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Andorra

Principality of Andorra, Principat d'Andorra

Last modified: 2013-11-20 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: andorra | coat of arms: cartouche |
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[Andorra] 7:10 | stripes 8+9+8
image by Carlos Esparza and António Martins-Tuválkin, from an original World Flag Database image
Flag adopted 1866



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Introduction

Statistics (1995):

  • Population:
    • Spanish 46.4%
    • Andorrans 19.5%
    • Portuguese 10.8%
    • French 6.7%
    • Other nationalities 5.3%
    • Unstated nationalities 11.3%
  • Administrative divisions: 7 parishes
  • Army: none
  • Police: 32 men, in alternance from the French Gendarmerie and the Barcelona police.
  • No merchant navy
Source: Les chiffres du monde (Encyclopaedia Universalis Yearbook)

Ivan Sache, 03 Feb 2001


Origin

I don't remember where I heard this legend (maybe FOTW?), but supposedly Andorra chose to add the CoA to its flag after several citizens of Chad visited the embassy of Andorra in Paris, confused by the similar flags.

J. Patrick Fischer, 18 Aug 2003

Andorra has used a CoA from at least 1939 (when Chad didn't exist), and Andorra had not had an embasy on Paris because it was still not an internationally recognized state, unlike today when it is the first independent Catalan state. Romania had arms both as kingdom and republic. The single confusion that I imagine is between Chad and Romania in 1989 and following years.

Jaume Ollé, 18 Aug 2003

When Napoleon gave to Andorra a constitution in 1806, the flag, in vertical French pattern, used the local traditional Catalan colours. In 1866 Napoleon III obtained the inclusion of the blue in the flag, supposedly to mean France's partial sovereignity in the country.

Jaume Ollé, 29 Aug 2003


Usage

Album des Pavillons 2000, page AN 1.1, shows the flag with arms – the drawing is very much like the one on FOTW. As far as I am aware, the flag without the arms is (was?) used in Andorra itself quite more often than the version with arms. In any case, I guess it is not wrong to have the flag without arms, and that could at least be mentioned in a note [in Album des Pavillons 2000]. Regarding the useage:

  • Smith 1980 indicates the version without arms as , and that with arms as . It also marks both versions as de facto () – i.e. that there is no legal document adopting the flag (not as unofficial) – and the version with arms as variation () i.e. that there are several flags of the same basic design that are used concurrently.
  • FOTW marks version with arms as , though the version without arms is a variation in both uses, I guess.
  • Album des Pavillons 2000 marks the version with arms as . Is there any army to be using this flag?

Željko Heimer, 31 Jan 2001

[Last] weekend I was in Andorra. (...) I searched for more flags: civil defense, police etc. but none has flags (only logos). Only the communications service has a flag that is hoisted in their headquarters, blue and bears the white logo in it. (...) Out of the seven districts or parroquies [i.e. parishes] I was in three, but unluckily in one of them headquarters [district council?] were closed because it was Sunday. In other two they have no knowledge of having a flag. At the headquarters of the main parroquia, Andorra la Vella, they gave me several details about the arms of the parroquia, including Pantone [shade]s, and also information about national symbols, but they never heard about a flag for the parroquia.

I tried to visit the National Historic Archive, but was unable to as it is necessary to call days in advance (...). If anyone is interested, specially [to find out more] about the mysterious vertical yellow-red flag, contact:

Arxiu Historic Nacional
Edifici Prada Casadet
Prada Casadet, 8-12
Andorra la Vella
Tel. 861889 / Fax 868645

Jaume Ollé, 18 Mar 2001


Flag With Monochrome Arms

[Monochrome Arms Variant (Andorra)]
image by Carlos Esparza and António Martins-Tuválkin, from an original World Flag Database image

A variant with monochrome image of the arms – as depicted (among other cases?) on a stamp issued by the local postal service – was reported in FotW (stamp #00162, "Admission of Andorra to Council of Europe," 1995).

António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 Mar 2010


Flag Without Arms ("Civil Flag")

[Flag without Coat-of-Arms (Andorra)] 7:10
image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 21 Jan 2010

The flag of Andorra has been used from circa 1870 as a civil flag. The proportions are 2:3. The state flag (used on government buildings, etc.) has, in addition, the arms of Andorra on the yellow stripe.

Željko Heimer, 07 Nov 1995

Smith 1975 and Smith 1980 claim that the flag without the arms is the civil flag on land. Just the state flag has arms. So, it seems that general public should use the simple flag. However, as far as I know, there is no legislation in Andorra regarding the flag, so probably both versions are used interchangeably. Maybe influenced by similar tendency in neighbouring Spain, the version with the arms is now used more often – and also because the Chad/Romania problem. It may be that this is more showed outside of Andorra itself, resulting from the wish of many flag-hoisters (?) to have a different flag for each country.

Željko Heimer, 05 Mar 1997

As far as I can find out, there was no legislation defining the Andorran flag before (Title One, Chapter One, Article 5 of) the Constitution dated 4 May 1993, with further regulations dated 20 June 1996 (published 10 July) and those approved on 5 May 1999 upon which Željko obviously based his construction sheet. And none of these sources mention the existence of a plain civil flag.

Whilst I have little doubt that such flags have been in use over the last 150 years, the plain tricolour has (again as far as I can find out) no current legal existence (if it ever had) and therefore no regulated proportions (both internal and external) differing from those of the national flag (possibly because modern manufacturing techniques make the flag with arms very much less expensive than formerly?)

Christopher Southworth, 20 Jan 2010

There is a mention of a "plain flag" in both the Law of 10 June 1996 and the regulations of 5 May 1999.

Law of 10 June 1996 (Text in English at http://www.ompa.ad/angles/signes/Llei.PDF):

Annex 2. Traditional flag of Andorra

"(...) The coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra is placed in the centre of the flag, on the yellow stripe; however, it may be omitted, particularly when the flag is reproduced in certain small-scale or specific formats, such as tapes, where it may be represented solely by three adjacent stripes in blue, yellow and red.
The regulations [PDF] of 5 May 1999 also cite this "plain flag" (page 7):
En casos de cintes o de reduccions, s'utilitza la bandera sense l'escut, tal com es mostra a la fitxa 1.2.4 (aplicacions).
In cases of tapes or small-scale reproductions, will be used the flag without coat of arms, as shown on card 1.2.4 (applications).
This "card", or annex 1.2.4 is absent in the PDF file, so we would need the entire text to see what is represented there.

Obviously none of these states that this "plain flag" is the "civil flag," or at least it isn't called "civil flag."

Antonio Gutierrez, 20 Jan 2010

We now know that a plain tricolour was formally authorized in 1996 and that (if made according to the Law) it should follow the pattern of that with the coat of arms - in proportions of 7:10 with unequal stripes (although how many flags are actually made that way is a matter of conjecture).

Christopher Southworth, 20 Jan 2010

I'm not sure that we're really talking about a flag in 7:10, here; I fear the "tapes" may merely refer to ribbons.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 21 Jan 2010

I don't quite know what "tapes" the law is referring to either, but it is quite specific with regard to the flag - it says that the arms "...may be omitted, particularly when the flag is reproduced in certain small scale or specific formats etc." This does not create a special flag, but simply says that the flag as regulated may be (under certain circumstances) displayed without arms, and the flag is regulated in a ratio of 7:10 with the stripes in proportions of 8-9-8.

Whether this flags or reproductions of it will ever actually be prepared using the official figures is open to debate, but (at least as far as I can understand it) the fact remains that they should be.

Christopher Southworth, 21 Jan 2010


Civil Ensign

On the website of the Club Nautic d'Andorra, you can see a picture of a sailboat flying the Andorran flag, therefore the civil ensign. The image is a bit fuzzy, and it is difficult to see if there is the municipal coat of arms on the yellow stripe or not. Since the national flag seems to exist with and without the arms, the civil ensign might follow the same pattern.

The FIAV grid in the Album mentions only Andorran flags used on land.

Ivan Sache, 23 Dec 2003

I believe that Armand was kind of conservative when deciding on the grid for landlocked countries - he has shown the ensigns dots only when he found hard evidence (either in usage or in legislation) for the existance of the ensign(s). As default, the national flag of these countries he did not designate as the ensign (of any kind) even if it is more then probable that this (the national flag) would be used as civil ensign.

Željko Heimer, 24 Dec 2003