Last modified: 2003-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: antarctica | france | terres australes et antarctiques francaises | kerguelen islands | taaf | new amsterdam island | crozet island | st. paul island | adelie land | stars: 3 (white) | anchor (white) |
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by Zeljko Heimer
Official name: Terres australes et antarctiques françaises.
A French territory with a special administrative status, the "TAAF" are composed of 4 districts:
Herman De Waël, 12 October 1997
by Pierre Gay
The only specific flag of TAAF is in fact the flag of the Senior
A Territorial decree of 20 October 1956 divided the territory into four districts:
Shortly after he took office the first Senior Administrator (M.
Richert, who was Administrator of Overseas France, and wore three
stars on his uniform, like a
Vice-Admiral), adopted a personal
flag. It was of the same model as those used by the
old Governors of Colonies and High
Commissioners of Overseas Territories, ie royal blue with a Tricolour
in the canton. Also in the fly the letters TAAF arranged in the shape
of an anchor, in white, and accompanied by three white stars. This
device was retained by the Senior Administrators who succeeded
It can be seen, in part, in a photo in Paris-Match of 9 May 1964 (# 787) taken during the visit of M. Louis Jacquinot to the Kerguelen Islands. It was hoisted on any building or vessel when the Senior Administrator was on board. A copy given at the TAAF headquarters is 70 cm broad and 84 cm long, and the emblem is 22 cm high, the width of the letter T being 18 cm. The Secretary General, assistant to the Senior Administrator, does not have any special emblem.
Mario Fabretto, 25 September 1998
by Pascal Vagnat
The arms of the TAAF were created by Miss Suzanne Gauthier, who sent the original drawing to SPADEM on 4 September 1958 in order to have it registered. The quartered shield symbolises the four districts of the Territory.
Source: a letter dated 28 October 1981 from Miss Gauthier to Lucien Philippe published on Flagmaster [flm] # 38 (1/11/1982). On the same letter Miss Gauthier informed Philippe that it was Mr Richert who had asked for a draft of the arms of the Territory, setting out the elements which ought to be included, particularly the three white stars which appeared on his personal flag.
Mario Fabretto, 25 September 1998
According to Roman Klimes [klm87], the shield is quartered azure and argent. However, Klimes shows it azure and or in his image. The shield is also azure and or on a post stamp of the TAAF on which it is depicted in colours.
The four quarters of the coat of arms stand for the four districts of the territory:
The coronet above the shield is inscribed with the name of the territory in sable, this detail being not shown on the above image. The coronet and stars are or, the anchors argent.
On the TAAF post stamps, there is no writing in the 1959-63 and 1970 versions, but writing is present on the 1992 and later versions. Klimes' image is probably more up-to-date than the one shown above
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2001
According to my sources, the French government issued in the eighties some laws concerning the registration of ships in the Kerguelen Islands. This registration is a special one and allows the ships to employ some foreign workers (I don't remember the percentage of all workers). It was created to fight against the so-called convenience ensigns (Cyprus, Isle of Man, Liberia, Panama...) which escape the sea labour rules. The flag of the Senior Administrator of the TAAF is the only flag introduced by the French government to fight against the flags of convenience. It allows the ships to escape partly from the sea labour laws of France. The ships of France and of Germany only can register under this flag. This registration doesn't mean that they have to go to the Kerguelen Islands to register!) This flag (or better: this ensign) has the proportions 2:3.
Pascal Vagnat ,19 December 1995