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Historical flags of Anjouan (Comoros)

Last modified: 2007-06-16 by antónio martins
Keywords: monocolor (red) | hand (white) | crescent: points up (white) | -ll lh | allah | doubt |
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See also: Other sites:
  • Anjouan page at the World Statesmen website: Flag images mostely taken from Jaume’s collection (no credit is shown) and some also from FOTW.
    reported by Iain Walker, 02 Oct 2002, and António Martins, 08 Oct 2002


In 1816, the Sultan of Anjouan, threatened by Zanzibar, asked for the protection of the Governor of Bourbon Island (now La Réunion). On 21 April 1886, following the African Big Scramble, France established a Protectorate, which was strengthened on 8 January 1892. Anjouan was a Colony between 1912 and 1914, and later incorporated into the Comoros.
Ivan Sache, 20 Apr 2002

Before 1833

Pre-1833 Anjouan flag
image by Jaume Ollé, 01 Apr 2003

Once was another flag similar to the Kawasin flag of Ras al Khaymah, Sharjah and Khor Kalba.
Jaume Ollé, 05 Jun 1997

According to WorldStatesmen.ORG, this flag, ≅1:2 plain (dark?) red, was used until 1833. What is the story behind the dark shade? Anything to do with the later flag with hand, apparently really of a darker shade (comparing with known medium red flag)?
António Martins, 01 Apr 2003


Anjouan flag 1833-18??
image by Jaume Ollé, 01 Apr 2003

According to WorldStatesmen.ORG, this flag, ≅2:3 red with wide white border, was used from 1833 to an unspeciefied 19th cent. date. Was this the «No. 2 Flag» of the General Maritime Treaty 1820? But, how so, if Anjouan was already a French protectorate since 1816?…
António Martins, 01 Apr 2003

Ca. 1850

Anjouan flag ca. 1850
image by Jaume Ollé, 01 Apr 2003

According to WorldStatesmen.ORG, this flag, ≅2:3 red-white-red vertical triband with black letters on the white panel, was used circa 1850.
António Martins, 01 Apr 2003

The calligraphy on the flag does not look anything like the old Divehi and the Eveyla scripts or the modern Thaana script used in the Maldives. The symbols may have something to do with the fanditha magical symbolism of the Maldives, but I have my doubts over that too.
Chris Abdul-Wahhab, Apr 2004

The flag itself is poorly documented, so it may well be that the original looked different. One possibility is that the top word "-ll" is a representation of the Arabic "ﷲ" ("Allah") by someone who either was unfamiliar with Arabic script or saw the flag at a distance. One problem with such an idea is that it provides no explanation for the bottom "lh".
Ernest Cline, 09 Jul 2004

My theory is that these are magical symbols inspired on Arabic numbers.
Xavier Romero-Frias, Apr 2004

1850(?)-1893, 1997-2000 (separatist) and 2002- (subfederal)

Anjouan flag
image by Pascal Gross, 10 Apr 1998 | dexter hoisted

Accordigng to Flggenmitteilung 31, this is the last flag of the sultan of Anjouan.
Jaume Ollé, 05 Jun 1997

According to a report, the separatist movement in Anjouan adopted the name Mawana, after a sultan that once ruled the island. A short note in The Indian Ocean Newsletter (764 10.05.1997: p. 4) said that «elements of Mwawana sawed down the flagpole flying the national flag and hauled up the white [?] emblem of the late sultan».
Jan Oskar Engene, Jun 1997

The flag used by the Anjouani separatists was the personal standard of the last Sultan, Omar. This information was communicated in 1980 to L. Philippe [phi02a] by Said Ali Kemal, the Comorian Ambassador in France, who was the nephew of the Sultan of Anjouan and one of the sons of the Sultan of Grande Comore.
Ivan Sache, 18 Jul 2002

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