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Sahara Suz (Western Sahara)

Last modified: 2001-12-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: western sahara | sahara suz | morocco |
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[Supposed flag of Sahara Suz] by Victor Lomantsov

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Significance of the Flag

Siebmacher's Flaggen of 1876 reports "the war flag is white with the (apocryphal) Coat of Arms" and "the merchant flag additionally has the English Union [jack] in the canton."

David Prothero, Jarig Bakker, 22 January 2001

I feel that it is not just the Coat of Arms that is apocryphal but possibly both flags.  There doesn't seem to have been any British involvement in the area that would make the flags necessary.  
Two vague references:
- An item (not seen), in the Flag Bulletin of Nov/Dec 1985 refers to the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. Their agent David McKenzie operated a Free Port at Cape Jurby 1875 to 1895 and may have been in the Sus area earlier, but had no known connection with the Sus flag.
- In the "Atlas of the British Empire" edited by C. Bayly in a section headed "Paper Empires of the 1880's", it says that, "To reassure France, Britain signed a convention that ceded control of a vast area of the western Sahara between Algeria, Senegal and Lake Chad."

However the design on the flag must be based on something?

David Prothero, 23 January 2001

The coat of arms is also described in Vlaggen van alle Natien published by Weytingh & Brave, Amsterdam, 1862.

Nozomi Kariyasu, 23 January 2001

Location of Sahara Suz

Soes, Sus, or Souse, Suze - southernmost province of Morocco, in the past an independent kingdom, between 28.30 and 30.30 North, and 10 and 14 West, bordering in the north to Morocco proper, east to the Atlas mountains, south to the Sahara, west to the Atlantic., c. 400.000 km2 with 700.000 inhabitants. The river Tesset divides it into Suz-el-Adna, subjected completely to Morocco, and Suz-el-Asca, with only tributary districts. The main places are: Terodant or Tarudant, Agadir or Santa Cruz, Tagawost, Tedsi, Messa, Stukka and Nun. Part of Suz is now comprised into the new state Sidi-Hesjam. 

(from Kramer's Geographisch Woordenboek 1883; translated from the Dutch)
Jarig Bakker, 27 January 2001

The map at shows the province #4 Souss-Massa-Dra‚, which is about the northern part of 'Sahara-Suz'. The southern part of 'Sahara-Suz' on that map is province #3, Guelmim-Es Smara, at present part of Morocco, but possibly claimed by Western Sahara. That part, north of and including Cape Juby (with Tarfaya) shows on old French atlases as part of Spanish Sahara (Saguia Hamra).
Jarig Bakker, 28 January 2001

An 1830 map of Morocco (enormous 1362 kB JPG, but does not reach south of Marrakech) has a legend on the top right corner speaking about three kingdoms, the northern provinces making up the Kingdom of Fas (i.e. Fez), the central ones that of Marocco (sic) and the southern ones the Kingdom of Suse (sic).  The latter are the provinces of Suse (for which it gives as chief towns Agadir, Tarudant and Irnoon) and Draha.
Santiago Dotor, 30 January 2001

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