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Comoros flag in 1996-2001

Last modified: 2008-02-28 by antónio martins
Keywords: comoros | star: 5 points (white) | islam | stars: 4 | stars: line | ullam | allah | مهمّد | muhammad | اللّه | law | crescent: points to fly (white) |
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Comorian flag (obv.)
by Arnaud Palac and António Martins,
25 Jan 2000 | sinister

See also:

History of the flag

In September 1995, Bob Denard overthrew Dzohar and tried to establish a kind of personal Kingdom, but he was definitively expelled from the Comoros by the French Army. Dzohar came back to the Comoros in March 1996 and helped to the election of President Mohammed Taki Abdul Karim. The constitution of 20 October 1996 prescribed a new national flag.
Ivan Sache, 20 Apr 2002

This flag was adopted at the same time as the new constitution of the country, 3 October 1996, which was replaced by referendum in late 2001.
Jos Poels and Mark Sensen, 05 Apr 1997

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, an unknown flag, and the former national flag — plain green with a crescent and four stars in a row. The edges are not visible, so it could be rather a variant of the 1978-1992 design.
António Martins, 13 Apr 2006

Meaning of the flag

The green colour and the crescent are symbols of Islam. The four stars represent the 4 islands of the Comoros group, even though one of these, Mayotte, is a French territory. With the exception of the Socialistic red, the symbolism of the flag has remained consistent [until 2001].
Stuart Notholt, 22 May 1997

Description of the flag

According to all information gathered till now the flag is green, with a white crescent and ditto four stars between the horns on a vertical line in the middle of the flag. There are white, arabic inscriptions in the upper fly corner and lower hoist corner. The proportions of the flag are 21:15. (Source: Pierre Germain, from the french military assistance mission in the Comoros, by way of Armand du Payrat)
Jos Poels and Mark Sensen, 05 Apr 1997

Album 2000 [pie90] says:

1. National Flag. CSW/CSW 3:5≅
Two images showing the 1996 flag contating the two names. They agree much with what we have as variation #2, especially the reverse one.
Željko Heimer, 24 May 2001

I inspected closely this flag (i.e., held it in my hands), it’s the newest and is seen all over the place on official buildings. It’s a lighter green than the others, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to find out who made it and on whose instructions. It may reflect the change of government earlier this year, although there has been no new constitution. This new light-green flag is quite rectangular, probably 2:3. If it’s not 2:3, then they’d be a little squarer, but not much.
Iain Walker, 21 Dec 1999 and 14 Jan 2000

The light shade of green might be due to a particular option of the flag manufactor who provided for the Government’s laters order, but it was not specifically legislated, and might be replaced by a darker shade when the current stock of flags worns out and gets replaced by a shipment from a different manufactor.
António Martins, 27 May 2001

About the inscriptions

According to an article in The Flag Bulletin [smi97b], the latest (1996) version [see previous] has the crescent/stars facing the fly, with the words "Allah" (اللّه) added to the top fly and "Muhammed" (مهمّد) to the bottom of the hoist, both in white and in simplified Arabic.
Stuart Notholt, 22 May 1997

This flag doesn’t use “long hand” but the more stylized ulam (a sort of monogram). Arabic calligraphy is very flexible and forms a major part of Arabic art and the ulams have developped as a stylized form of the names.
Graham Bartram, 23 Sep 1999

According to the presidential decree concerning the Comoros flag (1996), both inscriptions should include the accents ("shaddas"), and the flag ratio is 2:3.
Jan Zrzavy, 20 Sep 1999 and 21 Nov 1997

Allah is writen with two "L"s (Alif-lim-lim-ha: ا‍ل‍ل‍ّ‍ه), but Muhamed got only one "M" in the middle (mim-kha-mim-dal: م‍ه‍م‍ّ‍د) and the shada “duobles” the "M" to become "MoukhaMMed".
Dov Gutterman, 21 Sep 1999

"Allah" takes a shadda on the second "l" because "l" is a “sun” letter like "s", "n", "d", "r", "z", etc. That means when you write the basic word for "god" — "lah" — with the definite article "al" (making it "The [One] God"), you don’t pronounce the "l" in "al". But to make up for it, you double the first letter of the basic noun by giving it a shadda. "The light", written "al nur" thus is pronounced and marked with diacritics to make it "an nur". Same for "al lah", or Allah. As for Muhammad, it has to do with the fact that the linguistic root from which "Muhammad" is derived is HMD. Arabic is based on triliteral roots. You can’t correctly write Muhammad MHMMD, only MHMD. Short vowel and diacritical marks are normally left off in everyday written Arabic, but if you’re using them, "Muhammad" must have shadda. Not two "m"s. As I noted before, the example of Allah doesn’t apply because the first "l" is part of the definite article "l".
Joseph McMillan, 21 Sep 1999

Legal texts


The 1996 constitution reads:

Art. 2 - L’emblème national est le drapeau vert frappé au centre d’un croissant et de quatre étoiles de couleur blanche avec en haut du nom d’Allah et en bas du nom de Muhammad, son Prophète. Les autres caractéristiques du drapeau sont fixées par la loi.
Art. 2 - The national emblem is the green flag struck in the centre with a crescent and four stars, white in colour, with above the name of Allah and below the name of Muhammad, his Prophet. The other characteristics of the flag are fixed by the law.
Iain Walker, 20 Sep 1999

Presidential decree

According to Vexilologie No. 105 [vex] (paper written by Jiri Tenora), the decree of president of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros No. 96-001/PR (26 October 1996) includes five articles (attention — multiple translation, at least French-Czech-English):

  1. National emblem is a satin flag of the color of the garden green (sic!) and the shape of oblong which width is 2/3 of length.
  2. In the center of the flag, there are crescent and four stars. The stars are situated between crescent’s points in a connecting line that is parallel to the fly margin of the flag. The crescent and stars are white.
  3. There is inscription "Allah" in the upper fly and inscription "Mohammed" in the lower hoist. Both inscriptions are white.
  4. The flag is produced according to previous articles and according to pattern attached to this decree. In 15 December (0.00 o’clock) this flag will replace all flags used until now.
  5. This decree will be published in the Official Gazette of the FIRC as a state law.
Jan Zrzavy, 24 Aug 1999

The reverse (back side)

Comorian flag (rev.)
by Arnaud Palac and António Martins,
25 Jan 2000 | reverse

The reverse (face showing when the pole is at the viewer’s left hand) is a mirror image, that is Allah top in the hoist and Mohammed bottom in the fly, but illegible, i.e., reversed — the text is sewn through the flag.
Iain Walker, 21 Dec 1999

As usual in flags of countries/cultures where writing goes from right-to-left, the obverse (“main” side) is considered to be that shown with the hoist at the viewer’s right hand. It is strange that though the two previous variations had correct backsides, the currently used variation is “wrong”…
António Martins, 13 Jan 2000

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