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Union of the Comoros

Last modified: 2008-02-28 by antónio martins
Keywords: comoros | star: 5 points (white) | islam | stars: 4 | stars: line | law | crescent: points to fly (white) | error |
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Udzima wa Komori / L’Union des Comores / اتحاد القمر

Flag of Comoros
image by Pascal Vagnat, 31 Jan 2002
See also: External links:
  • Page about the flag and it’s image, at the Mwzinet / Comores Online web site.
    reported by António Martins, 01 Apr 2003

Description of the flag

The triangle seems to be both equilateral and reaching the center of the flag, and the flag ratio is (consequently) ≅3:5.
Jan Zrzavy, 31 Jan 2002

Shipmate Flagchart includes the new Comorian flag (with a triangle reaching the center of a flag and with flag ratio 2:3) as a «new flag established by referendum». As a source, the Flag Research Center is mentioned.
Jan Zrzavy, 10 Jan 2002

There is a page about the current flag (and its image), at the Mwzinet / Comores Online web site. Comparing it with the image above, the shade of yellow seems darker (because it touches white?), while blue and green look lighter and “greyer” — perhaps because the image is overexposed? The looks also longer than one and a half the height of the flag (an incorrect depiction in official use) and the crescent is more “banana-like” (and much uglier) with the stars stacked by its side, not “inside” it.
António Martins, 02 Mar 2003

Design of the stars

The upright stars »of some most Comoros flag images« were based on the official model supplied when the flag was adopted.
Christopher Southworth, 01 Oct 2006

Stars pointing outwards

Flag of Comoros
image by Pascal Vagnat and António Martins, 30 Sep 2006

On this page of the IRINnews website by clicking on the pic we get a large photo of a Union flag with a different arrangement of the stars.
Paraskevas Renesis, 13 Apr 2006

In this IRINnews photo the stars are pointing to the fly. It may be the official design, and perhaps even the only one in local use, as the legal documents about the flag do not detail the orientation of the stars.
António Martins, 13 Apr 2006

The (huge) photo is still on line but not the article it was shown in. Anyway, the validity of this flag is up to anyone’s guess; we can only be sure that such a flag exist (for the photo is detailed enough to count the stiches!); expert botanists may try to guess the location based on the canopy visible in background… For what it is worth, IRINnews is expected to deliver on-location stories.
António Martins, 30 Sep 2006

Meaning of the flag

The colors of the horizontal stripes stand for the four islands: yellow (Mohéli), white (Mayotte), red (Anjouan) and blue (Grand Comore).
Jaume Ollé, 25 Nov 2001

António Martins, 26 Mar 2006

Historical antecedents

Political situation in Comoros has been troubled for years, with more or less official support by France and South Africa to different parties, repeated intrusions of Bob Denard’s mercenaries, assassinations of presidents, expulsion of the mercenaries by French troops… Mayotte is still French, but revendicated by Comoros Republic. Islands of Anjouan and Moheli are in quasi-permanent state of secession from the Comoros Republic, sometimes aspiring to be re-attached to France. Historically, the Comoros islands have been amongst the rare states to volunteer for French protectorate because these micro-states were permanently threatened by Omani pirates (whose capital was at that time Zanzibar) and the neighbouring powerful Malgachian kingdoms (not to speak about local rivalities and succession conflicts). Anjouan was a sultanate and Moheli a kingdom.
Ivan Sache, 12 Sep 1999

The republic of Comoros »was« overhauled, getting a new name, flag, and constitution as part of a deal to end a three-year secessionist push by one of its three islands, a senior government official said. The reconciliation deal was signed Saturday by military ruler Col. Azali Assoumane and separatist leader Lt. Col. Said Abeid Abderemanein, the secretary general in the president’s office said Tuesday. The secretary general, Mahmoud Saleh, said the overhaul will take place within the next 18 months. «A lot is to change in Comoros, including symbols of the state such as the name of the republic, the national flag, and constitution», Saleh said. «But our internationally recognized borders and unity are to remain intact».
Phil Nelson, 07 Sep 2000, quoting from The Bergen Record

A political deal was signed between Comorian military leader Assoumani and Anjouan separatist leader Abeid. Some confederacy called «new Comorian entity» will be created. New flag…
Jan Zrzavy, 28 Aug 2000

Chrystian Kretowicz, 01 Feb 2002

According to BBC, about 75% of votes have favored the new constitution of Comoros, with a 70% turnout in the Sunday referendum. The new flag of the Comoro islands is almost certainly coming.
Jan Zrzavy, 26 Dec 2001

On 23 December 2001, a new Constitution was adopted, which prescribed a new flag, hoisted on 31 December 2001.
Ivan Sache, 20 Apr 2002

Delayed change over

We shown at the [Comorian] embassy [in Paris?] some reconstructions to the person of the protocol and he identified this as being the future version adopted. This flag should be confirmed officially during this month. I don’t know if the flag will be of 2:3 or 3:5.
Arnaud Leroy, 09 Jan 2002

At present, web sites of the government, the presidency, and UN mission of the Comoros all still use the old green flag.
Jan Zrzavy, 23 Jan 2002

This morning, I went to the Comoros Embassy in Paris, in order to ask to an official some questions about their new Constitution and the new flag. The flag hoisted at the Embassy is still the green one with white crescent. Comoros are still in a (complex) transition period: the new Constitution and the new flag are not in use. The diplomat said to me that he was absolutely not sure about the new flag. Even the official representation of Comoros don’t know anything about the flag problem.
Jerôme Sterkers, 24 Jan 2002

A few official sites for the Comoros have been updated with the new flag, the one with the yellow-white-blue-red stripes and the green triangle charged with a white crescent and four white stars:

  • (warning: all three links dead; the latter domain name used for pronographic content as of Sep 2004)
The flag image file shown at the embassy is named drap_new.jpg [Note that "drapeau" is French for "flag". Ed.].
Jan Oskar Engene, 31 Jan 2002

I’d note that presidential webstite shows the supposed new flag on the background of it’s main element, but that the page background itself (though barely visible at 800×600) is the previous, 1996-2001 flag.
António Martins, 03 Feb 2002

On 13 March 2002, the Comorian Embassy in Paris still hoisted the former flag.
Ivan Sache, 20 Apr 2002

TV coverage of the Arab League meeting at Beirut showed the old flag of the Comoros flying from the meeting hall as well as used as deskflag for the delegates. So is the new flag introduced or not?
Marcus Schmöger, 28 Mar 2002

During the meeting for the foundation of the AU (African Union) there was a quite large plate visible (TV coverage 9 July 2002; Süddeutsche Zeitung 10 July 2002: p.1) with all the flags of the member states. The “new” flag of the Comoros could be seen clearly, (at least for me) for the first time.
Marcus Schmöger, 12 Jul 2002

Legal text proposals

White crescent and white stars on green triangle

(in English)

Art. 1
  • The Comorian Union is a Republic, made of the autonomous islands of Mwali (Mohéli), Maoré (Mayotte), Ndzuwani (Anjouan), N’gazidja (Grande Comore).
  • The national emblem is yellow, white, red, blue, with a crescent towards the right and four white stars aligned from an extremity of the crescent to the other, in a green isocel triangle.

translated by Jòan-Francés Blanc, 23 Jan 2002

Green crescent and stars

(in English)

  • Union of Comoros States - Comorian Union is a republic, composed by Mayotte, Anjouan, Grande Comore and Mohéli.
  • The national emblem is Red, Yellow, Blue, White, four stars and a green crescent.

translated from the French version by Jerôme Sterkers, 23 Jan 2002

(in Comorese)

Kan. 1
  • Wo Udzima wa Komori wo Jamhuri ya tsanganya ye zisiwa za Mwali, Ndzuwani, Ngazija na Maore ikao ngizona uhuru wa ndani.
  • Ye beramu ya twayifa nyikudu dzindzanu bile njeu nyora 4 na mwezi wa uheya wa mrututu.

quoted by Jerôme Sterkers, 23 Jan 2002

(in French)

  • L’Union des Etats des Comores - Union des Comores est une République, composée des îles-Etats de Mwali, Ndzuani, N’gazidja et Maoré.
  • L’emblème national est [Rouge, jaune, bleu, blanc, 4 étoiles, un croissant vert]

quoted by Jerôme Sterkers, 23 Jan 2002

Reconstructed images of the new flag

1st reconstruction proposed by Pascal Vagnat

rec. by Pascal Vagnat
image by Ivan Sache, 20 Apr 2002

2nd reconstruction proposed by Pascal Vagnat

rec. by Pascal Vagnat
image by Pascal Vagnat, 25 Nov 2001

design reported in local use by Iain Walker

rep. by Iain Walker
image by António Martins

This flag is avaliable here (image).
Joàn-Francés Blanc, 23 Jan 2002

And here, labelled «Drapeau provisoire qui n’a pas été retenu» (provisional flag which was not kept).
António Martins, 02 Mar 2003

Air Force plane markings

As many of small states, Comores Military Aviation (founded 1976) operates small number of cargo and utility planes and 2 Helicopters. The book [cos98] reports the national flag as fin flash and naturally shows the old flag (see example).
Dov Gutterman, 14 Jun 2004

Unknown comorian flags

Yellow-blue horizontal with emblem

Unknown KM flag #1
image by António Martins, 24 Feb 2008

See also:

The cover picture for the film version of the 2004 play Pauvres Comores / Maskini Komori, avaliable in compact cassete tape and DVD, shows the «truculent comédien comorien Ibrahim BARWANE» clad with a ripped mantel patterned after four comorian flags: the Anjouan flag, the Union (comorian national) flag, the former national flag, and an unknown flag — yellow over blue horizontal bicolor with crescent and four stars in a row, comorian style, in white over all, the whole pointing to the upper fly. What would this be?
António Martins, 13 Apr 2006

Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.