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Specifications and Construction Sheet (Andorra)

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[Construction Sheet (Andorra)] 7:10 | stripes 8+9+8
image by Carlos Esparza, Željko Heimer and António Martins-Tuválkin, from an original World Flag Database image



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Specifications and Construction Sheet

Smith 1980 gives the ratio as exactly 2:3 (how can he be sure if they are de facto flags?). Album des Pavillons 2000 gives the ratio as ~2:3 and also provides the construction details (where do they come from if there is no document determining the overall ratio?) In any case, I used the construction details in Album des Pavillons 2000 on the above image. The shield is 20 units wide set in the middle of 36 unit wide yellow stripe. The overall ratio is then ~67:100 i.e. ~2:3.

Željko Heimer, 31 Jan 2001

The origin of the ~67 height dimension is 2/3rds of the length: 100x2/3 = 66.666... The data for arms and stripes are extracted from a page received 22nd January 1999 from Michel Lupant, Bandera del Principat d'Andorra. In that plate, width is 70 (thus, near 67) and ratio is 7:10. The colours are extracted from coat-of-arms received 1st December 1993 from the French Co-prince [i.e. French President].

Armand Noel du Payrat, editor of Album des Pavillons 2000, 01 Feb 2001

So the stripes' proportion is not 1+1+1 (equal stripes) but 32+36+32 i.e. 8+9+8. I can see several reasons for such odd proportions – heraldic reasons, to start with. And apparently the "never adopted but official" ratio is 7:10 not 2:3.

Santiago Dotor, 01 Feb 2001

[Last] weekend I was in Andorra. (...) The national flag is hoisted [showing arms] in several sizes around Andorra. In the government house, comuna house [city hall?], and other official services, size of the arms is 1/3 of the flag's height; but other flags show with arms 1/5 of the flag's height.

Jaume Ollé, 18 Mar 2001

On the construction diagram we show there is one error (already pointed out in the text) and two items missing. According to information issued by the Government of Andorra (unfortunately undated but which accompanied an extract from Official Gazette No. 48 dated 10 August 1996), the width given should be 70 and not 67 as shown, the square of the shield is 40 whilst we only give the measurement across and is placed vertically by having its centre point the width of the yellow stripe (or 36) from the lower edge. This information would appear to have been published as a result of a Law on Usage of the State Symbols (Llei sobre la untilitzacio del signes d'Estat) of 20 June 1996, which gave a specific description in the Annex, and as published in the Official Gazette mentioned above.

There are also official colour recommendations: for the stripes, blue PMS 072, yellow PMS Yellow C and red PMS199. For the arms, red PMS 485, beige PMS 466, yellow PMS Yellow C, blue PMS 300 and brown PMS 478. It is also worth noting that the motto is officially brown and not black as we show it.

The size of the cartouche is not given and the official illustrations vary, so I have not yet decided whether to make it one-half of flag width at 35 or the width of the yellow stripe at 36?

I can add a little to what we have on the flag of Andorra. In the first place in was last confirmed by the annex to Tractacts internacionals, Lieis. Sentencies dei Tribunal Constitucional dated 20 June 1996 (published in Issue 48 of Butlleti Oficial del Principat Andorra dated 10 July 1997).

The construction details given by Željko from the Album were in turn based upon (unfortunately undated) official statistics which Armand kindly forwarded to me, and the accompanying diagram confirms the specifications as we give them. In addition I have calculated that the arms are one half of flag width high centred on the flag overall (again as we and the Album show them), that arms (including cartouche) are 31/36 across, and that the body of the shield (excluding the point) is square with the centre of that square set at 34/70 from the top of the flag.

This same source also gives the colours in the Pantone Matching System as blue 072, yellow C and red 199 for the stripes, and red 485, beige 466, yellow C, blue 300 and brown 478 for the arms.

Christopher Southworth, 04 Jun 2006 and 09 Sep 2007

Official specifications from the Andorran Government are contained in the publication "Llibre de normes gràfiques per a la reproducció i aplicació dels signes d'Estat per als quals el Govern és autoritat competent" ("Graphic regulations for reproducing the shield and flag"), approved by Andorran Government 5 May 1999. This document is available online [PDF, 711 kB].

The "Law on the use of State emblems and signs" [quoted below], dated 20 June 1996, is also available [PDF, 24 kB].

Antonio Gutiérrez, 09 Sep 2007

[The dimensions] can be expressed as 35:(16+18+16) = 35:50. Counting in the official figures (given on that page) of 32+8+20+8+32 for the width of the flag and of the shield of the coat of arms in it (which are really simplifiable as 8+2+5+2+8 and no figures for the vertical placement?), final specs can be 35:(16+4+10+4+16).

These specs are not widely enforced, but are the only reasonably official ones – not unlike the case of the US flag.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 Mar 2010


Reverse of the Flag

Something that isn't mentioned (as far as I can see) on FotW – do the arms appear the same on the reverse of the flag, or is it plain, or are the arms mirror-reversed?

James Dignan, 20 Mar 2010

Good point – neither the law nor the official diagram mentions the reverse, and under these circumstances the normal default assumption is (of course) that that the reverse is to be a mirror image of the obverse. However in this case we have a motto, so perhaps Andorra's flag is different?

Chris Southworth, 20 Mar 2010


Legislation

The full text of the "Law on the use of State emblems and signs" is available in several languages on the Andorran NIC website. Here is the English text of the law; I have kept the typos and inconsistencies of the original text.

Law on the use of State emblems and signs

Preamble

This Law sets out the restrictions on the use of State emblems and signs in order to avoid any improper use that could cause confusion in the public mind or adversely affect the institutions represented by such emblems. It was the Paris Convention that established the need to protect State emblems and signs from any unauthorised use. This Law does not define the precise form of each of the State emblems or signs but indicates the authorities entitled to use them and to authorise their use. These authorities are obliged to define the official form of each State emblem or sign and to draw up, in the form of a book of rules, the printing regulations governing the authorised of each of them.

The Law includes an Annex that defines the traditional coat of arms and the traditional flag of the Principality of Andorra. This definition implements Article 2.2 of the Constitution, which states that "the coat of arms and the flag are the traditional ones", and aims to clear up the confusion generally created by interpreting the word "traditional" as "official". Traditionally, various coats of arms and flags have been used that differ in some way from the official coat of arms and flag of the moment, but these different forms that the coat of arms and flag of the Principality of Andorra have traditionally taken do not fall outside the protection of this Law. It is the respective competent authority that will establish the coat of arms and official flag in each case.

Article 1. Definitions

1. For the purpose of this Law, the following definitions shall apply: a) intergovernmental organisation: an intergovernmental international organisation whose members include the Principality of Andorra or one or more countries that are signatories to the Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property. b) competent authority: the authority of the country or of the intergovernmental organisation that is entitled to use and authorise use of: - the name - the coats of arms - the flags - the other emblems - the signs or stamps of control or warranty of that country or intergovernmental organisation.

2. The official form of the flag, the name and its abbreviated form, the coat of arms and other emblems of the Principality of Andorra must necessarily be defined by law.

Article 2. Prohibited use

1. The use, either as a trademark for goods or service or as an element of such trademark, of any of the names or signs indicated in subparagraphs a) to d) below, and any imitation of the aforesaid names or signs, including parts thereof, is prohibited within the territory of Andorra, unless authorised by the competent authority a) the name or the abbreciated form of the name, the coats of arms, the flag and the other emblems of the Principality of Andorra, its institutions, its parishes, its quarters or its other administrative districts, and the official signs and stamps of control and warranty of the Principality of Andorra. b) the name of any State or an abbreviated form of this name, the coats of arms, the flags and the other emblems of any State or the official signs and stamps of control and warranty adopted by any State. c) the name, the initials, the coats of arms, the flag or the other emblems of any intergovernmental organisation. d) the adjectives "State", "national", "governmental", "communal", "official", when such use is likely to mlslead the public.

2. Any commercial use of any of the names or signs indicated in paragraphs a) and/or d) of section 1 of this Article, and any imitation of the aforesaid names or signs, including part thereof, is prohibited within the territory of Andorra, unless authorised by the competent authority. In no xase may it be authorised if such use is likely to mislead the public as to the origin of the goods or service.

3. A State may only benefit from the protection established in sections 1 and 2 of this Article for its name or the abbreviated form of this name, its coats of arms, its flags, other emblems of State, and its official signs and stamps of control and warranty, if it guarantees equivalent protection in its own territory with respect to the name and the abbreviated form of the name, the coats of arms, the flag, other emblems, and the official signs and stamps of control and warranty of the Principality of Andorra.

4. Any manufacture or marketing of the flag or coats of arms of the Principality of Andorra, its parishes, its quarters or its other administrative districts, without the authorisation of the competent authority, is prohibited within the territory of Andorra.

5. Any use of the name or of an abbreviated form of the name, the coats of arms, the flag and other emblems of the Principality of Andorra, its institutions, its parishes, its quarters or its other administrative districts by any association or other non-profit organisation is prohibited within the territory of Andorra unless authorised by the competent authority.

Article 3. Right to take legal actions; procedural rules

1. The violation of any of the prohibitions established in Article 2 constitutes an administrative infringement, and the Government shall, on its own initiative or at the proposal of any competent authority of the Principality of Andorra, after the relevant disciplinary proceedings, impose the following two penalties on the perpetrator of such infringement: a) a fine of 100,000 pesetas. b) the obligation to withdraw from the public all physical supports on which the signs infringing these prohibitions are reproduced, within a maximum period of 15 days.

2. In the event of a repeat infringement, the penalty laid down in section 1.a) of this Article shall be tripled.

3. All penalties imposed by the Government pursuant to section 1 of this

Article may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Code.

4. If the penalties laid down in section 1 of this Article are not imposed at the initiative of the Government, a foreign competent authority that considers its rights to have been infringed may take such legal action as may be available to it.

Article 4. Competent authorities of the Principality of Andorra

1. The following are the competent authorities for using:
a) the name "Co-Princes" and the emblems of the Co-Princes: each of the Co-Princes;
b) the name "General Council": the General Council;
c) the flag, the name, the abbreviated form of the name, the coat of arms and other emblems of the Principality of Andorra: the Co-Princes, the General Council, the Government, the Constitutional Court, the High Council of Justice, the communes and the quarters;
d) the name 'Government of Andorra": the Government;
e) the names "parish" and "Commune", the adjective "communal", and the name and the coat of arms of each parish: the respective Commune;
f) the name and the coat of arms of each Quarter: the respective Quarter;
g) the stamps and/or signs of control and warranty: the Co-Princes, the General Council, the Government, the Constitutional Court, the High Council of Justice, the communes and the quarters;
h) the adjectives "State" and "national": the General Council and the Government;
i) the adjective "governmental": the Government. j) the adjective "official": the Co-Princes, the General Council, the Government, the Constitutional Court, the High Council of Justice, the communes and the quarters.

2. The following are competent to authorise the use of:
a) the name "Co-Prince" and the emblems of the Co-Princes: each of the Co-Princes;
b) the name "General Council": the General Council;
c) the flag, the name, the abbreviated form of the name, the coat of arms and other emblems of the Principality of Andorra: the government;
d) the name 'Government of Andorra": the Government;
e) the name "Constitutional Court": the Constitutional Court;
f) the name "High Council of Justice: the High Council of Justice;
g) the names "parish" and "Commune", the adjective "Communal", the name and the coat of arms of each parish: the respective Commune;
h) the name and the coat of arms of each Quarter: the respective Quarter;
i) the stamps and/or signs of control and warranty: the Co-Princes, the General Council, the Government, the Constitutional Court, the High Council of Justice, the communes and the quarters;
j) the adjectives "State", "national", "governmental" and "official": the Government.

Derogatory provision

This Law derogates all previous provisions that conflict with the contents hereof.

First transitional provision

Each competent authority shall define the official form of its respective sign, shall draw up a book of printing rules and, where necessary, three-dimensional rules for the correct reproduction and application thereof, and shall, within a maximum period of siw months, draw up the regulations governing the procedure for authorising the use of its respective names and/or signs.

Second transitional provision

For as long as there is no Law defining the official form of the coat of arms and the flag, their characteristics are those indicated in the Annex hereto, which defines the traditional coat of arms and flag.

Final provision

This Law shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Principality of Andorra (Butlleti Oficial del Principat d'Andorra).

ANNEX

1. Traditional coat of arms of Andorra

The coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra has traditionally been formed of four houses, two for each of the two Co-Princes:
a) the Bishop's house, represented by a gold mitre and crosier on a red field;
b) the house of Catalonia;
c) the house of Foix;
d) the house of Bearn.
The coat of arms may be accompanied by the motto "Virtus Unita Fortior". The coat of arms may be surrounded by an aureole or a parchment or crowned with the lordly emblems (crown, helmet). At certain times in the history of Andorra the colours have been altered, one of the four houses on the coat of arms disappeared, and the elements of one house even became separated, such as, for example, when the mitre and crosier were placed in two different quadrants.

2. Traditional flag of Andorra

The flag of the Principality of Andorra has traditionally been formed of three equal adjacent vertical stripes: the first, beside the flagpole, is blue, the second, in the middle, is yellow, and the third is red. The coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra is placed in the centre of the flag, on the yellow stripe; however, it may be omitted, particularly when the flag is reproduced in certain small-scale or specific formats, such as tapes, where it may be represented solely by three adjacents stripes in blue, yellow and red.

Ivan Sache, 14 Oct 2003

While the text clearly states here that the three vertical stripes are equal (but the colour), the graphical regulations issued by the government clearly show that the yellow stripe is wider: 32+36+32.

The Catalan (I think) text of the Law uses the word "similars" where English text have "equal." It may be that the Catalan word does not have the same definitive connotation than the English word equal, and maybe is better translated as 'similar' or like, which may provide ground for widening of the yellow stripe.

In any case, the graphical standards issued by the government are those that are to be followed, and the Law even required the Government to make one that shall be leading in the issue.

Željko Heimer, 18 Oct 2003