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Cyprus

Kipriakí Dimokratía [Kipros], Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti

Last modified: 2013-03-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: cyprus | europe | asia | olive branch | geographic outline | map | copper | constitution | guney (ismet) |
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[Cyprus flag]

Flag of Cyprus - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 February 2013

Flag and coat of arms adopted 16 August 1960; design and proportions of the flag slightly modified on 24 April 2006.
Proportions: 2:3
Description: A white flag with a golden map of the island with two olive branchs below.
Use: on land, as the national and civil flag, at sea, as the national and civil ensign.

Colour official specifications:

  • Yellow: Pantone 1385
  • Green: Pantone 574

On this page:

See also:


Recent, minor changes in the flag of Cyprus

According to the website of the Embassy of Cyprus in Copenhagen, the flag was modified by Decision No. 63.673/20-04-2006 of the Ministerial Council.
The outline of the Cyprus map looks larger and more defined than previously and the olive leaves have more detail. The proportions of the flag were changed from 3:5 to 2:3.

Paraskevas Renesis & Ben Cahoon, 30 October 2012

Quoting Alexia Saoulli, Cyprus Mail:

Letterheads and government documents bearing the Republic of Cyprus' official emblem will carry the standardised version following a cabinet decision to revise the State seal.
The Cyprus flag has also been changed as part of the improvement package, a Communication Ministry official said yesterday.
The decision to change both the emblem and flag was prompted by Communication Minister Harris Thrassou who wanted the emblem"s colours coded.
Up until now the yellow and green on the flag or emblem wasn"t coded. It simply had to be more or less yellow or green. The minister said he wanted specific colours to make all emblems and flags uniform.[...]
During the discussion to colour-code the Republic's seals, it was suggested that the actual images of both the emblem and flag be standardised as well.
[...]
The new shield depicts a clearer image of the dove holding an olive branch in its mouth. The olive branches underneath were also reduced and made clearer. The same was done for the flag, and the image of the island of Cyprus was also enlarged and the olive leaves brought closer to it.
They were basically made clearer, the ministry official said. The images were devised by graphic designer Philippos De Caston and approved by the cabinet in March.
[...]
According to the official the ministry is now examining how best to fly the flag. At present when the flag is hanging on the mast it simply looks like a white cloth. The ministry wants it to hang in such a way that the actual image shows. We are still examining ways to make this possible and should have a decision in the coming months, the official said.

Ivan Sache, 29 April 2007

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) 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.
For Cyprus, PMS 1385 yellow, 574 green. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.

Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012


History of the flag of Cyprus

[Cyprus flag]

Former flag of Cyprus - Image by Martin Grieve, 7 September 2006

According to SAVA Newsletter [sav] #27, the flag of Cyprus was selected by the President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios, in 1960 after a proposal made by a school teacher who brought him a message from the Vice-President Fazil Küçük.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

Quoting Jean Christou, Cyprus Mail, 19 June 2006:

İsmet Guney, the Turkish Cypriot artist and teacher who designed the Cyprus flag is seeking payment from the government, 46 years after Archbishop Makarios chose his design to represent the new Republic of Cyprus.
According to reports in the Turkish Cypriot press yesterday Guney claims that Makarios promised him £20 a year for designing the flag but he was never paid.
[...
He [Guney] now wants his money plus compensation for copyright usage. The total by now would amount to £920 after 46 years.
[...]
The reports said Guney had hired a Greek Cypriot law firm to push his case but it did not specify which one. His lawyers have already sent a letter to President Tasssos Papadopoulos giving him ten days to respond and meet the payment. If he receives no reply Guney said he was prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
[...]
Responding to the reports yesterday, left-wing AKEL spokesman Andros Kyprianou said that if such an agreement existed between Guney and Makarios it should be looked into by the government.

Ivan Sache, 19 June 2006

The white flag was chosen for the young Cyprus as a sign of peace among the two antagonistic communities living there (Turks and Greeks). The map of the island is golden/yellow, for the sake of easier reproduction of what was originally intended to be a colour of copper, a metal that got its name from the island name. Most probably, since there is no brownish-reddish-copper colour in heraldry, the map was changed to golden. Green olive tree branches stand for peace, again.

Željko Heimer, 12 November 1998

Quoting Reuters:

Cyprus says independent minded flag makers have been adding their own creative touches to the national flag for 45 years and it's time to get it right.
[...] Andreas Christou, director of the government supplies office, says: "It seems every department has been going to local manufacturers and some like the colours lighter, some darker. They like the map bigger or smaller."
Now, flags flying the wrong colour will be replaced by ones with the correct shade of copper, he told the daily Cyprus Mail newspaper.
That shade is neither yellow, nor orange nor red but copper, and to be precise, 144c, to reflect the Mediterranean island's historical attachment to the metal.[...]

Lewis Nowitz, 24 October 2005

Pedersen [ped70] just calls it yellow. Smith [smi77], too. Pedersen's recent book [rya98a] says that copper is the proper colour, and yellow is the usual (my translation from Danish).

Ole Andersen, 29 July 1999

The Ancient Greeks got most of their copper from the island, and the Romans imported a good deal as well. The Greek word for copper (from which the English is derived) actually means "Cyprus metal".
According to Petit Larousse Illustré, the French word cuivre is derived from Latin cyprium aes, "Cyprus bronze".

Mike Oettle & Ivan Sache, 17 December 2001


The flag in the Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (text), adopted on 6 April 1960, is the only Constitution in the world that allow the authorities and private citizens of the country to fly national flags other than their own, as follows:

Article 4.

  1. The Republic shall have its own flag of neutral design and colour, chosen jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic.
  2. The authorities of the Republic and any public corporation or public utility body created by or under the laws of the Republic shall fly the flag of the Republic and they shall have the right to fly on holidays together with the flags of the Republic both the Greek and the Turkish flag at the same time.
  3. The Communal authorities and institutions shall have the right to fly on holidays together with the flag of the Republic either the Greek or the Turkish flag at the same time.
  4. Any citizen of the Republic or any body, corporate or unincorporate other than public, whose members are citizens of the Republic, shall have the right to fly on their premises the flag of the Republic or the Greek or the Turkish flag without any restriction.

Pascal Vagnat, 17 December 2001