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Congo pre-independence - Governors-General flags (1885-1960)

Last modified: 2005-12-31 by bruce berry
Keywords: congo | governor-general | belgium |
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Governor-General (1936 - 1960)

[Governor-General of the Congo ] image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

The book Flags of the World, Past and Present [hol39], of 1939, says "The Governor-General of the Congo also hoists a square tricolour, but with the flag of the Congo in the canton. This flag is bright blue, and has a yellow star thereon".
Steve Stringfellow, 3 Dec 1997

In [zna99] (p. 71) the flag is shown with the blue being light blue of the shade used in 1960's Congo flag with star being light yellow too (same as the yellow stripe), and a bit bigger then in my image above.
Željko Heimer, 27 Feb 2001

I have seen 3 different flags with 3 different blue squares: one equal with the black stripe, one larger than the black stripe (this was a flag for a car with golden fringe) and one very large flag c. 2m long with the blue part a little bit smaller than the black stripe. These flags where for sale at several militaria fairs in Belgium.
Olivier Vercammen, 7 Oct 2002

To what I understand the Belgian system, the flag we talk about is a personal flag of the General-Governor, and as such is supposed to be square as all other Belgian standards. I guess that after a while the flag was (by general public) considered to be the flag of Belgian Congo, and so was "rectangulized" and began to be used as the "national flag". If I am not much mistaken, the rectangular version is so found in several flag charts of the time, (wrongly) supporting such perception. on the other hand it may be that the Governor-General himself did not care much about the ratio (as was not unusual at the time) and produced flags for himself in any ratio it suited him, e.g. rectangular flag for his car.
Željko Heimer, 7 Oct 2002

The 'national' flag of the colony, as shown in Flaggenbuch, was a rectangular plain blue flag with a yellow star in the middle. I would say that flag manufacturers did not bother with two different sizes for the 'national' and Governor's flag and made both flags using a default 2:3 size.
Ivan Sache, 9 Oct 2002

You can be sure only one flag was official for the Governor-General, that being the Congo flag = 1/4 of the Belgian flag until the middle the yellow stripe. Flag square but I have a photograph of a rectangular car flag.
The three others were never flags of the Governor-General, probably flags manufactured by people to show the fact Congo was Belgian but these were never official. The blue with Belgian colours in the canton is fully strange.
Michel Lupant, 8 Jun 2004

As I told you the only official governor of Belgian Congo was a Belgian flag with the Congolese flag in the canton as you can see as that picture of the original flag (probably used or manufactured for the last Governor-General). Juergen Rimann told me the blue flag with the Belgian in the canton appeared in an old edition of Ruhl before 2WWar. I have never found information about that flag. The two others were certainly manufactured by people but never used by GG.
Michel Lupant, 26 Jul 2004

I just come back from Brest where I have discovered at the Navy Library an amendment to the French Album des Pavillons (1923). The amendment is dated 1933 correction 9. For the Belgian Congo its says: "A square blue flag with a Belgian flag in the upper corner can be used on ship under the national pennant  to indicate the Governor General is on board of a military ship in Congolese waters or on the mast when the Governor arrived in an other country where he paid an official visit".
I think the two other flags with a small Congolese flag in the corner are local flags used by Belgians to show Congo was Belgian.
Michel Lupant, 07 Aug 2004

Governor-General (?-1936) (doubtful)

[Governor-General till 1936] image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

In "Wer nennt die Länder, kennt die Fahnen?" <neu29> there is a different flag: blue (1:1?) with the Belgian flag in the canton (Flagge des Generalgouverneurs des Kongo). Flaggenbuch has the image as on this page. Kannik (Vlaggen, Standaarden en Wapens) states: Flag of the governor-general of Belgian Congo was approved 1936 - so the blue flag may have been used before; the reason for the change may have been that it was very similar to the flag of the Governor-General of the French colonies.
Jarig Bakker, 07 Oct 2002

Governor-General variant flag (doubtful)

[Governor-General variant flag] image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

1936 Governor-General's flag, variant, based on the fringed flag below.
Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

Governor-General ceremonial flag (doubtful)

[Governor-General ceremonial flag] image by Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

A few days ago I wrote to you that I saw 3 different rectangular flags of the governor-general. Today I saw and bought a "square" one with fringe. It has the follow dimensions: height of the bunting with the fringe: 140cm and length with fringe: 120cm or 55"x47". I think it's better for the producer because when he cuts the flag in 2, he has 2 flags of 70 x 120, which is c. the 2:3 format.
Olivier Vercammen, 09 Oct 2002