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Tunisia President

Last modified: 2003-07-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: tunisia | star (white) | crescent |
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The Presidential Flag

1999 revision

Flag of the President of Tunisia

Flag of the President of Tunisia 2:3 by Zeljko Heimer

Similar to the national flag, red flag with white disk containing the crescent and star (apparently somewhat smaller then in the national flag) and above the disk in yellow Arabic letters inscribed "Li-l-watan," meaning "For the nation". There is a golden/yellow fringe along the three outer edges. A red ribbon is attached to the flag pole above the flag, fringed golden at the short edge and with a white disk with crescent and star near the fringe.
Zeljko Heimer, 11 April 2003

I've seen this flag in the official photo portrait of President Ben Ali with the inscription at an angle and placed between the disk and the upper hoist corner, and the disk outlined by an narrow embroidered gold circle.
Joe McMillan, 11 April 2003

The Tunisian defense attach in Washington said this flag used to be displayed by all commanders in the armed forces, but is now limited to the President. I would surmise that it represents his capacity as commander in chief of the
armed forces.
Joe McMillan, 17 April 2001

At http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/Oct2000/001007-D-9880W-053.html is a recent photograph of President Ben Ali meeting with US Secretary of Defense William Cohen with two flags along the wall. One is a fringed version of the Tunisian national flag with an Arabic inscription in white in the upper hoist. I have seen this flag in Tunisian military offices during previous visits; as I recall, the inscription reads "li-l watan" (for the nation) [the -tan portion is visible in the photograph
linked above]. The other is bluish-violet with an Arabic monogram surrounded by an olive wreath, all in silver. The monogram appears to consist of two letters, one  of which is a "jim" (transliterated in English as j). The other may be a "ta", which would suggest a monogram for Al-Jumhuriyah at-Tunisiyah, (the Tunisian Republic), but I can't tell for sure. An interesting feature is that both flags are topped with short cravats with miniature versions of the devices on the flags.
Does anyone have any further information on these?
Joe McMillan, 27 September 2000

According to 'Pavillons nationaux et marques distinctives', the fringe around the president's flag is yellow instead of white. National flag is also used as civil and war ensign, war flag, and jack.
Ivan Sache, 10 January 2001

Album des Pavillons (2000) shows the fringe as gold, but Smith (1975) shows it white. Maybe it varies, or has changed?
Zeljko Heimer, 24 January 2001


Incorrect version reported in 2000

by Zeljko Heimer

I show the image here with a large disk as in Album des Pavillons (2000), though if the fringe is correct, the disk is probably not, and should match the "usual" size. This (or better the white fringed variant that I'll show subsequently) was adopted earliest on 25 July 1957 when Tunisia became a republic and Habib Bourguiba became president. It may be possible that it was abandoned on 7 November 1987 when Zine El Abidine Ben Ali replaced Bourguiba as president. To speculate further, the yellow fringed flag might have been version used at first (shortly?) before the current "Li-l-watan" flag was adopted. This would make Tunisian Republic one of the several that under French influence have habits of using different flags for subsequent presidents. It may be too early for any conclusions as we have only two presidents to look at. Certainly, it wouldn't be surprising.
Zeljko Heimer, 12 April 2003


Pre-1999 version

by Zeljko Heimer

This version is based on Smith (1982) with a white disk being approximately 1/3 of the hoist.
Zeljko Heimer, 12 April 2003