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Pakistan: Presidential Flag

Last modified: 2019-05-04 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | president | crescent: points to hoist | wreath: olive leaves |
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[Presidential Flag of Pakistan] image by Željko Heimer, 30 August 2008

Image drawn using inscription from

See also:


There is some doubt as to the orientation of the crescent and star of this flag:

I observed two flags fly atop the Presidency in Islamabad, the national flag and this version of the presidential flag by Calvin Paige Herring, the national flag to the right. I also saw the presidential flag on President Musharraf's car, the same as on the Presidency building, and can confirm that the crescent opens toward the upper fly.
Joe McMillan, 12 January 2003

If I understand correctly, according Armand du Payrat, the presidential flag of Pakistan is solid green with emblem in gold in the center I have a photo posted by J.L. Cepero, and I believe that he is right in the gold color. The crescent points to the fly. At the hoist is a white band like the one in national flag (Armand reports it as variant).
Jaume Ollé, 3 February 2003

The presidential flag of Pakistan has recently changed, it has now the crescent towards the upper fly and a white stripe at the hoist.
Armand du Payrat, 4 February 2003

[Presidential Flag of Pakistan] by Arfan Hashmi

Ultimate Pocket Book (1997, p.197) shows a flag similar to the national flag with the yellow emblem, but with the crescent and star mirrored (crescent facing the hoist), and labels it "the President's flag".
Ivan Sache 27 June 1999

Flag of the President, with the crescent and star facing the hoist, as with all flags, other than the national flag, the crescent and star faces the canton.
Arfan Hashmi, 27 May 2005

Old Flag

[Presidential Flag] by Joe McMillan

The presidential flag was solid green with a device [a star and crescent surrounded by olive branches with the name Pakistan at the bottom] centered in gold.
Source: Album des Pavillons (2000)
Joe McMillan, 19 February 2001

This version was confirmed in:

  • a letter dated 15 Mar 1999 from Ambafrance Islamabad
  • a letter dated 5 Feb 1999 from naval attaché of Pakistan in Paris
  • a letter dated 04 Sep 1989 from President's officer on special duty to the Flag Institute (variant with white strip at the hoist)

Armand Noel du Payrat, 22 February 2001

Since the state name is written in Arabic letters, there should be a small gap exactly in the top of the "horns" since both alifs shouldn't be connected with the preceding letter.
Dov Gutterman, 25 February 2001

I do not know what is acceptable when 'stylising' Arabic/Urdu writing, that is why I asked - but I have seen examples where 'Pakistan' has been made to look more symmetrical for a design. Also, in World Cup Cricket, the symbol on Pakistan's cricket emblem (I don't know what it is) had dots added to it to make it look like a (very) stylised version of the word 'Pakistan' - not that dissimilar to that on the presidential flag image. This might be more a case of an existing symbol being modified rather that the writing being stylised, but it may be relevant.
Jonathan Dixon, March 2000

Another point is where the crescent in the device should point to the fly-top or towards the hoist-top. Smith (1975b), Pedersen (1980) and Smith (1981d) (Dutch Ed.) all have it pointing to the fly-top, but Crampton (1990) has the crescent pointing to the hoist-top, saying "the crescent and star face upward and to the hoist, as on the national arms."  It is possible that someone assumed that the crescent should point into the same direction as the crescent on the national flag and that others duplicated that error - but Crampton doesn't point at that.
Jarig Bakker, 15 Dec 1999

And yet one more point under doubt is whether the star is upright (as in Barraclough, 1981) or pointing in the same direction as the crescent (as in Crampton, 1990).
Santiago Dotor, 16 Dec 1999

The confusion over which way the crescent points on the presidential flag (either one) might be to do with earlier confusion about right-left writing and which side is the fly/hoist. Even if it isn't the explanation, it does raise the question of whether the name is reversed on the obverse.
Jonathan Dixon, 06 Mar 2000

History of the Flag

[Old Presidential Flag of Pakistan] by Ivan Sache, using emblem by Calvin Paige Herring

Album des Pavillons (1995, p. 200-201) shows the yellow emblem on a plain dark blue field, described by Jaume Ollé as the old President's flag
Ivan Sache, 27 Jun 1999

According to my sources the presidential flag was adopted on 23 March 1956. Probably in the 1960s the country name in Bengali was added (to the name in Urdu). Was in use until 8 February 1967. At this time it was changed to a national flag pattern but with the same golden emblem as before in the centre of the green part (the half moon pointed to the hoist). The name in the lower part says "Pakistan" and was written in Urdu and Bengali. On 15 August 1973 the Bengali word was removed (source Flagmaster 63). I don't have any news of a re-adoption of the old pattern.
Jaume Ollé, 29 Jun 1999

Barraclough states on the presidential flag:

The President's flag has a royal blue field, nine feet by six feet six inches; superimposed in the centre thereof, in gold, the crescent and star between two olive branches with the word Pakistan, in Pakistani [Urdu] script.
The same flag is in Smith (1975b), (lighter blue); Pedersen (1980) - Moussault's lexicon van vlaggen en wapens - 'Urdu-script', Smith (1981d) (Dutch Ed.), but Crampton, 'The World of Flags', 1990 has a different image: crescent is pointing to the hoist-top:
The President's flag was originally blue with a gold emblem in the centre, consisting of a crescent and star within a wreath of olive leaves, with the name 'Pakistan' below in Urdu. This was altered to a design like the national flag, but with the same emblem in place of the crescent and star on February 1967; the name of the country was also included in Bengali. The Bengali title was removed on 15 August 1973, following the secession of Bangladesh. The crescent and star face upward and to the hoist, as on the national arms.
The curious thing is that in Crampton's reasoning Barraclough (1971) should have the presidential flag with 'Pakistan' in Urdu and Bengali, but it is only in Urdu there - that is the post-1973 flag; it seems doubtful that there ever was an 'Urdu and Bengali' presidential flag.
Jarig Bakker, 15 Dec 1999

I saw somewhere an account of a Pakistani naval officer's conversation with Marshal Ayub Khan in the 1960s in which Ayub mentioned that the presidential flag was being changed at the time. I'll find my notes, but there's no description of what the change was. Possibly from blue to green--I think the timing of that would fit.
Joe McMillan, 4 February 2003

A picture of an indoor flag from 2008 at shows such a flag.

However, more recent pictures in similar contexts show the crescent pointing to the hoist again.
In 2011:
In 2014:
In 2015:
In 2018:,
and in 2019:,
Jonathan Dixon, 5 April 2019

Flag being used by President, January 2002

[Old Presidential Flag of Pakistan]

On the main page of the New York Times' web site today there is a picture of the president of Pakistan. Behind him, to his left, is a flag that appears to be the President's flag. I am sending a drawing of this flag. It appears to be very dark green with a light gold crescent/star. There appears to be no white bar along the hoist, and the flag seems rather square.
Edward Mooney, Jr., 12 January 2002