“Once raised flag never falls!” was the motto of glorious independence movement in Azerbaijan in the beginning of the 20th century.

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The words written gold in the national history by Mammad Amin Rasulzade, brightest and most prominent political figure, were the major slogan while declaring Azerbaijan’s independence.

That was the very moment when the Declaration of Independence was announced in 1918.

This was the very expression sounded by many Azerbaijanis across the world encouraging them to be proud of their country and nation, who made its historic dream a reality.

Exactly 103 years ago on May 28 Azerbaijan established its Democratic Republic — the first secular state in the Muslim East.

Thus for the first time on this day, Azerbaijani Democratic Republic entered the world political map as a new state.

The historical, political and brightest figure of Azerbaijan Mammad Amin Rasulzade was the founder of the first independent republic in the Muslim East.

The ADR, which existed only twenty-three months in 1918-1920, was a pioneer that combined both European democratic values and the abundant cultural heritage of the East in one entity.

The delegation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which was sent to Paris under the Parliament’s decision, was the first diplomatic mission tasked with expressing the will of the nation and its quest for independence.

The Azerbaijani delegation was able to meet U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on May 28, 1919.

President Wilson was given a copy of the memorandum which was presented at the Paris Peace Conference.

The document consisted of three clauses: a memorandum on the independence of the Caucasian Azerbaijan with a description of its boundaries on a special sheet with a map; a memorandum on Azerbaijan’s economic and financial condition with an economic map; a memorandum on Azerbaijan’s ethnic composition with diagrams and an ethnographic map.

The ADR carried out its activities in a very tense and difficult social and political situation that arose within and outside the country.

The measures undertaken by the state for a short period left a large footprint in the history of the nation.

All citizens of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation, were granted the right to vote. Thus, women gained suffrage for the first time in the Islamic world.

They fought for the independence of Azerbaijan to the end, as samurai and this struggle was not meaningless and useless.

Although the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic fell as a result of external aggression, its activity was important to follow the historical fate of the Azerbaijani people Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic, proclaimed in April 1920, heralded the preservation of its political independence.

However, with creation of the USSR, Azerbaijan has actually lost its independence, which featured only formally, but with the attributes of statehood, constitution, and territory boundaries.

National leader Heydar Aliyev highly appreciated this glorious page in Azerbaijan’s history.

“Though the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic survived only for 23 months in complicated and tense socio-political situation it will always stay in the memory of future generations as one of the brightest pages of our history,” said Heydar Aliyev.

“Though it was not able to implement fully the measures undertaken in spheres of the state system establishment, economics, culture, education, public health, military policy yet those measures implemented played a great role in the history of our country and in the restoration of the national state system establishment.

The most important matter is that the ADR strengthened our democratic views though it existed within a short period of time.

The people of Azerbaijan will always honor the memory of the prominent state officials that served to the establishment of that republic — MamedEminRasulzade, AlimerdanbeyTopchubashev, Fatali khan Khoyski …”

The “fathers” and founders of the ADR managed to nurture a national idea which finally gained a foothold in the mid 1990s, following the strengthening of the fragile independence of Azerbaijan after national leader Heydar Aliyev came to power.