My minimal research on the flag (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Afghanistan)
revealed that Afghanistan had the world's simplest flag from 1880-1901: plain black, no device, just black.
These lads have another 10 mates on the painting table. I hope they'll be finished in time for the next game! All are from Artizan Designs (courtesy of North Star Figures).
After reading the comments and looking again at the photos and miniatures, I realised I wasn't satisfied, so I went back and touched them up a bit, mostly by adding a wash to the faces and coats. Here is the result. Still not perfect but certainly an improvement!
thanks for the comments, especially Andrei!