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Greece: President of the Republic

Last modified: 2007-02-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: president | cross (white) | wreath (yellow) | phoenix | bird (yellow) |
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[Flag of the President]

Flag of the President of the Republic - Image by Željko Heimer, 10 October 2001

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Flag of the President of the Republic

According to Album des Pavillons [pay00], the flag of the President of the Republic is a blue square flag with the national coat of arms in the middle. The colours of the coat of arms are not the usual ones, in particular regarding the wreath that is all yellow instead of normal green.

Željko Heimer, 10 October 2001

The flag of the President of Greece is prescribed by President's Decree about the Flag of the President of the Republic (Decree 274 of 1979, published in the Government's Gazette 78, issue A, 13/17 April 1979) as follows:

A blue square flag bearing a silver coloured cross with equal arms and a tip formed in the middle of the lower end of the vertical arm. The areas adjacent to the cross have the same colour as the flag, the cross is bounded with a golden coloured line forming an escutcheon which is totaly surrounded by two golden coloured laurel branches forming a circle and intersecting under the tip in cross.
The flag shall be produced in four side sizes (1st 1.70 m [5.58ft], 2nd 1.10 m [3.61 ft], 3rd 0.65 m [2.13 ft] and 4th 0.23 m [0.75ft]).
This flag shall also be used as a rank flag hoisted in Hellenic Navy's ships mainmast when the President of the Republic is aboard (according to Article 45 of the Constitution the President of the Republic "is the symbolic head of the Armed Forces", so as rank flag this flag shall be regarded as similar to the flag of an Admiral of the Fleet or superior).

Panagiotis Moschovitis, 30 January 2006

Dorling Kindersley's Pocket Book [rya97] shows erroneously the flag with a very wide fringe (as wide as 1/10th of the blue field), a very large coat of arms, occupying almost all the field, without yellow fimbriation, and with green leaves with red berries.

Santiago Dotor, 3 February 2000

Flag of the President of the Republic, 1973-1974

President's flag 1973

Flag of the President, 1973-1974 - Image by Santiago Dotor, 2 February 2000

According to Barraclough & Crampton [c2b81], the national arms adopted following the establishment of the Republic on 29 July 1973, consisted of a golden phoenix arising from red flames. This appeared on the President's flag which is blue, in proportion 20:23, with a gold fringe. The phoenix emblem had been used during the First Republic (1924-1935).
The 20:23 ratio includes the fringe, which is approximately as wide as 1/16th of the blue field height. The phoenix and flames emblem height and width are both approximately 5/7th of the blue field height.

Santiago Dotor, 2 February 2000

There is no way the standard with the phoenix would have been used beyond 1974. The phoenix was an emblem of the military junta that ruled Greece 1967-1974. It first appeared as the emblem of the "Revolution" (military coup) of 21 April 1967 that brought the junta to power. In that capacity it had an outline sentry in dark standing before it. When the junta abolished the monarchy (on 1 June 1973) the phoenix was the "natural" choice for emblem of the new Republic, to replace the royal arms. Although the phoenix was part of the arms adopted in 1932 for the Greek Republic declared in 1924 (but lacking any arms until 1932) I do not think that was the inspiration for its re-adoption in 1973. I am sure the phoenix standard cannot have been used after 24 July 1974 (collapse of the junta) or 24 December 1974 (election of provisional President to replace General Gizikis, a junta appointment) since the phoenix was very unpopular in Greece at the time (and still is). The phoenix was derisively called "the bird" (a double meaning there - "bird" is the Greek equivalent of the English "willy") and noone, let alone the President of the Republic, would dare have used it!
I think the modern President standard's was adopted in 1975 and was modified in 1979.

Yannis Natsinas, 14 November 2000

Flag of the President of the First Republic (1924-1935)

[President of the First Republic]

Flag of the President, 1930-1935 - Image by C. Eugene Baldwin, 14 November 2000

The President's standard under the Republic of 1924-1935 was a square version of the plain cross flag. It is specified in a Presidential Decree of 1930, although I don't know if it was in use before then (probably not - the President was "provisional" until December 1929 anyway!).

Yannis Natsinas, 14 November 2000