Last modified: 2003-01-11 by zeljko heimer
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The Constitution of the Republic of Benin was adopted by referendum on 2 December 1990.
It came into force through law # 90-32 of 11 December 1990.
Title ISource: Vagnat & Poels. Constitutions - What they tell us about national flags and coat of arms. [vap00]
The State and Sovereignty
The national emblem shall be a tricolor flag of green, yellow and red. Next to the staff is a green band for the entire height and two-fifth of the length, with two equal horizontal bands: the upper one yellow and the lower one red.
The motto of the Republic shall be FRATERNITE - JUSTICE - TRAVAIL (Fraternity - Justice - Work)
The State Seal shall consist of a disk 120 millimetres in diameter showing:
On the obverse side a pirogue loaded with six five-pointed stars sailing over the waves, accompanied overhead by a bow with one arrow in the shape of a palm supported by two crossed "recades", and below by a banderole bearing the motto FRATERNITE - JUSTICE - TRAVAIL with the inscription République du Bénin within the circle.
And on the reverse side a shield divided into two equal parts - the first part of sinople and the second of gold and of gules which are the three colours of the flag. The shield is surrounded by two native palm trees with their trunks crossed in the shape of an X.
The coat of arms of Benin shall be as follows:
In the first quarter in gold, a Somba fortress;
In the second quarter in silver, the native star of Benin, that is to say, an eight-pointed azure saltire angled with rays of silver and black in the background;
In the thrid quarter in silver, a sable ship sailing on an azure sea with losange in gules passing under the line of the quarter.
The supporters: two spotted panthers in gold;
The Seal: Two black cornucopias from which come ears of corn;
The motto: FRATERNITE - JUSTICE - TRAVAIL in black letters on a banderole.
The national anthem of Benin is called "L'Aube nouvelle" ("The New Dawn"). Its second stanza is:
Quand partout souffle un vent de colère et de haine.The text is in French, which is the official language of Benin. My translation is:
Béninois, sois fier, et d'une âme sereine,
Confiant dans l'avenir, regarde ton drapeau!
Dans le vert tu liras l'espoir du renouveau,
De tes aïeux le rouge évoque le courage;
Des plus riches trésors le jaune est le présage.
When a wind of wrath and hate blows everywhere,Source: Benin-Net, http://www.beninensis.net/benin_hymne.htm
Citizen of Benin, be proud, and with a serene soul,
Confident in the future, look at your flag!
In the green [field] you shall read the hope of revival,
The red recalls the courage of your ancestors,
The yellow is the omen of the richest treasures.