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The State of Eritrea

Last modified: 2008-02-09 by zeljko heimer
Keywords: eritrea | africa | wreath | afars |
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[Flag of Eritrea] [National flag and ensign] 1:2
image by Ivan Sarajcic, 31 August 2007
Flag adopted 5 December 1995, coat of arms adopted 24 May 1993.

National Flag

Description: Green over light blue with red traingle at hoist reaching the fly, and with yellow wreath in it.
The construction sheet in Album 2000 (that is wrong apparently, to be corrected in "Correction 1" evenutally) positions the midpoint of the wreath 1/2 hoist from hoist, that same size being the height of the wreath, too.
Now, a biger problem is overall ratio. Prevously on FOTW, and on Graham's World Flag Database site and in Album 1995 the ratio is given as 2:3, while in Album 2000 (and Corr 24. of Album 1996 and latter) as well as on the Shipmate chart 2000 it is 1:2. Presumaby the latter data would be more correct.
Pantone approximation given in Album 2000 are:
green 361c
red 185c
yellow 123c
blue 279c
Even if there seems to be no direct connection with green and blue flag in neighbouring countries and regions, certainly the light blue - green combination is popular in the area.
Željko Heimer, 1 August 2001

[Flag of Eritrea in ratio 2:3] 2:3
by Mark Sensen

This flag is a combination of the Liberation Army flag (similar to the current one, only with a gold star in the hoist) and the Eritrean flag in use in 1950's. In use since 1993.
David Kendall, 1 December 1996

In my opinion, Eritrean colors dont have relation with neibouring countries. Djibuti (Afars and Issa Somali) have blue for Issas and green-white-blue for Afar; Sudan, panarab colors; Ethiopia panafrican colors.
I believe that the colors came from the blue and green Eritrea autonomous flag (created 1952 but from first proposals dated 1950), and revolutionary (socialist) red added. EPLF was not a wing of ELF but a oposite movement. ELF was moderated and supported by moderate countries, and EPLF was supported by Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union) until that Haile Mariam take the power in Ethiopia, when the alliances were reversed. EPLF selected, of course, the red as their color, and, in the flag, in form of arrow, meaning that the socialist revolution will penetrate in Eritrea (red and blue colors of its flag). The star should be for the country and revolution guide.
When communist fall the Amharic communist based power of Menguistu can't resist againts his rival Trigranya communist based, that win the battle. Without socialist help, Trigranya new leaders of Ethiopia accede to Eritrean independence. The socialist star in flag was changed to a device adopted by UNO: an olive branch sourronded by two olive branches, one in each side.
We can expect a change of flag when current regime fall. In my next Flag Report some armed oposition movements flags will are available, and none of which support the current national flag.
Jaume Ollé, 1 August 2001

Concerning the Eritran branches: the two outer branches are evidently olive (UN -> Eritrea in 1950s -> Eritrea 1993), but what is the central branch with the forked leaves?
Firstly there was [proposed? Ed.] a single olive branch, but final agreement were a central olive branch with two sourronding branchs. Since adoption the emblem was slightly changed, something which is not very well documented, so it may not still be considered an olive branch. Jaume Ollé, 2 August 2001

Usage Pecularities

According to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Traveler's Guide), extreme respect must be shown to the Eritrean national flag:

"Cultural specificities

The national flag is subjected to a great respect. During the hoisting of the flag, car drivers must park and get out of their vehicle, whereas pedestrians must stop."

They don't say if the respect to the flag has consequences on the car flow in Asmara.

Ivan Sache, 18 February 2005

Symbolism of the Flag

In Identifying Flags, 1998 Eve Devereux writes: "Green symbolizes the agricultural and livestock economy of the country, red the bloodshed in the struggle for independence, blue the marine wealth, and yellow the mineral wealth of Eritrea". No mention is made of the meaning of the olive wreath with an upright branch, which I presume symbolizes peace.
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2002

I have read that the olive wreath on Eritrea's flag symbolizes the UN and its role in helping with that country's independence.
Nathan Lamm, 5 August 2002

Aircraft Marking

The aircraft marking reported in Album 2000 is the national flag in circular format (without yellow emblem). National flag is painted on the fin, as explained in a note by the figure.
Željko Heimer, 1 August 2001