Republic of Pontus (Greece, 1917-1919)
The Hellenic population of the Pontus (North Turkey, coast of Black sea) was the bastion of Hellenism during the Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire attempted to cleanse the region from the Hellenic minorities toward the end of the XXth century first decade, A series of violents acts, arbitrary decisions and laws forced inhabitants of the area to take refuge in the inhospitable mountains of Pontus. The soul of the rebellion in the Pontus was provided by the great national leader Germanos Caravangelis, bishop of Castoria, leader in the Macedonian struggle and Chrissantos, bishop of Trebizonda. The bishoprics of the Pontus became centers of guidance and recruitement of rebels, whereas the mountains became centers of resistance against the Ottomans. In 1917, Greece and the allied powers began to work out a plan for the creation of an autonomous Hellenic state in the Pontus region, purely Hellenic or Hellenic and Armenian. K. Constantinidis designed the map of the new autonomous state and Dr. G. Thoides designed and proposed for approval in 1919 the flag of Pontus. It was the Greek national flag, bearing in the center of the cross the one-headed eagle of Great Comnenes, the Byzantine dynasty from Pontus. After the unfortunate outcome of the campaign in Asia Minor, and the reversal of the allies interest and foreign policy against Hellenic interest and expectations, the plan for the creation of the autonomous state of Pontus collapsed.