Last modified: 2016-04-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of the Canary Islands - Images by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 May 2007
Top row, as officially prescribed since 2005;
Bottom row, as used before 2005 - and still widely used
On this page:
Other Canarian pages on this website:
The symbols of the Canary Islands are prescribed in Article 6 of the Autonomy Statutes of the Canary Islands, adopted on 10 August 1982 by the Spanish Government, as Law No. 10, and published on 28 September 1982 in the official gazette of the Canary Islands, No. 17, pp. 1-15 (text), as follows:
The flag of the Canary Islands shall be made of three equal stripes arranged vertically, whose colours shall be, starting from the hoist, white, blue and yellow.
The Canary Islands shall have a proper coat of arms, whose description is the following: on a field azure seven islands argent, two, two, two, and the last one in base. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown or, itself surmounted by a scroll argent inscribed with "Océano" in letters sable, and supported by two dogs proper with a collar.
The symbols were further prescribed in the Manual of Graphical
Corporate Identity, prescribed in Decree No. 184, adopted on 21
December 2004 by the Government of the Canary Islands, and published
on 7 January 2005 in the official gazette of the Canary Islands No. 4,
pp. 316-398 (text). The Manual is attached as an Appendix to the Decree.
Article 1.2 paragraph A lists the graphical symbols representing the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, as follows:
a) The flag prescribed in the Autonomy Statutes of the Canary Islands, whose use by the Government of the Canary Islands, organisms and depending corporations, shall comply with the drawing provided in the Manual.
b) The coat of arms prescribed in the Autonomy Statutes of the Canary Islands, whose use by the Government of the Canary Islands, organisms and depending corporations, shall comply with the drawing provided in the Manual.
The flag is shown in the Manual in two versions, either with or
without the coat of arms.
The colour specifications are detailed as follows:
Colour Pantone CMYK (%) RGB RAL Blue 3005 100-35-0-0 7-104-169 5015 Yellow 7406 0-20-100-0 255-204-0 1023 Black (motto) Black 0-0-0-100 0-0-0 95 Grey (scroll) 7544 10-0-0-40 145-143-144 7040 Red (crown) 485 0-100-100-0 254-0-12 2002 Brown (dogs) 722 0-34-83-15 216-143-31 1034
The actualized version of the Manual is prescribed in an Order adopted
on 24 November 2005 by the Government of the Canary Islands and
published on 2 December 2005 in the official gazette of the Canary
Islands No. 237, pp. 22,914-23,051 (text). The Manual is attached as an Appendix to the Order.
A colour construction sheet is given for the flag, stating that the length of the coat of arms is 75% of the length of a vertical stripe. THe colour specifications are given according to the Pantone system only:
Colour Pantone Blue 3005 Yellow 7406 Grey 7544 Red 485 Brown 722
In spite of these specifications, flags with a darker shade of blue are still widely used in the islands, for instance by several municipalities and in front of the building of the Government services in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Ivan Sache, José Manuel Erbez & Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 19 April 2015
Coat of arms of the Canary Islands - Image by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascánr, 11 February 2006
The Parliamentary Commission for the reform of the Autonomy Statutes proposed that the collars are removed from the dogs supporting the coat of arms. The commission claimed that the collars represent submission of the dogs, which are free animals when the collars are removed. The discussion seems to have started with the proposal of suppressing the dogs from the coat of arms, which was not supported. The only party which did not support the removal of the collars was the PP.
[La Opinión de Tenerife, 25 October 2004]
Ivan Sache, 26 October 2004
According to José Manuel Erbez (website), the current flag was born on 7 September 1961, on the eve of the fiesta of Virgin Mary of Pino, the patron saint of Gran Canaria. A family of activists, María del Carmen Sarmiento, and their sons Arturo and Jesús made some 3,000 flags of paper ribbons and gave them to the people on the fiesta organized the next day, 8 September 1961, in Teror. Spontaneously, the people of Teror recognized these colours as the proper Canarian ones.
Probably inadvertently, the creators of this white-blue-yellow flag continued the idea of the Atheneum flag, but replacing the stars with the united colours of the two Canarian maritime registration flags, white and blue for Santa Cruz de Tenerife and blue and yellow for Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, arranged in the geographical order: Santa Cruz, as the western province, on the left, and Las Palmas, as the eastern province, on the right.
However, neither the proportions of the stripes nor the shade of blue are known exactly. The blue stripe was probably a little bit broader.
On 10 August 1982, the islands gained autonomy. Since then the islands used a vertical white-blue-yellow flag with stripes of equal width. There existed versions with and without the coat of arms within the blue stripe. The shade of blue is said to be Navy blue, but according to observations it seemed to be rather a dark Royal blue.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 31 March 2008
Vertical flag of the Canary Islands - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 March 2010
A vertical flag of the Canary Islands, with proportions 3:1, was seen on 11 February 2010 in the port area of Los Christianos, La Gomera Island, hoisted from a staff with horizontal bar. The colours are those of the 1980s version.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 March 2010
Flag with horizontal stripes - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 January 2009
According to José Manuel Erbez (website), a common, absolutely unofficial variant of the Canarian flag has the stripes displayed horizontally. One of the main reasons being that it is easy to purchase white-blue-yellow bunting by the meter at local shops.
Santiago Dotor, 26 April 2008