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Rotary International

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: rotary international | international organization | banneret |
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[Flag of Rotary International] by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

[Flag of Rotary International] by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

Image based on a flag flown outside a Copenhagen hotel one morning in 1998, and in Oulu, Finland, in 2001.
Ole Andersen, Ossi Raivio 10,11 July 2001

See also:

Origin of the Flag

The homepage of a local section of Rotary International includes information (in French) on the Rotary flag (original source: Rotary Press Center):

Rotary International officially adopted its flag during the 1992 Congress in Dallas (Texas).

The flag is made of a white field with the official wheel emblem in the middle. The four parts of the wheel rim are royal blue. The words ROTARY and INTERNATIONAL, in gold, are placed in the upper and lower parts of the rim, respectively. The wheel hub and cotter pin slot are white.

The first official flag of Rotary is said to have been displayed in Kansas City (Missouri) in January 1915. In 1922, admiral Richard Byrd, member of the Winchester Rotary Club, brought a small flag in his expedition to the South Pole. He did the same in 1926 when he went to the North Pole.

Some Rotary Clubs use the official flag as club pennant during their meetings. In such instances, it is allowed to add above the wheel ROTARY CLUB and below it the city, state or country name. The official flag is permanently displayed in the seat of Rotary and during congresses and official events sponsored by Rotary International.

The image shown on this page matches the official description but has a yellow border all around not mentioned above. Unfortunately, the site mentioned above does not show the flag.
Ivan Sache, 10 July 2001

Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris on 23 February 1905, renamed Rotary International Association in 1913, and eventually Rotary International in 1926. Rotary International has today more than 1.2 million members and 31,500 clubs in 160 countries. It seems that the official flag of the organization is white with the
emblem in the middle, whereas the flag used in practice (at least as seen in Denmark and Finland) has a yellow border.
Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

The women's division of Rotary International, known as the Inner Wheel, the under-40s group, known as the Round Table, and the retired Rotarians, known as
Probus, all have their own distinctive emblems and flags, all incorporating some aspect of the Rotary wheel.
Ron Lahav, 11 April 2005

Development of the Rotary Emblem

The Postal Administration of Luxembourg has released on 15 March 2005 a stamp (0.50 euro) commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rotary International. The leaflet Philatélux (2/2005) presenting the new stamps shows a detailed picture of the emblem and gives the historical background I have summarized above. It also shows the evolution of the emblem of the organization with time (in black and white only, therefore I will not discuss in detail the colour of the emblem):

1906 : The emblem is a barrow wheel with twelve rays

[Emblem of Rotary International] by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

1910 : The wheel is much thinner and there is a scroll overlapping its lower part, with the writing ROTARY CLUBS

[Emblem of Rotary International] by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

1913 : The wheel has now only eight rays and 19 "smooth" cogs; the rim is of a different colour (probably blue) with the writing ROTARY INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

[Emblem of Rotary International] by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

- 1926: The current emblem is adopted.

Rotary International is said to have used a flag since January 1915, therefore there was probably a change in the flag in 1926 when the emblem was changed.
Ivan Sache, 10 April 2005

Triband flag with different reverse

[Flag of Rotary International] by Luc Baronian

[Flag of Rotary International] by Rob Raeside

Seen in association with a Rotary conference at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, a blue-white-blue horizontal triband, with the Rotary emblem on it. During the two days I was there the wind was consistently blowing from one direction, and I got a very good look at this back of the flag, from which I drew the above image. A few days later Luc Baronian checked it out again - the front has the dark blue + yellow wheel with ROTARY INTERNATIONAL spelled out.
Rob Raeside, 10 February 2005

Some examples of local club bannerets

Gonfalone of the Rotary Club of Tirana, Albania

[Flag of Rotary Club, Tirana] from Vladimir Pulaj, 16 August 2007

The Flag of the Rotary Club of Tirana has been designed by an Albanian designer and was presented officially on the Club's Constitutional Day - 11 May, 1992.
Vladimir Pulaj, 16 August 2007

Rotary Club of Antigua, Guatemala

[Flag of Rotary Antigua, Guatemala] located by Gordon White, 13 December 2004

Rotary Club of Cotonou, Benin

[Flag of Rotary Cotonou, Benin] located by Gordon White, 13 December 2004.

Rotary Club of Kensington, UK

[Flag of Rotary Kensington, UK] located by Gordon White, 13 December 2004.

Rotary Club of Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic

[Flag of Rotary Czech Republic] located by Gordon White, 13 December 2004.