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UNTAET specifications for the East Timor national flag

Last modified: 2014-06-14 by ian macdonald
Keywords: star: 5 points (white) | arrowhead | triangle (black): hoist | untaet | doubt |
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Flag of East Timor image by Manuel Gabino, 05 May 2002
See also:

Specifications

I confirm that the star is a regular pentagram and that the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of East Timor States in Section 15 (National Flag) states that The National Flag is rectangular and is formed by two isosceles triangles, the bases of which are overlapping. One triangle is black and the height is equal to one third of the length overlapped to the yellow triangle, whose height is equal to half the length of the Flag. In the center of the black triangle there is a white star of five ends, meaning the light that guides. The white star has one of its ends turned towards the upper right end of the flag. The remaining part of the flag is red. The colours mean: yellow the traces of colonialism; black the obscurationism that needs to be overcome; red the struggle for national liberation; and white peace.

Technical Notes on the National Flag of East Timor.

  • The Flag is 2 : 1 ratio (180 cm × 90 cm).
  • The width of the star from point to point is 29 cm.
  • The correct way up is such that one point of the star faces the top left hand corner.
  • The Pantone Matching System (PMS) Colours are yellow PMS 123 and red PMS 485.
Andrew Leith (Independence Day Celebrations Committee, UNTAET), 13 May 2002

Construction sheet

Flag of East Timor image by Manuel Gabino, 28 September 2002

These darker color shades are not prescribed in the constitution, only in the UNTAET specifications. (As also the 1:2 ratio.)
António Martins, 25 September 2002

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has been admitted in the UN. The flag shown in this photo is 2:3 as all those hoisted outside the UN building. And the colors seem not to be those appointed in the document sent on May of this year.
Manuel Gabino, 27 September 2002


First (incorrect) version

Flag of East Timor
image by António Martins, 05 May 2002 (redrawn)

As at midnight on 19 May 2002 East Timor (Timor-Leste) becomes Independent. Attached for your Association and widest promulgation are the technical details of the East Timorese Flag which has been approved by the East Timor Public Administration:

Technical Notes on the National Flag of East Timor.

  • The Flag is 2 : 1 ratio (180 cm × 90 cm).
  • The width of the star from point to point is 29 cm.
  • The correct way up is such that one point of the star faces the top left hand corner.
  • The Pantone Matching System (PMS) Colours are yellow PMS 123 and red PMS 485.
Andrew Leith (Independence Day Celebrations Committee, UNTAET), 04 May 2002

Note: The contribution above (Andrew Leith, 04 May 2002) was sent by means of a MS Word document file containing the quoted text plus a picture (mirrored here as raster and vector files); all in this raster screen capture.

Image is based on incorrect costruction sheet: the black triangle should reach 1/3 of the flag length (not 1/4).
Jan Zrzavy, 23 May 2002

The Timorese Constitution already approved states:

1. The National Flag is rectangular and is formed by two isosceles triangles, the bases of which are overlapping. One triangle is black and its height is equal to one-third of the length overlapped to the yellow triangle, whose height is equal to half the length of the Flag. In the centre of the black triangle there is a white star of five ends, meaning the light that guides. The white star has one of its ends turned towards the upper right end of the flag. The remaining part of the flag is red.
While in the Andrew Leith’s files
  • the black triangle seen to be 1/4 (one fourth) of the fly (length).
  • The color appointed to the bigger triangle according to Andrew is "YELLOW PMS 123" (this color actually is darker (to gold) than that shown in the images)
  • The red indicated (Red PMS 845) should be also darker.
  • And the star is so irregular.
Manuel Gabino, 05 May 2002

As for comments on these “technical” specifications (some people call technical anything including numbers and dashed lines…) and adding to Manuel Gambino’s comments, I must say that I am shocked by the prespective that these documents from UN official Andrew Leigh might be representative of the Misson’s notion of accuracy and technical competence. Not only the annex figures contradict the (meagre) verbal specifications of the document (namely in what ratio and color shades are concerned), but also those specifications (both verbal and graphic) are incomplete and unclear. Finnaly, these specifications (both verbal and graphic) desagree with the practice of 27 years of flag usage, namely in the prescriptions about color shades, ratio (1:2 instead of 2:3) and width of the black triangle (1/4 instead of 1/3).
António Martins, 05 May 2002

Please note that there is a error in my orginal email concerning the National Flag for East Timor. Please disregard my first email.
Andrew Leith (Independence Day Celebrations Committee, UNTAET), 13 May 2002


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