This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website


Republiek Suriname, Republic of Suriname

Last modified: 2024-04-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: suriname | star | ethnic group | america | guyana | dutch guyana.south america |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

(2:3) image by Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

Official Name: Republic of Suriname (Republiek Suriname)
Previous Names: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
Flag adopted: 25 November 1975

See also:


The unity of all ethnical groups is represented by one star. The colour (yellow/gold) of the star stands for a golden future. The red stripe stands for progress and love, the green for hope and fertility, and white for peace and justice.
Mark Sensen, 2 March 1996

In 1667 according to the Treaty of Breda, New Amsterdam (modern New York) was exchanged for Suriname, which was conquered by the Zeeland navy. In 1682 it was handed over to the GWC (Dutch West India Company). On 21 May 1683 the 'Societeit van Suriname' ('Society of Suriname') was established, in which the GWC, the City of Amsterdam and Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck participated. The first known arms of Suriname can be found of seals from around 1684. It consisted of the arms of the City of Amsterdam, the GWC (a three-master), and the Family of Van Aerssen, together with two S'es, an Indian shooting an arrow, the motto 'Justitia Pietas Fides', and two Indians as supporters. In 1770 the shares of the Van Aerssen family were taken over by the City of Amsterdam, so the arms of Van Aerssen were dropped. In 1795 the 'Society of Suriname' is liquidated, and the colony is governed by the 'Raad der Colonien' ('Council of Colonies'). New arms are adopted, consisting of the three-master, flying a (Dutch) flag with 'R.v.S.' for 'Raad van Suriname' ('Council of Suriname'). On 1 March 1803 the Batavian Republic abolished all previous adopted arms, and the Dutch arms (a lion of gold with sword and bunch of arrows) with 'Suriname' underneath became the new arms of Suriname. After the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established in 1815, the arms of the kingdom were also valid for the colonies. Nevertheless, the arms with the three-master can be found on bank-notes and headings of gazettes, and also on a (unofficial?) flag.
The modern arms were adopted 15 December 1959, several years after becoming autonomous within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954. When Suriname became independent on 25 November 1975 these arms were slightly revised (the hair of the Indians was changed from blond to black.....).
Sources: "Wapens en Zegels van Suriname", Mr. Johanna Felhoen Kraal, 1950. "Keesings landenvademecum", J. Goedvolk, 1980. [Laa13] and [ped80].
Mark Sensen, 19 April 1999

In 1980 after a coup a national Military Council came into power, headed by Desi Bouterse. The national flag, adopted in 1975, wasn't changed. In 1986 the so-called Jungle Commando, with Ronnie Brunswijk as leader, began to fight the army of the government. After some time they had some parts of East Suriname under control. According to a newspaper report (printed in Vexilla Nostra no. 148, January/February 1987) they used the national flag, but with some colours changed; e.g. the yellow star was changed to black. Unfortunately the other changes aren't mentioned.
Mark Sensen, 2 May 1999

The present flag of Surinam was established by a Decree of the Governor (Johan H. Ferrier) dated 25 November 1975 (abrogating Decree G.B. 1929 No.105 of 8 December 1959) and the appendix gave construction details, official colour specifications and the original symbolism of the flag. It was published in the Government Gazette of Suriname No.160 of 24 November 1975, and here are some extracts from it:
COLORS: The colours of the five horizontal bars are respectively green, white, (bright) red, white and green The green colour consists of nine parts chromate-green and one part white. The (bright) red colour consists of four parts bright orange (vermilion-red) and six parts carmine-red (geranium). The colour of the five-pointed star is yellow. The yellow colour consists of twelve parts chromate-yellow and one part white.
SIZES: The height in proportion to the length is 2:3. The heights of the bars from top to bottom – green, white, red, white, green – are in the proportions of 2-1-4-1-2. The centre of the circle that circumscribes the five-pointed star is situated on the vertical centre line of the flag. The topmost point of the star is also situated on this centre line. The radius of the circle that contains the star is equal to the width of a green bar, or half the width of the (bright) red bar. The distance between the topmost point of the star and the top of the (bright) red bar is equal to the distance between the two lowest points of the star and the lower edge of the (bright) red bar.
SYMBOLISM - The green symbolizes the fertility of Suriname with its multitude in possibilities; at the same time this colour depicts the hopeful expectations, the new Suriname. The white symbolizes justice; it also depicts freedom. The white bars of freedom and justice connect the green of the possibilities of the country with the (bright) red of renewal through the deeds of the nation. In the (bright) red colour, the bright orange (vermilion red), is depicted as the symbol for renewal and the carmine-red depicts the love which leads to deeds. The star symbolizes the unity of the nation and the yellow symbolizes the sacrifices made. The yellow star symbolizes the sacrificing harmony and the direction taken to a golden future. From its light the nation draws its strength to bear the sacrifices patiently and, with confidence in their own ability, to continue to devote themselves to country and nation.
This was translated from the original Dutch by Andre van de Loo and supplied to me by Jos Poels.
Christopher Southworth, 26 January 2003

According to Album 2000 [pay00]: National Flag (CSW/CSW 2:3 (2+1+4+1+2:15)) - Tricolour of five unequally wide stripes green-white-red-white-green with a yellow five-pointed star in the middle. Each of the green stripes is double the width of any of the equally wide white stripes, and red stripe is double the width of any of the green stripes. (This is longishly said: 2+1+4+1+2). The yellow star is inscribed in a circle with diameter 4/10 of hoist, and the star (and not the imaginary circle) is positioned in the middle of the flag (i.e. there is equal distance from the top of the star to the top of the flag as from the bottom two point of the star to the bottom of the flag).
Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

"The flag of Suriname was designed by Jacques Herman Pinas. Minister-President H. Aron held a contest, before independence day in 1975, to design a flag. The Azimullah judging committee selected the J.H. Pinas design.
General characteristics - Shape is rectangular with 5 horizontal bars and a 5 pointed star. Colors - The 5 horizontal bars are from top to bottom: green-white-red-white-green.
The color green is made of 9 parts chromatic-green and one part white. The color red is made of 4 parts vermillion red and 6 parts carmine red. The color yellow is made of 12 parts chromatic yellow and one part white.
Symbolism - Green is a symbol of the fertility of Suriname and its unlimited potential as a country. Green is the symbol of hope for a new Suriname. White is a symbol for justice and freedom. The white bars represent justice and freedom and connect the green bars, representing fertility, potential and hope with the red bar the symbol for Suriname's deeds. This red color was obtained by mixing bright orange (symbol of renewal) with carmine (symbol of love). It symbolizes the never ending urge of a nation to work hard for a renewed citizen and society. The star is the symbol of unity of the nation. Yellow stands for sacrifice. Unity of the nation will lead one day to a golden future. From the light of the star the nation gets its inspiration, its confidence to be able to manage and be self sufficient. The star guides the citizens to sacrifice and to give its best effort to the nation."
Mark Sensen, 17 July 2003

The republic now has a ceremonial flag (official flag of Suriname with fringe around the borders) which is carried by a the armed forces during the independence day , 25th of November. Also the armed forces have their own standard as of 24th November 2003.
Dave Abeleven, 25 November 2003

Construction Sheet

image by Mark Sensen, 26 January 2003

There is only roughly 4.5% (of the diameter of the circle) difference between centring the star between its vertical extremities and the centre point of the circle within which it is created, and in most cases this does not really matter There are, however, exceptions and a good (if extreme) example of what I mean is the star on the flag of Surinam. In the case of Surinam the star itself is centred on the flag, while the imaginary circle in which it is created actually extends below the edge of the red stripe.
Christopher Southworth, 29 May 2004

National Flag at the London 2012 Olympics

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Surinam: PMS 356 green, 186 red, 116 yellow. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

New National Flag?

At this page:
"Is this our new Surinam flag ?
In connection with the celebration of Suriname Day the rice district has been decorated magnificently. Nw. Nickerie has become the city of splendour. The buildings and the streets are decorated elegantly, each in its own unique way. The many streets have been decorated beautifully, to which end the Surinam flag was used as decoration as well.
The VHP youth of Nickerie have pointed out to me that the organisation for the decoration of streets and buildings, used flags that are very similar to our original Surinam flag. In stead of 1 star they have now placed 3 stars on this flag. Apparently the other 2 stars just fell from the sky.
He then continues with considering this an insult to the actual flag and quotes the law on this matter.
The decoration is a high flag, with the colours of the flag, but with the white stripes each a high and low wave, and with three yellow five-pointed stars placed on the main diagonal of the red.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 25 August 2014

Coat of Arms

image by Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

The explanation of the arms from (defunct):

"The coat of arms of Suriname consists of two Indians holding a shield. Below the Indians and the shield you find the motto 'Justitia Pietas Fides' which means 'Justice Faith Loyalty'. The sailing boat at the left part of the shield symbolizes the history of Suriname when slaves were taken to Suriname from Africa. The palm at the right part of the shield stands for the present as well for justice. The diamond in the middle symbolises a hart. The five-point star within the diamond stands for the five continents the inhabitants from Suriname came from."

Mark Sensen, 19 April 1999

The motto in the scroll, "JUSTITIA - PIETAS - FIDES", means "Justice, Piety, Faith".
António Martins, 13 September 1999

The image of the Coat of Arms shown above is based heavily on Corel Clipart, coloured after the Album 2000.
Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

Aircraft Marking

image by Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

According to Album 2000 [pay00]: Aircraft Marking - Roundel of unequal rings of green-white-red the last containing the yellow star.
Željko Heimer, 30 January 2003

Surinam Defence Force Air Wing was formed in 1982. We have contradicting reports from [cos98] and [pay00]: [cos98] reported that national flag is used as fuselage, wings and tail markings as seen at, while [pay00] reported a roundel of red (charged with yellow star)-white- green as seen at
Are those marking used side by side? I would say no.
My calculated guess that new marking were adopted late 1998 or early 1999. The C.212 which appear at (and orbat-casa.jpg as the other one at suriname2.jpg) is one of two delivered in this era (and after [cos98] was issued. Moreover, the sole BN-2A which seen at seen at with new finish.
Dov Gutterman, 25 June 2004