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Cyprus

Kipriakí Dimokratía [Kipros], Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti

Last modified: 2007-02-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: cyprus | europe | asia | olive branch | geographic outline | map | copper | constitution | guney (ismet) |
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[Cyprus flag]

Flag of Cyprus - Image by Martin Grieve, 7 September 2006

Flag and coat of arms adopted 16 August 1960.
Ratio: 3:5
Description: A white flag with a golden map of the island with two olive branchs below.
Use: on land, as the national and civil flag, at sea, as the national and civil ensign.

Colour official specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Yellow: Pantone 144c
  • Green: Pantone 336c

which translate approximately in the CMYK system as follows:

  • Yellow: CMYK (%) C 0 - M 50 - Y 100 - K 0
  • Green: CMYK (%) C 100 - M 0 - Y 65 - K 40

On this page:

See also:


Origin and meaning of the flag of Cyprus

According to SAVA Newsletter [sav] #27, the flag of Cyprus was selected by the President of the Republic, Mgr Makarios, in 1960 after a proposal made by a school teacher who brought him a message from the Vice-President Fazil Küçük.

Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

The white flag was chosen for the young Cyprus as a sign of peace among the two antagonistic communities living there (Turks and Greeks). The map of the island is golden/yellow, for the sake of easier reproduction of what was originally intended to be a colour of copper (symbol Cu), a metal that got its name from the island name. Most probably, since there is no brownish-reddish-copper colour in heraldry, the map was changed to golden. Green olive tree branches stand for peace, again.

Željko Heimer, 12 November 1998

Quoting Jean Christou, Cyprus Mail, 19 June 2006:

İsmet Guney, the Turkish Cypriot artist and teacher who designed the Cyprus flag is seeking payment from the government, 46 years after Archbishop Makarios chose his design to represent the new Republic of Cyprus.
According to reports in the Turkish Cypriot press yesterday Guney claims that Makarios promised him 20 a year for designing the flag but he was never paid.
[...
He [Guney] now wants his money plus compensation for copyright usage. The total by now would amount to 920 after 46 years.
[...]
The reports said Guney had hired a Greek Cypriot law firm to push his case but it did not specify which one. His lawyers have already sent a letter to President Tasssos Papadopoulos giving him ten days to respond and meet the payment. If he receives no reply Guney said he was prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
[...]
Responding to the reports yesterday, left-wing AKEL spokesman Andros Kyprianou said that if such an agreement existed between Guney and Makarios it should be looked into by the government.

Ivan Sache, 19 June 2006


The yellow-copper colour

Quoting Reuters:

Cyprus says independent minded flag makers have been adding their own creative touches to the national flag for 45 years and it's time to get it right.
[...] Andreas Christou, director of the government supplies office, says: "It seems every department has been going to local manufacturers and some like the colours lighter, some darker. They like the map bigger or smaller."
Now, flags flying the wrong colour will be replaced by ones with the correct shade of copper, he told the daily Cyprus Mail newspaper.
That shade is neither yellow, nor orange nor red but copper, and to be precise, 144c, to reflect the Mediterranean island's historical attachment to the metal.[...]

Lewis Nowitz, 24 October 2005

Pedersen [ped70] just calls it yellow. Smith [smi77], too. Pedersen's recent book [rya98a] says that copper is the proper colour, and yellow is the usual (my translation from Danish).

Ole Andersen, 29 July 1999

The Ancient Greeks got most of their copper from the island, and the Romans imported a good deal as well. The Greek word for copper (from which the English is derived) actually means "Cyprus metal".
According to Petit Larousse Illustré, the French word cuivre is derived from Latin cyprium aes, Cyprus bronze.

Mike Oettle & Ivan Sache, 17 December 2001


The flag in the Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus was adopted on 6 April 1960 and is the only one to allow both authorities and private citizens to fly national flags other than its own.

Part I

General Provisions

Article 4.

  1. The Republic shall have its own flag of neutral design and colour, chosen jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic.
  2. The authorities of the Republic and any public corporation or public utility body created by or under the laws of the Republic shall fly the flag of the Republic and they shall have the right to fly on holidays together with the flags of the Republic both the Greek and the Turkish flag at the same time.
  3. The Communal authorities and institutions shall have the right to fly on holidays together with the flag of the Republic either the Greek or the Turkish flag at the same time.
  4. Any citizen of the Republic or any body, corporate or unincorporate other than public, whose members are citizens of the Republic, shall have the right to fly on their premises the flag of the Republic or the Greek or the Turkish flag without any restriction.

Source: Constitutions - what they tell us about national flags and coats of arms [vap00]