green panels were inspired by the Pan-Arab flag, which Arab-nationalists propagated during the Arab revolt in World War I. It was the official Syrian flag until the Baathist takeover in 1963, when the emblem with three green stars between red and black panels -- similar to today's official flag - took its place. The three stars, which signified Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, displayed a then-unrealized union between the three countries.