Last modified: 2014-06-14 by ivan sache
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Flag proposed by ARV - Image by Mark Sensen, 28 March 2003
The above image shows the flag selected by the jury I have presided in Reunion on 1 March 2003. Today the deisgner of the winning proposal, Guy Pignolet, an engineer at CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales), from Sainte-Rose, visited me and we have defined the size and colours. Now the Reunion Vexillological Association has to develop the idea of a flag for the region.
The symbolics of the colours is the following:
Le rouge pour le volcan et la force,
le bleu pour le ciel et la douceur, le
jaune pour le soleil et la clarté. (French)
Lo rouz, sa po volkan ék kouraz, lo blé po lo syél ék lo dou, lo zone po lo solêy ansanm la limyêr. (Creole)
Red for the volcano and strength, blue for the sky and sweetness, yellow for the sun and clearness. (English)
The geometrical specifications for the flag are:
Flag construction sheet - Image by Mark Sensen, 28 March 2003
The colours specifications are:
- Red: Pantone 032 / CMYK 0-100-100-0;
- Blue: Pantone Process Blue; CMYK 80-60-0-0;
- Yellow: Pantone Process Yellow; CMYK 0-0-100-0.
Michel Lupant, 28 March 2003
The contest, organized by Association réunionaise
de vexillologie (ARV), presided by Vincent Défaud,
was closed on 31 January 2003 and had been launched one year
earlier. Proposals in format A4 or A5 could be made on any kind of support.
Some of the rules of the contest were:
- the proposal shall not be identical to an existing national flag;
- logos and writings shall not appear on the proposal;
- a banner of arms is allowed;
- the darkest stripe shall be placed on the bottom of the flag if the flag is horizontally divided;
- the darkest stripe shall be placed along the hoist of the flag if the flag is vertically divided;
- a monochromous field with arms or a local symbol is allowed;
- the colours shall be constrasted in any case.
According to ARV, the new flag shall not have any political or ethnical meaning but shall represent all the islanders.
On 28 April 2003, a jury made of 30 inhabitants of the island without political position, and presided by Michel Lupant, President of the FIAV, elected the best proposal.
Source: Clicanoo (article no longer online), 11 January 2003
Ivan Sache, 28 January 2003
Flag proposed by APDR - Image by Sani Ringayen, 17 August 1998
Till now we had some independentist flags but they have been remained marginal. We have created officialy in 1990 a non-political organization called Shankara Yuva Kendra, renamed Shri Anjaneya Sabha in 1996, and called now Association pour le Drapeau de la Réunion [APDR, Association for the Reunion flag].
Our aim is to promote the use of Reunion flag among the islanders
mainly. Beside the French colours:
- the blue colour symbolises the islanders of European origin, the Christian religion and the sea;
- the golden yellow colour represents the islanders of Indian origin, Hinduism and the sun;
- the red colour indicates the islanders of Chinese origin, their traditions and the volcano;
- the green colour symbolises the islanders of African origin, Islam and nature. All the islanders are living here in harmony, peace and tolerance symbolized by the white circle.
The Corsicans, the Breton people, etc., who come to be established
on the Island, brought with them their flags and do not hesitate to
travel with them, then "Reunionnais" decided to create an association
for the flag of La Réunion where all the communities would
find themselves represented. It is obvious that the politicians of right-hand side mainly do not see with a good eye the creation of our flag because they associate flag and independence. Our flag is not official yet but it will certainly be officialized on next 20 December, public holiday
here since 1981, commemorating the abolition of slavery. Even our
local dance, maloya, was forbidden in the past, even the
practice of another religion than Roman Catholicism was prohibited, even
the Creole language was not recognized. All that is over and we are
sure that our flag, which does not reject France, will be recognized.
For the moment, it develops in the towns and cultural
The flag was adopted by our association on 20 December 1996 and we do a basic work so that it will be accepted officially and hoisted beside the French and European colors.
Sani Ringayen (President of the APDR), 17 August 1998
Quoting an article from the local press (dated 4 September 1998) :
Creation of a flag for Reunion - Jean-Paul Virapoullé says "no"
In a message to the Mayor of Saint-André, the Association pour le Drapeau Réunionnais, housed 17, rue Patrice Lumumba in Le Port informs of the creation of a flag with colours blue-yellow-green-red-white to represent Réunion, "just like Brittany and Corsica have their". The association stipulates they have no political goal but that they regroup people that need a "strong symbol" to "really" represent the island.
"We are not against anybody but want to really exist, whatever the status of the island", the association indicates. The colours of the Reunion flag - with a white circle in the center - symbolize the different components of the population but also the link to France. In its message, the association explains that their flag will be visible everywhere on the island.
"This is for us a way of celebrating the 150th anniversary of [the abolishment of] slavery". They ask the Mayor of Saint-André to "reserve the best welcome" to this flag, to "not hesitate to raise it with pride but without arrogance", to "have it freely circulated", to "manufacture" it when sold out.
The answer of Jean-Paul Virapoullé is clear:
"I am firmly opposed to the existence of a flag for Reunion. Your enterprise does not have my approval". In his answer, he indicates that "this banner is a symbol of the adhesion to the autonomist cause". He affirms that one should show oneself to be proud of the Tricolore flag that has gone around the world with the name, the glory and the liberty of the Motherland.
He also announced that he will oppose to the presence of the Reunion flag in the official celebrations at Saint-André.
Herman de Waël, 18 October 1998
The Reunion flag was used by demonstrating students last week in Saint-Denis, the capital of the island. It is worn now by hundreds of people (locals and tourists) on t-shirts. Hundreds of flags will be used on 20 December, our "National Day" of Slavery Abolition. On the same period, it will be flown officially in Nantes (France) during the inauguration of a monument dedicated to the slaves.
Sani Ringayen, 2 November 1998
Flag proposed by LPLP - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 September 2009
LPLP (Lorganizasion Popilèr po Libèr nout Péi, Popular Front for National Liberation) hold its inaugurating press conference on 6 July 2006. The party is a large front of independentist organizations, including Parti Indépendantiste Nasion rénioné (Independentist Party Reunion Nation), Mouvman antikolonialis rénioné (MAR, Anti-colonialist Reunion movement), Patriot rénioné (Reunion Patriot), Drapo rouz (Red Flag), and former members of Mouvman pou lindépandans Larénion (MIR, Movement for the Independence of Reunion).
LPLP fights for "a true decolonization of Reunion". Claiming the
Reunion still lives in a "neo-colonialist situation", LPLP will ask
the UN to list again Reunion among the countries to be decolonized.
The African Union still maintains Reunion on the list of "countries
and territories under foreign occupation".
On 26 June 2009, President Nicolas Sarkozy said that, as long as he would be President, "the question of independence of Reunion, that is of separation from France, will not be raised".
Bernard Grondin, the spokesman of LPLP, answered that "the only owners of our lands are our peoples".
The flag created by LPLP on 14 June 2008 for independent Reunion is horizontally divided red-yellow-green (2:1:1) with a yellow star in canton. Bernard Grondin explains on Zinfos974 the flag as follows:
Green symbolizes marronage, the marrons being the slaves who escaped and founded independent communities in the central mountains of the island; yellow symbolizes the working class; red symbolizes the period of slavery and engagisme (appointment of indentured servants).
According to the Fighting Peoples' Forum, LPLP will ask the local authorities to fly the flag of Reunion on all public buildings (with, of course, little chance of success, since the only official flag on the island is the French national flag).
Ivan Sache & Ilmãrs Bite, 23 September 2009
Proposal of cultural flag - Image by António Martins, 4 January 1999
The Reunion cultural flag came to light in the aftermath of
strong request from Reunion culture militants, some of them belonging
to associations whose statutes mention that Reunion culture should
be taken into account.
On the initiative of the Mouvement Entente et Coup de Main [Understanding and Helping hand Movement], a survey was made among culture militants and general public.
From February 1995 to February 1997, colours clearly symbolical of the parameters of Reunione culture were defined:
- the red colour symbolizes the volcanic origin of the Reunion as well as the struggle of culture militants for freedom;
- the yellow colour symbolizes the sun;
- the black colour symbolizes the part of history related to slave ancestors and enslaving colonialist France in those times on the Reunion soil;
- the blue colour symbolizes the sky and the Indian Ocean;
- the green colour symbolizes the Reunion vegetation.
The blend of colours symbolizes the Reunionese rainbow of diversity within unity.
Just as the Bretons, the Corsicans, the Basques, the Occitans, the Reunion islanders have a specific cultural identity of their own. Each entity has its own representations. The symbolical aim of the Reunion cultural flag is to represent the expression of the Reunion cultural identity. Therefore in cultural meetings, every islander can fly his colours without arrogance and with dignity.
Translated by Thanh-Tâm Lê, 4 January 1999