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Gabon - Presidential flags

Last modified: 2017-01-15 by bruce berry
Keywords: gabon | president | tricolour |
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image by Hemendra Bhola and MesserWoland (for the Arms), 26 Dec 2016

See also:

Current Presidential flag (2016 - )

Images of a new Presidential flag of Gabon can be seen here and here.
Hemendra Bhola, 26 Dec 2016

The new Presidential flag differs from both previous versions. The original Presidential flag (1960-1990) was a banner of the national arms (and Gabon is one of a few countries to have an actual heraldic coat-of-arms as its national emblem), while the post-1990 Presidential flag was the national tricolor with the full Coat of Arms on a white roundel.  The current Presidential flag (adopted in August 2016 after general elections) is once again of a  completely different design, although retaining the national arms. Curiously, the ratio of seems to have ever increased from being a square (1:1) to 3:4 to 3:5.

According to Hemendra Bhola’s interpretation of the available imagery, the current presidential flag of Gabon is darker blue with the full achievement of the national arms centered on its rectangular 3:5 area, with each of the four corners of the flag bearing a triangular patch in the colours of national flag at 45° angles (and *not* orthogonally to the flag’s diagonals) and orientated outwards — yielding a green triangle on each corner, and stacked symmetrical trapezes of yellow and medium blue adjoined to them.

Interesting to note the two different shades of blue found on the flag, suggesting that the “presidential blue” and the “national flag blue” are distinct, which in turn suggests that the national flag should never be rendered with too dark a shade of blue.
António MARTINS-Tuválkin, 26 Dec 2016

Presidential flag (1990 - 2016)

image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Proportions: 3:4
Source: Smith (1982) [smi82]

Presidential Flag of Gabon used after 1990 was the national tricolour with white disk with the coat of arms in the middle. Before that a square flag being banner of arms was used, as shown, in Smith (1982) [smi82].
Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001

Presidential flag (1960 - 1990)

Image by Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001
Ratio: 1:1
Source: Smith (1982) [smi82]

The initial President's flag was a square banner of arms as shown in Smith (1982) [smi82].
Željko Heimer, 02 Oct 2001

It was asked why the Gabonese President's standard changed in the 1990s despite there being no change in the President. A possible answer is political. In June 1990, the 16th French-African summit took place in La Baule. Francoise Mitterrand, then president of France, gave a famous speech in which he urgently asked for more democracy in the African countries. It was not only a call but also a threat, which can be summed up as: "There cannot be democracy without development, but there cannot be development without democracy" (i.e. no more funds and military help from France if there is no progress towards democracy). In Gabon, a National Conference gathered from 27 March to 19 April 1990 and recommended multi-party democracy to then President Bongo.  Bongo had to abandon some of his personal powers and it is possible that this modification of the president's status was reflected by a modification of his standard.
Ivan Sache, 06 Oct 2001