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Republic of Rwanda, République Rwandaise / Repubulika y'u Rwanda

Last modified: 2018-08-02 by bruce berry
Keywords: rwanda | sun |
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[Variant] 2:3~  image by Zachray Harden, 08 March 2010 - click here for an animated image
Flag adopted 25 October 2001

Other Rwandan pages: See also:

Description of the flag

The website of the Prime Minister of Rwanda has the law (documented in French, Swahili and English) with details of the Rwanda flag and state emblem.,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,85\

The colour specifications are a mixture of RAL and Pantone. Article 6 (pg 30 and 31) lists the colors as the following:

Pantone 299 C 2X (blue)
RAL 6029 (green)
RAL 1023 (yellow)
RAL 1003 (golden yellow).

The attached construction sheet (page 42 and 43) shows the sun (and rays) bigger, than what is described in the text. The diameter of the sun is listed as 0.125 of the width of the flag. So, taking the Wikipedia image (400x600 pixels), the sun is now 75 pixels in size. That makes the sun very, very small and makes no sense to me.
Zachary Harden, 08 March 2010

The diameter indicated under the construction image is mistyped. It should be 0.215 instead of 0.125.  If you count proportions of size from text, the result is 0.215 in all cases.  So, I prefer to follow the size values written in text and construction image where the star is really bigger.
Zoltan Horvath, 08 March 2010

The Album 2000  shows the new flag adopted in 2001:
The tricolor flag of blue over yellow over green, blue being the double width of each of the other two, with a golden-yellow 24-pointed sun in the upper fly corner.
The two shades of yellow on the yellow stripe and golden-yellow sun are confirmed in use, as well as the lighter shade of blue. 
Željko Heimer, 31 Dec 2002

From the Rwandan Embassy in Paris:
The new flag of the Rwandan republic is composed of three colours: green, yellow and blue.
The green colour symbolizes the hope of prosperity thanks to rational exploitation of the force of Rwandan people and the resources of the country.
The yellow colour symbolizes the economic development. The Rwandan people must settle to work so as to reach durable economic development.
The blue colour symbolizes happiness and peace. The Rwandan people must fight for peace which will bring them to durable economic development and happiness.
The sun and its rays of golden color: It symbolizes the light which enlightens gradually all the people. This translates the unity, transparency and fight against ignorance.
The new flag was designed by Alphonse Kirimobenecyo, a Rwandan artist and engineer.
Armand du Payrat, 03 Jan 2002

The new flag and anthem of the Rwandan Republic has been launched today (on 31 December 2001).
The flag corresponds roughly to the previous reports - blue-green and rising sun. However, the blue and green fields are separated by a yellow stripe and the sun is not rising. The flag has three horizontal stripes, blue, yellow and green (2:1:1). In the upper fly (!) there is a yellow sun with ca. 24 rays.
The image of the flag seems to have 1:2 ratio but the sun is a little bit horizontally elliptical - so I guess the image is somewhat distorted, elongated horizontally, so that the sun should in fact be circular and the flag ratio ~2:3.
Jan Zrzavy, 31 Dec 2001

Rwanda flag is  in proportion of 2:3.
Pantones are:
Blue 3005c
Green 3415c
Yellow 109c
Sun yellow 130 c
(Note - two yellow shades!)
Source: SAVA Newsletter, quoting the official flag law of Rwanda.
Jaume Ollé, 18 Jun 2002

There is no doubt - the ratio of 6:13 was, as far as I know, a mistake by the Rwandan Embassy in Paris. The proportions are officially 2:3 according to Chapter One, Article 4 of an Act dated 25 October 2001 (amending Article 7 of the Constitution adopted 10 June 1991), and published in a Special Edition of the Official Gazette on 31 December 2001.  The construction diagram therein contained shows that the sun is not centrally located between the top of the flag and the base on the stripe. it gives a size for the outer rays and inner disk of the sun, and its exact position on the flag.  It also, as does every other Official source, show the sun with its top ray upright and not offset, but does not give a width for the blue ring around the central disk.
Christopher Southworth, 31 Mar 2004

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual, London, 2012 [bib-lna.html]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each National Olympic Committee was sent an image of their flag, including the PMS shades, by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for their approval. Once this was obtained, the LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specifications may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the National Olympic Committee believed their flag to be.

For Rwanda : PMS 3005 blue, 109 yellow, 3415 green, 130 gold. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 Oct 2012

Events leading to the adoption of the new flag

A news item posted on the web site of the Rwandan parliament states that parliament has amended the constitution and adopted a law on the national flag on 25 October 2001. The news item is quoted in full below:

NEWS - 25 October 2001

"Amendment of the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Rwanda and provisions of the bill on the National Flag

Parliamentarians voted on Thursday the amendment of the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Rwanda. They also voted provisions of the bill on the National Flag.

While on amendment of the Fundamental Law, the first, second and third paragraph of article three of the June 10, 1991 Constitution were modified as follows:

The National Flag is made of three colors : green, yellow and blue. These colours are arranged in ascending order starting with green then yellow and finally blue colors. Both green and yellow colors cover half the whole flag. The other half, the upper side of the flag, is painted blue on which sun and its rays are designed.

a) From the right hand side, there is a golden yellow color.

b) The motto of the Republic of Rwanda is "Unity, Work and Patriotism".

c) The Seal of the Republic of Rwanda is made of a green circle, which from a rope in green, makes a knot on the lower side. On the upper side are read imprints: REPUBLIC OF RWANDA; beneath the knot are found the imprints showing the motto of the Republic: Unity, Work and Patriotism. These imprints are written in black on a yellow background color.

This Seal also includes the sun and its rays, sorghum, plant and coffee tree, basket, blue-cogged wheel and two shields one on the right and the other on the left".

Source: This website.
Jan Oskar Engene, 26 Oct 2001

I found a news reports from AFP and basically containing the same information concerning a development in the Rwandan flag change process. Nothing seems to be finally decided yet, but the reports are nevertheless interesting in my opinion.

From this newspage:

"NEWS IN BRIEF", Wednesday August 29, 2001

THE Rwandan government has  unveiled plans for a new flag, new national anthem and new emblem,  the pro government newspaper New Times has revealed. The new  flag will be yellow, green and blue, the newspaper said on Monday,  quoting Joseph Nsengimana, an advisor to President Paul Kagame.  Rwanda's current flag is red, yellow and green. Nsengimana said the yellow would symbolize economic growth, green would represent prosperity and blue  would depict good fortune and  optimism. The new national emblem would be composed of  several symbols, including a green ring illustrating Rwandan unity and two shields representing patriotism. The lyrics for the new national anthem have been composed by prisoners in the southern town of Butare.

Rwandans have long held that the flag should be replaced as the colour red is associated with bloodshed that has characterized the country since independence, culminating in the 1994 genocide in which between 500 000 and 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists.
Jan Oskar Engene, 16 Oct 2001

Today I have received an answer from a visitor. (My translation:)
"About the change of the flag of Rwanda, it is true that there will be a change of the Rwandese national anthem and national flag, we are awaiting these changes maybe for the end of this year. If you want I'll keep you informed of these changes as soon as I know them"
Pascal Gross, 7 Dec 2001

The special convention of the ruling Patriotic Front of Rwanda (December 23-24, 2001) has re-elected President Paul Kagame its Chairman, elected Christophe Bazimavo a new vice-chairman, and officially announced that new emblem, flag, and anthem would be launched on December 31, 2001.
Jan Zrzavy, 27 Dec 2001

On the Rwandan national flag, the discussion which took place at the time the new flag was emerging about its exact ratio, colours and arrangement of the sun: Firstly, I wonder whether there is much point in keeping this here when the flag is now well known and established.

Wandering around the Rwandan government websites got me to the Constitution, which says the following about the flag:

"Article 6

"The national symbols of Rwanda are the flag, the motto, the seal and the national anthem.

"The national flag is made up of three colours : green, yellow and blue.

"The flag comprises the following colours from the bottom to the top : a green strip, followed by a yellow strip both of which cover half the flag.
The upper half is blue and bears on its right hand side the image of the sun with its rays of golden yellow. The sun and its rays are separated by a blue ring.

"The law determines the characteristics, significance, usage and ceremonials of the national flag."
André Coutanche, 07 Feb 2007

Flag sash

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung of 14 Apr 2005, p. 3 contains a lengthy article about the Gacaca tribunals in Rwanda, that have been installed for judging on the genocide of 1994. One photo shows the lay judges wearing a sash in form of the Rwandan national flag, with the inscription "INYANGAMUGAYO" (obviously the designation of these lay judges in the local language Kinyarwanda).
Marcus E.V. Schmöger, 14 Apr 2005

Rwanda police flag

[Rwanda police flag] from this site, reported by Dov Gutterman, 16 Jul 2005.

I'm afraid I am suspicious of the flag shown above since it consists of a badge on a square (and bezelled) button. Visiting the Police website
now only shows the badge and I can't find a flag at all. Dov, have you got evidence that it was an actual flag?
André Coutanche, 07 Feb 2007

Brief information on the *preceding* police and gendarmerie emblems/flags can be found in Drapeaux et Insignes de Police et de Gendarmerie by Michel Lupant (volume 2, mars 1995; 162 pages, 300 dessins) (Police and Gendarmerie Flags and Insignia Vol. 2, March 1995, 162 p., 300 ill.) Self-

Pages 149-150 mention and show:
Police shield: blue; eagle, bow, arrows (and name, jm) white; national flag in colour: b/w fig. 265 in Michel's book on p. 150 but also seen here, second in second row:

"Police Nationale" meaning, of course, National Police. No flag is mentioned, but a sort of flag presence nevertheless.

Gendarmerie flag: national flag with the Gendarmerie shield in place of the black 'R'. Described pp. 149-150 and shown as fig. 266 on p. 150 comprising shield and flag.

No picture to be found on the net, alas. Basically, clasped hands in gold and also green twigs appeared on a shield of burgundy. On scrolls were written the words 'REPUBLIQUE RWANDAISE' (draped over top of shield) and 'GENDARMERIE NATIONALE' (in base of shield, these words separated
by a tiny national flag).

As to the current situation, Dov's dove is there - at least on the shield. At there is no information on symbols (or the continued existence of gendarmerie) though.
Jan Mertens, 07 Feb 2007