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Spanish Guinea (1858 - 1959)

and Spanish overseas provinces of Fernando Póo and Río Muni (1959 - 1963)

Last modified: 2014-06-02 by bruce berry
Keywords: equatorial guinea | governor general | rio muni | bioko island | fernando poo | santa isabel |
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Description of the Spanish colonies in the Gulf of Guinea

The islands of Fernando Pó and Annobón were colonized by Portugal in 1474.  The Portuguese retained control until 1778, when the island, adjacent islets, and commercial rights to the mainland between the Niger and Ogoue Rivers were ceded to Spain in exchange for territory on the American continent by the Treaty of El Pardo between Queen Maria I of Portugal and King Charles III of Spain.  Between 1827 and 1843, Britain established a base on the island supposedly to combat the slave trade. The mainland portion, Río Muni, became a protectorate in 1885 and a colony in 1900. Conflicting claims to the mainland by France and Spain were settled in 1900 by the Treaty of Paris, and the mainland territories were united administratively under Spanish rule. Between 1926 and 1959 they were united as the colony of Spanish Guinea ruled by a single governor under the title "Spanish territories of the Guinean Gulf" or simply Guinea Española.

No flag existed for any Spanish colony, neither for the overseas provinces (although some of the mainland Spanish provinces).  There are some maritime registration flags for the area (see Santa Isabel Maritime Province 1889-1970) and a standard for the Spanish Governor General.
Jorge Candeias and Jaume Ollé, 16 Oct 2001

Governor General (1945-1968)

1:1 Image by Antonio Gutiérrez, taken with permission from the S.E.V. website

This is the 1945-1977 flag for a Spanish Chargé d'Affaires, a Consul, a Provincial Governor (Gobernador Civil) or a Governor-General (Gobernador General). As far as I know the only Spanish Governor-General after 1904 was that of Equatorial Guinea, and ceased to be so upon that country's independence, 12th October 1968. Strangely enough, the 1977 flag law still considers this flag that of a Governor-General.

The current flag (since 1981) is very similar (with the 1981 Spanish coat of arms replacing the 1945-1977 one) - see comment at the Spanish Governor General page.

Whatever the coat-of-arms (1945-1977, 1977-1981 or current), the swallow-tail 'cut' is one third of the length of the flag deep and the arms' vertical axis is placed at one third from the hoist. In the 1945-1977 and 1977-1981 flags, the arms' height was one third of the hoist.  In the 1981 flag, it is 2/5ths (as in the national flag).  I am not fully knowledgeable on the subject, but I believe that since Spain considered Equatorial Guinea as a Spanish province, it would have had a Provincial Governor too. This was certainly the case with the (Spanish now Western) Sahara province, so it may be that in the Sahara the flag was used too.
Santiago Dotor, 15 Mar 2001

Pennant of the Provincial Assembly of Fernando Pó (Spanish Guinea)

image sent by Vanja Poposki, 14 July 2012

Pennant of the Municipal Council of Santa Isabel, Province of Fernando Pó (Spanish Guinea)

image sent by Vanja Poposki, 14 July 2012