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Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Muritaniya, Al-Jumhuriyah Al-Islamiyah Al-Muritaniyah, Mauritanie
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by Zachary Harden, 13 March 2017
The Flag of Mauritania
La Libre.be reports:
The Mauritanian National Assembly adopted Thursday a
bill of constitutional review including the abolition of the Senate and the
change of the national flag, found the AFP correspondent. The draft submitted by
the Government "has been adopted by the majority of 147 MPs present", "121 voted
in favour of the text, 19 against," said Mohamed Ould Beilil, president of the
National Assembly, dominated by the presidential party. The radical opposition,
represented by the Forum national unity and democracy (FNDU), which consisted of
15 Parties, voted against the Bill after leading a campaign against its
adoption. The text approved Thursday by the MPs, which amends the Constitution
in force since 1991, includes a deletion of the Senate, replaced by regional
councils, and a change of the national flag. Two red ribbons, symbolizing the
blood shed by the "martyrs of the resistance", will be added to the Crescent and
the yellow star on a green background on this flag already.
11 March 2017
http://fr.ami.mr/Depeche-41902.html, the bill to approve the description of
the national flag (Projet de loi portant description du drapeau de la République
Islamique de Mauritanie) was addressed and approved by the Council of Ministers
on August 24th. Unfortunately, I cannot find a text of this law and the Official
Journal is not published online.
Zachary Harden, 24 August 2017
A timeline for the change in the flag:
- 29 September, 2016: National Inclusive Dialogue "dialogue national
inclusif, DNI" began at the capitol of Nouakchott . The government and
moderate opposition included, among trade unions, Mauritanians from abroad
and civic groups. Some opposition boycotted the meetings.
- October 6th, 2016: The main party of Mauritania, the Union For the
Republic (UPR), proposed the change to the national flag with the red
stripes. The reasoning was to recognize "the efforts and sacrifices that the
people of Mauritania will keep consenting, to the price of their blood, to
defend their territory”.
- October 20th, 2016; the DNI ends with an agreement by the government and
the opposition to call for a referendum, something that has been sought
since 2010 (not specifically about the flag but to more get rid of the
Senate and the two limit term and 75 age limit for the presidency). Slated
for end of 2016, then pushed back to early 2017.
- November 2016: Opposition calls for boycott of the referendum, has felt
that the national symbols should not be modified.
- December 30th, 2016: Referendum cancelled due to costs and economic
concerns; debate moved to the National Assembly and Senate (source:
- February 28th, 2017: Debate on the constitutional changes begin in the
National Assembly, including the national flag.
- March 8th, 2017: the proposed flag, in cloth, was presented to the
National Assembly by Defense Minister Diallo Mamadou Bati.
- March 9th, 2017: the National Assembly voted 121-19 (with 147 present)
to change the national flag. (This vote also confirms the stripe ratio of
15/70/15, which I reported on in my previous email.)
- March 13th, the Senate takes up the package for the flag, anthem and the
abolition of the Senate.
- March 17th, 33 of 56 senators rejected the package.
- March 22nd, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz calls for a referendum
- April 20th, the first official announcement of the referendum with dates
is announced and it was set for July 15th.
- June 8th, the Council of Ministers decided, at the request of the
Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) to reschedule the election
date for a better organization of the referendum. The new date chosen was
- July 21st to August 4th: CENI put up the ballot question online at
http://www.ceni.mr/spip.php?page=article&id_article=770 and makes the
flag change separate from the other changes to the constitution. Also the
allowed campaign period regarding the referendum.
- August 5th: The vote. It was started at 0700 and ended at 1900. Turnout
more in rural areas than major cities and was also boycotted by different
groups and political parties.
- August 6th: The results of the flag vote, among others, was released by
http://fr.ami.mr/Depeche-41752.html. The official vote count was 85.61%
yes, 9.99% no and 4.4% neutral (682,247 valid ballots out of 1389092
possible voters, so 53.75% participation; 746655 ballots cast with 64,408
declared invalid). A breakdown by region is found at
- October 10th: Parliament of Mauritania adopted Bill 136/17 to change the
flag. See for more information:
- AMI article says the flag will be raised for the first time on the
anniversary of independence - presumably, 28 November.
Zachary Harden, 14 March 2017, 7 August 2017; Jos Poels, 17
October 2017; Jonathan Dixon, 17 October 2017
Visual Storm Warning Signals
According to the WMO pages Mauritania uses the international system for
Visual Storm Warning Signals, see more on Weather Flags
Jan Mertens, 24 February 2008