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Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Muritaniya, Al-Jumhuriyah Al-Islamiyah Al-Muritaniyah, Mauritanie

Last modified: 2022-02-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: mauritania | africa | pan-african | crescent | star: 5 |
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[Mauritania] [National flag and ensign] 2:3 by Zachary Harden, 24 January 2018

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The Flag of Mauritania

La 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.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 11 March 2017

According to, 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

The specification for the flag (provided by Embassy of Mauritania in Tokyo, Japan) gives the hoist as a 20/60/20 for the red/green/red areas. In the green section, the crescent and star take 67% percent of that space (20/10/40/10/20 according to the sheet). The other interesting thing is that the tip of the crescent horns end where the star arms meet at their outermost points. The flag maintains the 2x3 overall ratio.

There are also assigned colors; green is Pantone 354 Uncoated, Yellow as Pantone Yellow 012 Coated and Red as 18.1664. I believe the red shade is an error as Pantone does not have partial values; my guess is 186 Coated.
Zachary Harden, 24 January 2018

The elongated crescent matches the first flag photos I sent in my previous email. Also, I was messaged by FOTW member Kazutaka Nishiura and was informed that PANTONE 18-1664 is indeed a real shade, listed as Fiery Red. However, they did not specify if it is TCX or TPG but the document originally sent to me matches more.
Zachary Harden, 24 January 2018

This red shade is comparable with US and UK flags red for all the practical purposes, so our approximation to Pantone 186C should work well if the "exotic" Pantone colours are not available.
Željko Heimer, 25 January 2018

Timeline for the Introduction of the 2017 Flag

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 August 5th.
  • July 21st to August 4th: CENI put up the ballot question online at 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 CENI at 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
  • August 24th: The Bill to change the Mauritanian flag was approved on 24 August 2017 by the Council of Ministers, as Projet de loi n°136/17, portant description du drapeau de la République Islamique de Mauritanie. It was first discussed by a parliamentary commission on 5 October 2017 ( A day before several news agencies in and around Mauritania published the text. One held also a photograph of a part of the Bill: With the help of Google Translate is says:
    “Article 1: The national symbol of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a flag bearing a crescent moon and a golden star on a green background, on either side of which is a red rectangular strip.
    Article 2: The smallest measurement of science equals two-thirds of the largest measure.
    The crescent and the star are located in the centre of the flag so that the crescent is bent downward, and the five-pointed star is horizontally located on the sides of the crescent.
    The two rectangular bars are located on either side of the upper and lower flag.
    In violation of the provisions of the first paragraph of this article, measurements of banners and emblems of armed forces and security forces shall be in square form.
    Article 3: The decree of the national flag model and the different categories and uses of flags shall be determined.
    Article 4: All previous provisions of the law shall be repealed.”
  • October 12th: 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.
  • November 28th, 2017: In the southern city of Kaedi, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was present at a ceremony to officially hoist the new national flag, to the new national anthem. This coincided with the 57th anniversary of independence.
  • January 23rd, 2018: The Embassy of Mauritania in Tokyo, Japan, released a specification to Nozomi Kariyasu.
  • May 2020: The government published, the graphic design manual. At is a very detailed specification of the national flag ( usage guidelines, along with specifications of the national emblem.

Zachary Harden, 14 March 2017, 7 August 2017; Jos Poels, 17 October 2017; Jonathan Dixon, 17 October 2017, 24 January 2018, Zachary Harden, 2 November 2020

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