Last modified: 2008-09-06 by zeljko heimer
Keywords: central african republic | star | french equatorial africa | pan-african |
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by Željko Heimer
by Željko Heimer and António Martins-Tuválkin 25 May 2008
Flag adopted 1 December 1958, coat of arms adopted 17 May 1963.
The four-striped blue, white, green and yellow flag with fifth red stirpe set vertically and
yellow five-pointed star in "canton". In Album 2000 is given ratio 2:3 and a note claiming that there exists variant in ration 3:5.
For the comparison Smith 1975 and Smith 1980 gives ratio as 3:5~, Shipmate
Chart has it 3:5, Znamierowski 1999 gives "Proportions unspecified" which is probably closest to the thruth.
According to Smith 1982 colours were chosen to represent France and Panafrican colours. What is common - red as blood - is superimposed to symbolize that Europeans and Africans have to respect each other. Yellow star of independence symbolizes a bright future. Officialy hoisted on 1 December 1958.
Željko Heimer 11 May 2001
The Album 2000 gives exact construction details (2+2+2+2):(5+2+5),
but I am somehow doubtful - I believe that the numbers 5 are here
gained as "rest" from the firm overall ratio (2:3, which is not quite
certain as discussed above) and requirement that the vertcial stripe
be of euqal width as each of the horizontal stripes (the requirement
seems to be implicit, but followed quite strictly).
L'Album 1995 issue also give two possibilities for the ratio, but it also specifies the position of the star. According to this the star should have center in point 0.14b from hoist where b is the flag length. This specification is not mentioned latter, I guess it is not quite relevant (if not entirely wrong).
While doing these images, I made image with ratio 4:5. While I have no sources or proves of such flag existance, but I think that this minght have been the original idea - probably never actually used - for the sake of the "conformity" with other "normal" flags (such as 2:3 or 3:5). The idea here is that all the five stripes are of equal size (area) in the flag. Well, just a speculation - but maybe a root of the presidential flag discussed further on.
Željko Heimer 11 May 2001
4:5 Reconstruction - not used!
by Željko Heimer
The colours of the Central African nation were adopted unanimously by
acclamation during the ceremonious session of the Legislative Assembly on 1st December 1958 .
Before the vote, President Barthélémy Boganda said to the Deputees:
"Those coulours, which symbolize the four territories constituting the French Equatorial Africa  but also our guide territory, the Metropolitan France , came out of my heart. The red stripe which crosses the four colours is the symbol of our blood. As we did it when France was in danger , we shall shed our blood for Africa and to protect the Central African Republic, member of the French Community ."The blue [colour], placed as the sky, stands for Vastness, Freedom, Greatness, Serenity.
A new Constitution was promulgated in Central African Republic on 14 January 1995, after having been accepted on 28 December 1994 by 82.06% of the voters. Article 17 of the Constitution describes the flag as follows:
Title IISource: Vagnat & Poels. Constitutions - What they tell us about national flags and coat of arms. [vap00]
The State and Sovereignty
Its emblem is the flag of four equal sized horizontal bands of the colours blue, white, green and yellow, perpendicularly barred in their centre by a red band of equal size and marked in the upper left corner by a yellow five pointed star.
Its motto is UNITY - DIGNITY - WORK
The Seals of the State and the Arms of the Republic are defined by the law.
by Željko Heimer 11 May 2001Regarding the Centeral African flags for the head of the state - The emperor's flag is shown in Smith 1980, already obsolete at the time of issue (see Central African Empire, 1976 - 1979) and the presidential flag in Smith 1975 (and probably some other sources, as the scan posted by Marcus Wendel that was on FOTW was not from [smi75]). However, there seems that the modern sources does not mention this presidential standard being reintroduced after Bokassa period. The presidential flag is equal in deisgn to the national flag with wide golden fringe on three sides. The fringe is so wide apparently as each of the sripes. [smi75] give ratio as 22:31~ (this ratio measures exclude fringe width - only the fag field itself, of coruse), while the Markus' image mantioned above seems to be a bit more squerish.
'The flag of the Centrafrican Republic, heritage of all of the Centrafricans, has been removed from this website because we have been ordered to do so by the State Prosecutor of the Centrafrican Republic, on pain of penalties. Therefore we removed it to avoid any financial loss to our party. The surfers and the Centrafricans are free to appreciate this democratic advance in President's Boganda's country'.Ivan Sache, 7 February 2001
by Željko Heimer according to Album 2000 11 May 2000
This title ends with a question mark, since it is very difficult to obtain accurate information from Chad and Centrafrica. The political situation is very bad in the area and there is no independent press to confirm the news. It is highly probable that Chad played an active role in the last coup which overthrew President Kolingba and took benefit of the situation to invade part of Centrafrica.
A paper related the occupation of parts of the Centrafrican territory by Chad was published in Centrafrique-Presse on 19 April 2003. I am giving below the French text of the flag-related section of the paper, and my English translation of the text. The full paper can be read, in French, on the Centrafrique-Presse website: http://www.centrafrique-presse.com/nouvelles.php3?id_art=1622Ivan Sache, 16 November 2003
[French text, slightly edited]
Jusqu'a quand le drapeau tchadien continuera-t-il de flotter sur les edifices publics en RCA?
Pendant que les "liberateurs" goutent aux delices de la « transition consensuelle» à Bangui, ils viennent de proceder a un mouvement general des prefets. Une bonne partie de la Republique centrafricaine constituee des villes et localites de provinces, notamment des prefectures de l’Ouham, l’Ouham-Pende, la Kemo et le Bamingui-Bangoran, a pratiquement bascule sous administration tchadienne.
C’est desormais le drapeau tchadien qui flotte devant les edifices administratifs de ces contrees de l’arriere-pays [...]. La RCA est presentement sous occupation tchadienne depuis le 15 mars dernier. Idriss Deby est de fait, president de deux pays. [...]
Until when shall the Chadian flag fly over the public buildings in CAR?
While enjoying the delights of the "consensual transition" in Bangui [the capital city of the CAR], the "liberators" launched a general movement of the prefets [local administrators]. A sizeable part of the CAR, made of province towns and places, namely the prefectures [administrative divisions] of Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Kemo and Bamigui-Bangoran [more or less the areas near the Chadian border, roughly 1/3 of the CAR territory], is now under Chadian administration.
The Chadian flag is now hoisted in front of the administrative buildings in these areas of the [Bangui] hinterland [...]. The CAR has been under Chadian occupation since the 15th of March . Idriss Deby [the President of Chad] is, de facto, the president of two countries. [...]
Two variants of the Central African flag has been depicted in stamps issued by the local Postal Authority, being thus somewhat official, making the errors even more glaring. Both cases show the upper hoist star in a color arrangement different from the official yellow:
by António Martins-Tuválkin 25 May 2008
A 1961 stamps commemorating the admission of the country to the UN show a white star on the flag, instead of yellow. This is not a printing mistake as the yellow stripe of the flag is colored as expected. Three different stamps in the same pattersn were issued: 15, 25 and 85 francs (resp. #02776, #02777 and #02778 in our catalogue of stamps on flags; the 25F stamp was overprinted as "Fète Nationale 1-12-61" (our #02779).
by António Martins-Tuválkin 25 May 2008
A 1959 25F stamp (our #02775) shows a national flag with the usual place
of the star, on the blue stripe, smudged in white (doesnt seems to be a
crisp circle outline) and on it a red star.
António Martins-Tuválkin 25 May 2008