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Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Muritaniya, Al-Jumhuriyah Al-Islamiyah Al-Muritaniyah, Mauritanie

Last modified: 2008-09-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: mauritania | africa | pan-african | crescent | star: 5 |
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[Mauritania] [National flag and ensign] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

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The Flag of Mauritania

Adopted on 1 April 1959, Mauritania's flag emphasizes its African location, its majority Islamic faith and the name of the nation - Republique Islamique de Mauritanie. The colors green and gold are two of the Pan-African colors which reflect Mauritania's position as an African nation. The star and crescent are well-known Islamic symbols. The flag's proportion is 2:3.

Sources: Smith, Flags and Arms across the World, 1980 [smi80]; Talocci, Guideto the Flags of the World, 1982 [tal82]; Crampton, Flags of the World, 1990 [cra90i]

Paige Herring, 13 June 1998

Carr 'Flags of the World', 1961, [car61] mentions "the Decree [on the adoption of the flag] signed on April 1st 1959". Rabbow, in 'DTV-Lexikon politischer Symbole', 1970 [rab70] states: 'The flag is anchored in the Constitution of 22 March 1959.'

Carr (op. cit.) has this: "An emerald green flag, proportion three to two, bearing a crescent and five-pointed star, in gold, in the center thereof." Znamierovski [zna99] has this: "The green and the crescent are both symbols of Islam; the green also represents hope for a bright future. The yellow stands for the Sahara Desert."

Jarig Bakker, 5 July 2000

According to a friend from Mauritania, the flag was selected (perhaps also designed) personally by the former president Mukthar Ould Dada.

Jaume Ollé, 11 July 2000

It appears there is no existing official specification of the construction sheet. In most examples, it seems that the larger circle forming the crescent very roughly (depending on the source) matches the "73 of the hoist. The inner circle, at least in Album 2000, seems to match 60% of the hoist. The star seems to be inscribed in a circle with diameter around 1/4 of the hoist. Also, it seems that the horizontal line of the star if extended would just touch the horns of the crescent - but these are all speculations.

Željko Heimer, 19 June 2002

White Crescent and Star?

While watching SA Broadcasting Corporation Africa News Channel, a clip was shown of the swearing in ceremony of a civilian president for Mauritania. Numerous Mauritanian flags in view, but with the crescent and star in white instead of yellow.
There was another clip during the same TV report which showed a military band making music in a hall with the flags crossed and spread out mounted on the wall behind the band, and their charges also looked white to me with quite different lighting conditions.
Andries Burgers, 20 April 2007

In the photo of the ceremony at that was available at Yahoo News the crescent and star appear a light, metallic, gold. Probably the lighting and transmission process make them appear white on TV (similar illusion used to occur when the balcony hanging with Pope John Paul II's arms appeared on TV)
Ned Smith, 20 April 2007

Construction sheet

[Mauritania construction sheet]  by Željko Heimer

Christopher Southworth posted me a construction sheet of the Mauritanian national flag. His source is the Flag Institute specification as collected by Dr. Crampton. The specification gives a hoist of 192 units. It also shows the fly length as 192 units, but this must simply be an error or typo introduced at some point, as Christopher agrees, so I dismiss that and take the fly length as 288 (as 2:3 ratio is clearly stated). On the vertical median, 56 units from top is the center of a circle in which the star is inscribed, radius of it being 24. The same point is also center of the circle determining the upper edge of the crescent, with radius 60. The lower circle determining the crescent is 16 units lower (i.e. 72 from top) with radius 62.

Somewhat arranging these dimensions to get a nicer order on the sheet, and changing the unit by factor 4 (which gives smaller but still whole numbers), one gets a rather nice construction sheet that yields a quite well balanced flag. Of course, the question is where did Crampton got these dimensions?

Željko Heimer, 27 January 2003

Aircraft Markings

[Mauritania fin flash]  by Željko Heimer

A note in Album 2000 indicates the national flag is painted on the fin.

Željko Heimer, 19 June 2002

Force Aerienne Islamique de Mauritanie was formed in 1961. Both Cochrane and Elliot (1998), [cos98], and the Album 2000, [pay00], report the same roundel of green disk with yellow up-pointing crescent and five-pointed star above it. Also both indicate that the national flag is used at the fin.

However, photo at shows also the national flag used as fuselage marking as seen also at
Note that the "regular" roundel is on the wings.

Dov Gutterman, 20 June 2004

Visual Storm Warning Signals

According to the WMO pages Mauritania uses the international system for Visual Storm Warning Signals, see more on Weather Flags
Jan Mertens, 24 February 2008