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Palau

Republic of Palau, Belu u era Belau

Last modified: 2013-11-20 by ian macdonald
Keywords: palau | belau | oceania | moon |
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[National Flag of Palau] [FIS Code] 5:8 by  Željko Heimer, 12 September 2002

Flag adopted 1 January 1981, coat of arms adopted 1 January 1981


In this page:

See also:


Description of the flag

The flag was adopted in October 1980 when the islands became internally self-governing and proclaimed Republic on 01 January 1981. The disk represents the moon as a symbol of national unity and destiny. The blue field is supposed to represent the independence.
Nathan Augustine and Željko Heimer, 13 December 1995

Based on Album des Pavillons and Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World the flag of Palau is:

  • proportion is 5:8
  • disc diameter is 6/10 the flag width
  • shift of the disc towards hoist is defined by an imaginary vertical line tangent to the left of the disc and placed at 1/4 of the flag length
  • field colour is a blue not easy to define, my two sources differ in brightness.

Moreover, according to Ultimate Pocket Flags of the World, Palau has no coat of arms but only a seal. "The seal is not coloured. It depicts a traditional Paluan triangular hut, above the date of adoption. This is surrounded by the title of the state."

And the full name of the state is "Republic of Palau" (English) or "Belu'u era Belau" (Palauan). Independence (with free association with the USA) occurred on 1st October 1994, and the state was admitted by the UNO on 15 December 1994. The defence of the state is assured by the USA, so there are no specific naval ensigns and rank flags to expect. (Source: Encyclopaedia Universalis - Les chiffres du monde 1998).
Ivan Sache, 11 August 1999

The Government of Palau page at http://www.bdarop.com/flag.htm gives the national flag construction details as 5:8 = (1+3+1):(2+3+3); golden yellow, sky blue. The National Flag of the Republic of Palau shall be a golden-yellow moon slightly off-centered on a field of sky-blue. The moon plays a significant role in harvests, reproductive cycles, and launching of events in traditional Palau. The ocean is a constant which has provided sustenance to Palau through its bounties. The full moon signifies Palau's emergence as an independent sovereign country. The blue ocean signifies the constancy of Palau through the years, surviving through various foreign dominations to finally emerge at the full moon.

The Palau National Flag was the winning entrant by Mr. Blau Skebong in the 1979 ROP Flag Contest and was adopted by the Olbiil Era Kelulau through Public Law No. 7-6-2 on September 1980.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 March 2003

This flag was established by 'An Act' of the Seventh Palau Legislature (sixth regular session) "To provide for the Flag of the Republic of Palau", Public Law No. 7-6-2 (Bill 7-230,D7) passed on 18 September 1980, and effective upon being approved (by Juan A. Sablan, Deputy High Commissioner) on 22 October 1980.

Section One, 'Flag of the Republic of Palau', provides exact instructions for creating the flag, and confirms that the construction details we show are correct in every particular. However it does add that "The Flag may be reproduced for unofficial purposes with different dimensions...". The colours are officially described as "golden yellow" and "sky blue".

Section Six, 'Transition', lists only the flag of Palau just described, that of the United States and of the United Nations, which appears to confirm that only there was no specific 'flag of Palau' before the Act?
Christopher Southworth, 7 March 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.
For Palau: PMS process blue, 109 yellow. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 11 October 2012


Construction sheet

[Construction sheet] by Željko Heimer, 12 September 2002

Section One, 'Flag of the Republic of Palau', provides exact instructions for creating the flag. "The width of the Flag of the Republic of Palau shall bear the ratio of 1.0 to 1.6 and the diameter of the moon shall the ratio to the width of the flag of 0.6 to 1.0. The distance from the side of the flag nearest the mast or staff to the center of the moon shall bear the ratio to the width of the flag of 0.7 to 1.0. The distance from the top and bottom of the flag to the center of the moon shall be equal."
Christopher Southworth, 7 March 2004


Presidential flag

[Presidential flag] image by Kazutaka Nishiura, 19 December 2009

According to Mr Takuji Okumura, former president of Hattori Co one of the largest flag manufacturers in Japan, he had made a Palau presidential flag in 1999 at President Nakamura's request when he met the president. The flag is a banner (60cm x 120cm) to be hung down from a top of a pole in the president room. The flag is not designed to be used outside. The flag is light blue background same as the national flag but having gold national emblem towards top of pole instead of gold disc and gold fringe at the bottom edge.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 4 August 2000


Congress emblem

[Congress flag] image by Pascal Gross, 19 December 2009

Some European flag book shows this image as the national emblem but this is the emblem of the Palau Congress. When I visited Koror I found it. The Palau national emblem is a Bei = meeting place showing pictures of past war history and legend.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 19 December 2009


Before independence

I don't think that Palau had a flag before independence. It was part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific, administered by the US. The flag for the Trust Territory was blue with six stars arranged in a hexagon. When independence came Palau and the Marshal Islands decided to separate from the rest of the group, which became the Federated States of Micronesia with the same blue flag with four stars instead of six, for Kosrae, Pohnpei, Truk and Yap.
Nathan Augustine, 15 December 1995

[Palau South Pacific Agency] by Jaume Oll


Japanese South Pacific Agency

Japan set up the South Pacific Agency in Koror, presently the capital of the Republic of Palau, to administrate the formerly German Islands. I think the Agency was different from a mainland prefecture but no special military flag nor regional flag was made except for one service flag: South Pacific Agency. This fishery investigation vessel flag was adopted on Sep 18 1930 by Notification No 13. The flag is a white background bearing its emblem in red. The emblem was a stylized Chinese character, meaning water.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 10 March 2004

The stylized Chinese character meaning water in Kanji is: 水 ; in Hiragana: みず; romaji: "mizu".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 July 2007


State flags

There are 16 federated states in Palau. Competitions have been announced for Kayangel and Tobi.
Palau Federated States

Palau issued a mini-sheet of stamps depicting the 16 state flags and the national flags. The stamps were listed in the July issue of the US magazine Scott's Stamp Monthly.
Roger Moyer, 23 July 2003

The (quite large) island of Babeldaob is divided in ten states (Aimelik, Airai, Meleleok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui and Ngiwal), each supposedly with a flag. In average 350 people per state, and per flag. Supposing that Palau is not at all a rich country (even if not that poor), I wonder how much use these flags have...
António Martins-Tuválkin, 3 January 2000

A picture of the flags of the federated states of Palau in use can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/11745622@N08/3327337908
Jens Pattke, 20 July 2009

The symbolism of all state flags of Palau can be found at http://pacificdigitallibrary.org.
Paraskevas Renesis, 30 October 2011