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Madagascar: Presidential flags

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: madagascar | president |
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List of presidents

1 May 1959 - 11 Oct 1972  Philibert Tsiranana (b. 1910 - d. 1978)
Jan 1970 -    May 1970    Triumvirate (acting for Tsiranana) - André Resampa (b. 1924) - Jacques-Félicien Rabemananjara (b. 1913) - Calvin Tsiebo (b. 1902)
11 Oct 1972 -  05 Feb 1975  Gabriel Ramanantsoa (b. 1906 - d. 1979) (Head of State)
5 Feb 1975 - 11 Feb 1975  Richard Ratsimandrava (b. 1931 - d. 1975) (Head of State)
12 Feb 1975 - 15 Jun 1975  Gilles Andriamahazo (b. 1919 - d. 1989) (chairman National Military Leadership Committee)
15 Jun 1975 - 27 Mar 1993  Didier Ratsiraka (1st time) (b. 1936) (chairman Supreme Revolutionary Council to 4 Jan 1976) 27 Mar 1993 -  5 Sep 1996  Albert Zafy (b. 1928)
5 Sep 1996 -  9 Feb 1997  Norbert Ratsirahonana (acting) (b. 1937?)
9 Feb 1997 -              Didier Ratsiraka (2nd time) (s.a.)

In early days of autonomy the presidential flag was the simple national tricolour with golden fringe.
Željko Heimer, 20 May 2000

Presidential Flag (1959 - 1972?)

[Presidential Flag 1959 - obverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

Some time after the 24-Dec-1959, when the "coat of arms" was adopted, the new flag was devised (that may have been only in 1960 as suggested on FOTW), containing in the middle of the white stripes the golden emblem, above it initials R.M. (for Repoblika Malgasy/Repoublique Malagashe in Malagashe and French) and below the initials of the president, at that time Ph.T. for Philibert Tsiranana.

[Presidential Flag 1959 - reverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

The reverse was the same, but I guess that the letters were readable there too. I assumed the same serifed font used as in the next flag. This flag was used presumably until 1972.
Željko Heimer, 20 May 2000

Presidential Flag (1972 -1975)

image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

The flag of the President of Madagascar showed the arms in gold on the white stripe. The initials of the country appear above the arms while those of the president showed below the arms.
Paige Herring, 01 January 1999

In 1972 Gabriel Ramanantsoa took the power, and the flag devised for him was similar on obverse, only changing the initials to G. R., but now a new reverse was made - being the national flag with the national motto consisting of three words in two arcs (two above and one below). The basic design was retained but with changing the words in the motto and changing the emblem and initials on the obverse. The motto here was Fahafahana Tanindrazana / Fandrosoana said to mean Liberty-Fatherland-Progress.
Željko Heimer, 20 May 2000

image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

The reverse of the presidential flag had the national motto inscribed in gold. "Liberty" and "Fatherland" arcs over "Progress."
Paige Herring, 01 January 1999

The presidential flag posted was adopted 1972, when general Gabriel Ramanantsoa take the power. The reverse side of the flag was new, with the motto, and the observe followed the similar pattern to the previous one. Before 1972 the reverse was the same that the observe.

The first president was Philibert Tsiranana. The standard was 1958-59 the national flag with golden fringe in three sides. On 24 Dec 1959 a new badge was adopted, and later (unknown date) a standard, similar to the observe posted, but with the initials "Ph T" (same design in observe and reverse) came into use.
It is not know if Richard Ratsimandrava (head of state for some days in February 1975) and Gral. Andriamahazo (in office between February-June1975) had individual  presidential standards, but is assumed that they did not.
Jaume Ollé, 06 Jan 1999

Presidential Flag (1975 - 1993)

[Presidential Flag 1975 - obverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

Didier Ratsiraka adopted a presidential standard with different emblem, initials (RDM and DR), and motto in reverse, probably after 30-12-1975. The motto was changed to "Tanindrazana, Tolompiavotana, Fahafahana" (Liberty, progress, justice?)

It seems that Richard Ratsimandrava and Gilles Andriamahazo, each ruling for short time in 1975, did not have time to introduce any flags of their own. I do not know what was the legal situation during the changes of these presidents, and what is the legal provision regarding the presidential flag.  But  there is a prescribed law that the presidential flag contains president's the initials, and does not need a special act to make it valid, it may be that even if the flags were never really made, they existed in theory, with initials R.R. and G.A. However, that may be a bit far fetched.

In 1975 Didier Ratsiraka took power and proclaimed Democratic Republic of Madagascar (so called Second Republic). The new national emblem was made, probably only in 1976, that replaced the previous one in the presidential flag. The initials above were now R.D.M. (Repoblika Demokratika Malagasy) and D.R. below. The national motto on reverse (shown below) (contained also in the emblem on obverse) Tanindrazana Tolompiavotana / Fahafahana meaning Fatherland-Revolution-Liberty (and not "Liberty, progress, justice?" as discussed under the coat of arms page). This flag was in use in theory until 12 Sep 1992 when the word "Democratic" was removed from the country name, but I guess that no new flag was made for Didier Ratsiraka who was president until 27 Mar 1993.
Jaume Ollé, 06 Jan 1999

[Presidential Flag 1975 - reverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

Presidential Flag (1993 - 1997)

[Presidential Flag 1993 - obverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

In 1993 Albert Zafy was elected president, and presumably the new emblems were already ready. The new coat of arms - yellow disk containing modernised rendition of the elements present in 1959 emblem, with new motto and geographical map of the country in white disk in the middle is now set in the point where red, green and white meet, much larger then before (my estimate is the the diameter is now 1/2 of hoist). The initials still in white field above are again R.M. (now for Repoblikan'i Madagasikara), and below Z.A. for president Zafy. The fonts that seems to be in use now are sans-serif. On reverse (shown below) the new motto from the emblem is repeated: Tanindrazana Fahafahana / Fahamarinana meaning Fatherland-Liberty-Justice. The flag was in use until 1996.
Željko Heimer, 20 May 2000

[Presidential Flag 1993 - reverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

Presidential Flag (1997 - )

[Presidential Flag 1997 - obverse] image by Željko Heimer, 21 May 2002

In 1997 Didier Ratsiraka was re-elected President, and the new flag now in use is the same as for Albert Zafy, replacing the initials with D.R. In [pay00], correction 29, the image of this flag is given without any presidential initials below, with remark that current initials are DR.
Željko Heimer

So there appear to have been 6 presidential flags in Madagascar:

  • 1958-1959: fringed national flag
  • 1959-1972(?): identical obverse and reverse with initials "Ph.T."
  • 1972-1975: obverse as above with initials "G.R". Reverse with motto, Fahafahana Tanindrazana, Fandrosoana
  • 1975-1993: obverse as above with new emblem and initials "R.D".  Reverse with motto, Tanindrazana,  Tolompiavotana, Fahafahana
  • 1993-1997: obverse as above with coat of  arms and initials "Z.A".  Reverse with motto, Tanindrazana Fahafahana Fahamarinana
  • 1997 - : obverse as above with coat of arms and initials "D.R".  Reverse as above (with motto, Tanindrazana Fahafahana / Fahamarinana)
Antonio Martins, 03 Apr 2000