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Madagascar Protectorate (1885-1896)

Last modified: 2011-06-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: protectorate |
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image by Ivan Sache, 18 June 1998 See also:

Madagascar Protectorate

W. Smith shows - without any comment - the flag used by Madagascar between 1885 and 1896, in the section 'Flags inspired by the French tricolor'. The flag is a horizontal blue-white-red tri-band, with a red crescent facing the fly and shifted to the hoist in the white band. During this period, Madagascar was a de facto protectorate (not formally recognized by England for instance) although de jure a kingdom. Military invasion turned the island to a French colony in 1898.
Ivan Sache, 18 June 1998

This flag is described in Alfred Grenser's Die National- und Landesfarben von 150 Staaten der Erde (published by Verlag von Wilhelm Rommel, Frankfurt/M., in 1881). This book describes (text only) the coats of arms and flags of countries, but only shows "landesfarben" on plates instead of flags.
So this flag must have been in use earlier than 1885.
Ralf Stelter, 21 Nov 2002

1885 is the date of the establishment of the French Protectorate of Madagascar, but Europeans had already settled in Madagascar centuries before. In 1861, Queen Ranavalona I expelled the Europeans and closed their schools. From 1865 to 1895, the power was de facto exerted by Rainilaiarivony, who successively married three queens. He modernized the country, converted to protestantism but could not avoid the French Protectorate. As mentioned aove, Smith shows the flag in a column of flags "inspired by the French Tricolor". Since the Tricolor was definitively adopted as the French flag in 1830, it is highly probable that French colonists imposed a flag inspired by their national flag before the official establishment of the Protectorate.
Another possibility could be that Madagascar had no specific relationship with the French Tricolore but shared the same colours by pure coincidence.
Ivan Sache, 22 Nov 2002

The French protectorate over Madagascar ended on 29 September 1896. General Galliéni met Queen Ranavalona III in the palace of Manjakamiadana (aka the Queen's palace) in Antananarivo. By order of Galliéni, the royal bronze eagle surmounting the palace was taken down the same day and replaced by the French national flag. The hoisting of the new flag was saluted with 21 gun shots.
Source: La Gazette de la Grande Ile, 27 January 2005.
Ivan Sache, 31 Jul 2005

Madagascar cigarette-card flag

[Madagascar cigarette-card flag] sent by Olivier Touzeau, 28 Oct 2002

From a series of Cigarette Silks Iron-on Transfers, the subject of which is: National Animals & Flags.  It shows the Madagascar Protectorate flag accompanied by a ring tailed lemur.
(source this site)
Olivier Touzeau, 28 Oct 2002