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Chagossians (British Indian Ocean Territory)

Last modified: 2015-06-30 by ian macdonald
Keywords: chagos islands | british indian ocean territory | chagossians |
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[Flag of the Chagossians] image by Georges H. Wuethrich, 10 May 2000

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Description of the Flag

Chagos Islands are part of British Indian Ocean Territory.
Rob Raeside, 11 May 2000

Seen on Mauritian TV news (12.11.2000), during a demonstration of the former inhabitants of the Chagos islands, many copies of the Chagos flag. It is an horizontal tricolor red-black-blue. The upper stripe seemed to be red (and not orange).
Kuzul Ar Brezhoneg, 20 November 2000

About a month ago, there was a British documentary on TV here in Australia. It was called "Chagos Islanders", and was about the plight of the 8000 Chagosians deported from their homeland to Mauritius by the British. They speak French or a Creole language based on French. The elected representative of the Chagosians in Mauritius is Olivier Bencoult, who was involved in high profile High Court cases on the legality of the deportation of his people. He explained the significance of the colours of the flag as follows:

- The orange stripe represents the plantation on Chagos which is now closed
- The black stripe is for all the struggle and the bad moments experienced by the Chagosian people.
- The (light) blue stripe is for the lagoons of Chagos and for the future.

I got the feeling that he was the originator of the flag. The flag seems to have proportions of 3:5. And, unlike the image on the website, the orange stripe is the same width as the blue stripe (though both are wider than the black stripe).
Zoran Vukojevic, 18 September 2002

The Chagossians

The Chagossians (Chagos Islands natives) have been expelled from the Chagos in 1973. They wish to go back in the Chagos. The only flag for the Chagossians is a recent one. The only site devoted to the Chagossians is
Georges H. Wuethrich, 10 May 2000

The islanders were really expelled from Chagos and never allowed to return. A few of them who had attempted a clandestine expedition to visit and honour the graves of their ancestors never showed up again. The whole story was recently highlighted in a few international newspapers, because the islanders are desperately looking for international support to their claim. If I remember correctly, the leader of the islanders got political asylum in Norway.
Ivan Sache, 14 May 2000

The Chagos people exist and were deported to Mauritius. I see some years ago a small demonstration (because I believe that there's only 100/200 Chagos people) in Mauritius and a flag was hoisted but I believe that the colors are different from the ones in this page.
Jaume Ollé, 15 May 2000

It's worth noting that the Chagossians, earlier this year, won the right in the British courts to return to their homeland. The British Government has accepted the court ruling, and arrangements are supposed to be made to ensure they can return, and that they are compensated for the British Government's (now ruled to be) illegal expulsion of the islanders.
Ken Bagnall, 21 September 2002