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Subnational flags of Morocco

Last modified: 2024-02-17 by rob raeside
Keywords: shield: pentagonal | coat of arms | banner of arms | schwenkel | tongue | chief: national flag | star: 5 points (green) | pentagram |
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* Editorial note: Since the Moroccan government considers Western Sahara as a part of its own territory, it has included it in its administrative divisions’ structure, wich we reflect on this page and on those linked to it. This does not necessarily imply any partiality on the territorial issue in question, as also doesn’t the existence of our page about the flags of sahrawi independentists and RASD.

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Overview of Moroccan territorial subdivisions

Jens Pattke, 24 Jun 2001 and 28 Jun 2001

Here is an update on the Moroccan administrative divisions, based on the Dahir cherifien (Royal decree) bearing law #1.74.688 from 3 April 1975:

Morocco is divided into 16 regions, themselves divided into provinces. Let us take as example for the lower divisions the province of Tiznit, part of the region of Sous-Massa-Draa. The province of Tiznit is divided into the five circles of Sidi Ifni, Tafraout, Anezi, Lakhssais and Tiznit. The lower level is made of 14 kaidates, divided into 4 pashaliks (Tiznit, Sidi Ifni, Lakhssais and Tafraout) and 40 rural municipalities. (Map available on line)

In Northern Africa, a kaid (from Arabic "al-qa’id | ال قعيد", the leader) was a civil servant with extended duties in justice, administration and police. In the Ottoman Empire, a pasha (a Turkish word) was a province governor. The matching administrative division, a pashalik, was also called a sandjak (that is, literally, a banner).

Ivan Sache, 31 Oct 2004

Overview of Moroccan local flags

I spent in September one week in the south of Morocco. As I had reported it during my first visit in Marrakesh some ten years ago, I have not been able to see any other [territorial] flag than the national flag of Morocco. Several bodies (municipalities, police, army) have coat of arms displayed on shields, entrance gates etc., but apparently not used on flags of any kind.
Ivan Sache, 31 Oct 2004

Moroccan Provincial Arms and Flags 1976-1997

In 1976, an administrative reform in Morocco was carried out with the annexation of the Western Sahara* (November 1975). These new provinces stocked flags with horizontal stripes and a pentagonal shield of the coats of arms. Some coats of arms have become unchanged. Other coats of arms were modified or were new created. They were valid until 1997.
Jens Pattke, 29 Jun 2001

The images of the flags of this former provinces are shown in Flaggenmitteilungen 131 [fml].
Falko Schmidt, 29 Jan 2001

I have the following flags of Moroccan provinces and municipalities (the old ones: 37 provinces, 5 municipalities):

Dirk Schoenberger, 11 Jan 1999

Looking at the flags it is hard not to notice the strange pentagonal sheld of the coats of arms. Is there any explanation / tradition / story to tell? One idea would be the “imitation” of the Solomon’s seal — the pentagon of the national flag.
Željko Heimer, 14 Jan 1999

Why is it that many coats of arms in these flags do not match the coats of arms of the wilayas as shown in the Moroccan government website? Maybe these latter are still the old Spanish/French coats of arms? Certainly many of these have Spanish heraldic features, like bordures with charges, pomegranates etc.
Santiago Dotor, 21 Jan 1999

Moroccan Provincial Arms and Flags 1968-1976

flag design template image by Jens Pattke, 01 Jun 2005

On 3 March 1968 H.M. King Hassan II of Morocco established coats of arms for the provinces of that country. The design include some traditional emblems but are for the most part modern creations. A few are related to the arms of the principle city of the province. The provincial flags are of a uniform pattern. Each is square with the arms of the province surmounted by a red schwenkel bearing a green pentagram, representing the national flag.

Jens Pattke, 13 Jun 2001

Incidentally means Falko Schmidt, the reform of the administrative structure was not in the year 1976 but only in the year 1983. The means, the flags were used longer?
Jens Pattke, 28 Jun 2001

Moroccan Regions (since 2015)

Since 2015, Morocco officially administers 12 regions, including one (Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab) that lies completely within the disputed territory of Western Sahara and two (Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra and Guelmim-Oued Noun) that lie partially within it. The regions are subdivided into a total of 75 second-level administrative divisions, which are prefectures and provinces.

Municipal arms and flags

flag design template image by Jens Pattke, 01 Jun 2005

At the beginning of the 1960ies, the Royal Heraldic Office of Morocco established coats of arms for the cities of the kingdom. The design includes some traditional emblems but are for the most part modern creations. The muncipial flags are of a uniform pattern. Each is square with the arms of the muncipality (without surmounted schwenkel).

(Source: [m9a70])
Jens Pattke, 29 Jun 2001

The municipal flags reported in use in the early 1960s were/are banners of arms, which mostely include an identical chief: gules a moroccan royal crown — golden, closed, four visible stems,green bonnet, topped by silver pentagram. This design is common for all reported municipal flags, except for Tanger, which doesn’t include the crown on red at all, and Casablanca, which though includes the royal crown in roughly the same place and size, also on red.
António Martins, 01 Jun 2005

The actual coat-of-arms is on a pentagonal shield. The complete coat-of-arms exists with postament, crest, supporter and motto. The flags are the shape of the shield on quadratic cloth (Armorial Banner).
Jens Pattke, 04 Jul 2001