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Zimbabwe Presidents' flags

Last modified: 2013-12-07 by bruce berry
Keywords: zimbabwe | rhodesia | southern rhodesia | president | prime minister |
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Zimbabwe President - car flag (1981-86)

image by Mark Sensen, 31 Mar 1999

Following independence in April 1980, the new Constitution of Zimbabwe provided for a non-executive President as Head of State with a Prime Minister as Head of Government. The first President was Rev. Canaan Banana with Robert Mugabe as Prime Minister. The Constitution was amended in 1986 to provide for an Executive President and the office of Prime Minister was abolished. The Constitutional changes came into effect on 01 January 1987 with Robert Mugabe as President. Prior to 1987 President Banana used a car flag which was an elongated Zimbabwe flag. Midway between the fly and the apex of the white triangle was the Zimbabwe Arms in full colour on a white square. The top and bottom limits of the square were the green horizontal stripes of the national flag. The flag measured 15cm x 35cm and was surrounded by a gold fringe. No full size mast flags in this design were produced.
Source: SAVA Newsletter, 3/92 (July 1992).
Bruce Berry, 31 Mar 1999

Zimbabwe President (1987- c. 1991)

image by Mark Sensen, 31 Mar 1999

Following the creation of an Executive Presidency, a new Presidential flag came into use in 1987. This flag had the Zimbabwe Arms in the centre of a green field. In the hoist is the white triangle with the yellow Zimbabwe Bird superimposed on a red star as found in the national flag. In the fly are two squares of the national colours (originally those of the ruling ZANU-PF party) - horizontal stripes of yellow, red, black, red and yellow. This flag is no longer in use. The exact date when it ceased to be used is unclear, but by the 12th independence anniversary celebrations in April 1992, President Mugabe was surrounded by the national flag only and flew the national flag on his official vehicle. Enquiries to the President's Office and the National Archives of Zimbabwe confirm that the Zimbabwe President now only uses the national flag and does not have a specific personal flag.
Source: SAVA Newsletter, 3/92 (July 1992).
Bruce Berry, 31 Mar 1999

Currently FOTW says that the Zimbabwe presidential standard has not been in use since 1991, but according to a recent photograph showing the arrival of President Mugabe at the opening of parliament in 2009, the flag can be seen on the President's official vehicle.
Dan Fry, 03 Feb 2012

Rhodesia President Flag (1970-1979)

[Presidential Flag 1970-1979 (Rhodesia)] image by Richard Allport, sent by Bruce Berry,

The flag and car flag used by the President of Rhodesia from 1970 to 1978 had a light blue field, with the Rhodesian coat of arms in the centre. After independence in 1980, President Banana used a distinctive flag inside the country, but this practice was discontinued after the introduction of the Executive Presidency and President Mugabe now uses the national flag instead.
Devereaux Cannon, 21 Feb 2002

There was no presidential flag prior to 1970, as Rhodesia only assumed its status as a republic in 1970.  Prior to that Rhodesians still maintained that they were loyal to the queen, and continued to use the Royal designations and the Queen's Crown on military badges. The units of the Rhodesian army also continued to use their Queen's Colours.  In 1968 Rhodesia adopted its green and white flag which dropped the British Union Flag as a national emblem, but the break with the "empire" by the creation of the republic was still 16 months off.

With the change to a republic on 2 March 1970, the crowns were generally replaced by the lion and tusk emblem, and an office of president was created.  The president was a ceremonial office, such as in Israel now, or in Zimbabwe in 1980, and not an executive president as in the USA, South Africa, or the current situation in Zimbabwe.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 by R Allport, SAVA Journal 5/96  [aLL96].
Devereaux Cannon, 21 Feb 2002

So, was there, at least in theory a Rhodesian royal standard, banner of arms with royal emblem?
Željko Heimer, 22 Feb 2002

No. The Queen was represented by a Governor, who had his own flag.  There was no individual royal flag (as in the case of Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc) partly due to the confusion surrounding the constitutional status of the colony.  Southern Rhodesia, although having internal "responsible" government since 1923, was not a fully fledged dominion.
Bruce Berry, 25 Feb 2002

Rhodesia Prime Minister - car flag

[Presidential Flag 1970-1979 (Rhodesia)] image by Richard Allport, resized by Devereaux Cannon, 21 Feb 2002

The Rhodesian Prime Minister used a green flag with the Coat of Arms in the centre as a car flag. Allport says that it came into use after Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence and the declaration of a republic in 1970 - "probably from 1970 onwards". Allport does not give an exact date of adoption.   Previously the Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland used a green triangular car flag, with the Federal Coat of Arms on it. The transformation from the green triangular pennant to a rectangular flag was not a great leap and the Federal flag probably provided the basis for the later design.
Source: Flags and Symbols of Rhodesia, 1890-1980 by R Allport, SAVA Journal 5/96  [aLL96].
Devereaux Cannon, 21 Feb 2002

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