The national flag of Republic of Cyprus was adopted in 1960 after gaining independence from the United Kingdom. The flag was chosen by the President of the Republic Makarios III and the Vice-President Fazil Kucuk as the result of the flag design competition. According to the Constitution, the flag should not have blue or red colours (the colours of the flags of Greece and Turkey) and should not feature a cross or a crescent. The flag should look neutral. The national flag design competition was won by a Turkish Cypriot teacher and artist Ismet Guney.
Cyprus flag is unique
Cyprus is the only country to display its land area on its official flag. The background of the flag is white that represents peace. In the middle, there is the map of the island that has the copper colour to represent the historical attachment of Cyprus to this metal. Under the island’s map there are olive tree’s branches. The branches of the olive tree represent peace as well.
The flag of Cyprus is used on land as the national and civil flag and at sea as the national and civil ensign. Many sea vessels in the world go under the Cyprus flag as Cyprus has the third largest fleet within the European Union, with 16% of the total fleet of the 25 EU Member States. The European fleet capacity has increased upon Cyprus’ accession due to the Cyprus fleet contribution.
The colors of the Republic of Cyprus flag
The International code numbers of the colors of the flag of the Republic of Cyprus (PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) are:
- Color of copper 144-C
- Color of olive-green 336-C
- Size: in ratio 3:5
Republic of Cyprus constitution about the Cyprus flag
Article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus that was adopted on August, 16 1960 refers to the national flag:
- The Republic shall have its own flag of neutral design and colour, chosen jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic.
- 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 flag of the Republic both the Greek and the Turkish flags at the same time.
- 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.
- 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.
Before the national flag of the Republic of Cyprus was introduced the flags of Greece and Turkey were used.
Except the national flag, Cyprus has an emblem. It features the crest of green olive tree leaves that surround the shield. The shield is golden like copper, which is associated with Cyprus. Inside the shield there is a white pigeon that keeps the olive tree’s branch in its mouth. Also on the shield there is the year 1960 – the date of Cyprus independence written in black. The olive tree’s branch and the pigeon symbolize peace.
Republic of Cyprus flag in the news
- Cyprus flag and emblem get a redesign. The new shield depicts a clearer image of the dove holding an olive branch in its mouth. The olive branches underneath were also reduced and made clearer. The same was done for the flag, and the image of the island of Cyprus was also enlarged and the olive leaves brought closer to it.
- Ismet Guney, the Turkish Cypriot designer of the Republic of Cyprus flag, died on Tuesday June 23rd 2009 at the age of 77, after losing a battle against cancer.
- All cheap imitations of the Cyprus flag on public and other buildings are to be binned under a government plan to overhaul the country’s main symbol after years of allowing it to stray from its originally prescribed colors.