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Burkina Faso: national flag design details

Last modified: 2014-01-25 by ian macdonald
Keywords: star: 5 points (yellow) | error | law |
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Flag of Burkina Faso specs image by Željko Heimer, 29 May 2004
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Description of the flag

In [pay00], colour approximations are:

  • Red: Pantone 032c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 90 - Y 90 - K 0
  • Yellow: Pantone 116c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 10 - Y 95 - K 0
  • Green: Pantone 355c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 0 - Y 90 - K 5.
Ivan Sache, 07 April 2001

The flag was established by Article 5 of Ordinance No. 84-043-CNR dated 4 August 1984, and was confirmed in Article 34 of the Constitution of 11 June 1991. The construction details were detailed in Presidential Decree No. 97-457/PRES/GC of 30 October 1997 (published in Journal Officiel du Faso No. 45 of 1997), with Article 1 giving the standard sizes of flag and star as follows (the first being a description, the second the size of flag, the third the diameter of the circle containing the star and the fourth the price):

Drapeau pavoisement0,80 × 1,20 m0,27 mCoton1650 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,00 × 1,50 m0,34 mCoton2029 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,20 × 1,80 m0,40 mCoton4950 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,60 × 2,40 m0,54 mCoton8250 XCF
Drapeau de Mât2,00 × 3,00 m0,67 mCoton8800 XCF
Fanion de Table + Franges16 × 24 cm5,4 cmCoton2750 XCF
Fanion de Table + Franges16 × 24 cm5,4 cmCoton770 XCF
EcharpeCoton5500 XCF
Support de FanionBois1210 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,00 × 1,50 m3,4 mSatin6600 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,20 × 1,80 m0,40 mSatin9900 XCF
Drapeau de Mât1,60 × 2,40 m0,54 mSatin13200 XCF
Drapeau de Mât2,00 × 3,00 m0,67 mSatin16500 XCF
Fanion de Table + Franges16 × 24 cm5,4 cmSatin3025 XCF
Fanion de Table + Franges16 × 24 cm5,4 cmSatin1650 XCF
EcharpeSatin15 400 XCF

These give a size of star as being contained within an imaginary circle equaling one-third the width of the flag. With the above being taken from copies of the relevant documents.
Christopher Southworth, 26 May 2004

A letter (I have on file) from the Secretary General of the Grand Chancellery of Burkina Faso dated 23 April 1996 (the year before the Presidential Decree I quoted previously) gives the same standard sizes of flag but the heading above the size of the stars reads «Diametre du cercle dans lequel est circonscrite l’étoile» which I translate as «the diameter of the circle which circumscribes the star» It also says in this letter that «the centre of the circle circumscribing the star is in the centre of the flag» which confirms that it is the circle rather than the star itself which is centred.
Christopher Southworth, 26 May 2004

I have a letter of French Attaché dated 12 10 84 with characteristics of the flag as received from the Great Chancery of the National Order:

Les distances de haut en bas d’une pointe à l’autre sont égales au 1/3 de la largeur du drapeau
(distances from top to base of one point to another are equal to 1/3rd of width of flag).
Armand du Payrat, 17 April 2001

This may in fact be correct but worded wrongly so we misinterpret his word literally. (After all how many people is aware of the size difference between the star and its circumscribed circle?)
Željko Heimer, 29 May 2004

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be. Burkina Faso: PMS 032 red, 116 yellow and 355 green. The vertical version is simply the flag turned through 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Incorrect depictions

In page BU 2.1 (Burkina Faso) of the Album [pay00], Fig 1., the national flag construction details are unfinished. As far as I have seen, the size of the star is not very well defined nor “stabilized”.
Željko Heimer, 11 January 2001

Small star incorrect depiction

The President’s flag page offers full detail and a better image, though still not perfect: while the text prescribes 1/3rd for (the star encribing circle), the image shows 2/7ths.
António Martins, 23 November 2005

Album des Pavillons [pie90] shows a proportion of 2:3 and a very small star (“diameter” of the star = 1/4th of the hoist length. DK Pocket Book [rya97] shows the same picture.
Ivan Sache, 26 December 1999

Big star incorrect depiction

Big star flag image by António Martins, 22 December 1999

An image, by Talocci [tal93], shows the flag with a big star — but illustrations in this book are especially non reliable, so I’d prefer trust [pie90] and [rya97] for the size of the star.
Ivan Sache, 26 December 1999

According comunication of the Comité de Defense de la Revolution to Lucien Philippe en August 1984, the star is slighty larger that the one in [pie90] and [rya97]: Image show 1/3 of hoist lenght instead 1/4. But then was not legal regulation. Arms were in use after same date but don’t regulate until 1 August 1997 (Law 20/97). Roman Klimeš gives a larger star (1/2 of the height and slighty displaced to the upper part). The info is in czech but seems that was communicated by official circular («Oficialni cirkular zastupitelskeho uradu z 27.8.1984»). Talocci [tal93] reproduces this flag. But later Roman Klimeš in 38 issue of Flaggen Wappen und Siegel (1997) [fws] features a flag with star 1/4 of height. Source is ordinance 84-043-CNR-Press dated 2-8-1984. I assume that these first communications were inexact and that Ivan is right.
Jaume Ollé, 01 January 2000

Theres a bit of confusion about the size of the star because L. Philippe received a communication from Burkina that the star must be 1/3 of the flag. Roman Klimeš published image (seems that 1/3 of the width) and later was followed by Talocci and others. Flagmaster [flm] gives 1/3 of the height in issue 45, source L. Philippe. At less according to the real construction (I don’t know official law) star seems to be smaller (3/9th for Flagmaster is 3/10 or smaller for Album 2000), but law text is need. If I don’t remember wrong Jos Poels received precise information from Burkina Faso (after two years waiting).
Jaume Ollé, 12 April 2001

Ribbon flag incorrect depiction

Flag of Burkina Faso specs image by António Martins, 23 November 2005

A strange flag with proportions 1:4 or 1:5 is shown on every page of the official governmental site
Ivan Sache, 15 April 1999

Darker shades, big star, and very large ratio — all against the (quite detailed) official specs. This weird design is though sponsored at the highest level: prime-minister's website.
António Martins, 23 November 2005