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République Gabonaise

Last modified: 2002-07-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: gabon | president | equator | tricolour |
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[Flag of Gabon] 3:4 
by Zeljko Heimer

See also:

Colours of the Flag

According to Devereux (1994), the colours mean respectively the forest, the Equator line (which crosses the country) and the sea.

Antonio Martins, 30 May 1997

Concerning the colours - the green and yellow seems to be rather straightforward, but the blue is problematic, as usual. Pantone approximation given in Album 2000 is 285c (CMYK 90,45,0,0). The colours used on two pages in the Album are quite different (certainly an effect of printing process), but it seems that a light grayish blue is appropriate (I used RGB 51-102-204). However, most of other sources that I quickly referred to show the blue rather dark - almost like navy blue.

Zeljko Heimer, 2 October 2001

National coat of arms

[National coat of arms of Gabon] located by Dov Gutterman, 14 March 1999

The shield is supported by two black panthers and an okoumé tree symbolizing the timber trade. The ship represents Gabon moving towards a brighter future. The coat of arms is unusual in having two ribbons with mottos in two different languages. The ribbon below the shield has the motto in French 'UNION, TRAVAIL, JUSTICE' ('Union, Work, Justice'). The second ribbon is placed beneath the branches of the okoumé tree and has the motto in Latin 'UNITI PROGREDIEMUR' ('Let us go forward united').
Source: Dorling-Kindersley Flag Pocket Book (note this source incorrectly states the motto as UNITE PROGREDIAMUR - "We go forward united").

The coat of arms was designed by the Swiss heraldist and vexillologist Louis Mühlemann, one of the founding members of the FIAV and also designer of the former coat of arms of Congo. The panthers symbolize the vigilance and courage of the president who protects the nation. The bezants (golden discs) in chief of the shield symbolize the mineral wealth of the country.
Source: Smith (1975)

Ivan Sache, 4 October 2001

President's flag

[Presidential Flag of Gabon since 1990] 3:4~

by Zeljko Heimer

Presidential Flag of Gabon since 1990. National tricolour with white disk with the coat of arms in the middle. Before that a square flag being banner of arms was used, as shown, e.g., in Smith (1982).

Zeljko Heimer

Former version of President's flag

[Presidential Flag of Gabon until 1990]
by Zeljko Heimer

Ratio: 1:1. Source: Smith (1982)

Do we know why Gabon changed the presidential flag? I believe the president has been the same person since 1967: Omar Bongo!

Marcus Schmöger, 4 October 2001

Since its independence, Gabon has had only two presidents, Le'on M'ba (1961-1967) and Omar Bongo (1967-). 

Ivan Sache, 4 October 2001

It was asked why the President's standard changed in the 1990's in spite of no change in the President. A possible answer is political. In June 1990, the 16th French-African summit took place in La Baule. F. Mitterrand, then French president, gave a famous speech in which he urgently asked for more democracy in the African countries. It was not only a call but also a threat, which can be summed up as: "There cannot be democracy without development, but there cannot be development without democracy" (i.e. no more funds and military help from France if there is no progress towards democracy). In Gabon, a National Conference gathered from 27 March to 19 April 1990 and imposed multipartism to president Bongo, who had to abandon a few of his personal powers. It is possible that this modification of the president's status was reflected by a modification of his standard.

Ivan Sache, 6 October 2001


The coats of arms of Gabon 9 provinces are available at:
Dov Gutterman, 14 March 1999

Military Flags

Minister of Defence

[Gabon Minister of Defence] 3:4~  by Zeljko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons (2000)

White flag with the national tricolour in the canton and (I guess) the Ministry of Defence emblem in the fly. The emblem consists of a spread-winged golden eagle with a totem-like sceptre on its breast and behind it an anchor and a parachute.

Zeljko Heimer, 4 October 2001

Chief of Staff Armed Forces

[Gabon Chief of Staff of Armed Forces] 3:4~  by Zeljko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons (2000)

White flag with the national tricolour in a square canton and with (I presume) the Armed Forces badge in the upper fly and five golden five-pointed stars along the lower part of the flag. The Armed Forces badge consists of an upright sword and anchor, a six-pointed star, two crossed battle axes and a pair of wings (if they are that).

Zeljko Heimer, 4 October 2001

Airforce fin flash (old)

[Gabon fin flash] by Mark Sensen and Dov Gutterman

The fin flash of the Gabon airforce - Forces Aériennes Gabonaises uses a shrunken rectangular national flag (~10:13) as a fin flash.
The source is B.C Wheeler: Aircraft Markings (1986).
Dov Gutterman, 9 October 1999

Airforce fin flash (new)

[Gabon fin flash] by Zeljko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons (2000)

Blue-yellow-green roundel of classical form (blue outermost).

Zeljko Heimer, 4 October 2001

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