Construction Sheet and Flag Variants (Jordan)

Keywords: jordan | triangle: hoist (red) | star: 7 points | construction sheet |
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by Željko Heimer

Construction Sheet and Specifications

I have a specification sheet for the Jordanian flag. It is based on the official specifications and I produced it for the forthcoming visit of King Abdullah to the United Kingdom. The point of the triangle lies at the centre of the flag. The star is quite a lot smaller than is often seen in many actual flags and lies at the intersection of the three lines that bisect the angles of the corners of the triangle. The star lies within a circle whose diameter is 1/7th of the hoist. The constitution of Jordan actually specifies the flag in a detailed manner, and that is where the 1/7th figure comes from.

Graham Bartram, 1 November 2000

Those construction details match completely the dimensions in Flaggenbuch 1939. It appears then that subsequent variations are simply mistakes.

Santiago Dotor, 2 November 2000

From the 1952 Constitution, quoted in the Jordanian Embassy to the U.S. website:

Article 4
The Jordanian flag shall be of the following form and dimensions: "The length of the flag shall be twice its width. It shall be divided horizontally into three parallel and equal stripes, the uppermost of which shall be black, the center, white, and the lowest, green. At the end of the flag-staff the flag shall have a red triangle, the base of which shall be equal to its width. In the triangle there shall be a white seven-pointed star of such a size that it may be one-fourteenth part of its length. The star shall be so placed that its centre shall be at the intersection of the lines bisecting the angles of the triangle, and the axis running through one of its points shall be parallel to the base of the triangle."

Zachary Harden, 24 December 2002

Shape of the Star

Nobody mentioned this, but I believe one point of the star points upwards. Anyway, there is still one detail missing to make the construction sheet complete, namely the construction of the star. Unless there is something in Flaggenbuch 1939 regarding that, and unless there is also some further detail in Graham Bartram's sources, we are at loss. Looking briefly though my sources, they show quite a range of stars, regarding the size of the inscribed circle. The source I consider most accurate among those I have is the Album des Pavillons 1990. In it the inscribed circle's diameter seems to be something like half that of the outer circle (or similar, it is really hard to tell from such small image). Some other sources show the inner circle much larger.

Assuming the inner diameter of the star is half the outer (i.e. 1/14th of the hoist) the resulting image is thus:

by Željko Heimer
For a bigger inner circle:

by Željko Heimer
Regarding the colour shades I found nothing in the Album des Pavillons 1990, either because that was not yet included in correction no. 27 (Album des Pavillons 1997, the last to consider Jordan) or due to the lack of any standardisation.

Željko Heimer, 2 November 2000

Flaggenbuch 1939 does not indicate any inscribed circle. However, the star which appears illustrated seems to be an heptagram i.e. a 7-pointed star formed by joining its points with (single) straight lines. In this case, starting with any given point as the first, this is joined with the 4th, this one with the 7th, this one with the 3rd etc. thus 1-4-7-3-6-2-5-1. The first variant above looks more like this but obviously does not use single straight lines to join the points, while the second one looks more like joining the points in order 1-3-5-7-2-4-6-1. Other sources, those showing a 1/4th-hoist-high star, give different kinds of star, but given the fact that all of these appear to be wrong altogether I would discard them as valid references.

As for colour shades, Flaggenbuch 1939 shows medium shades of red and green.

Santiago Dotor, 6 November 2000

The stars described by Santiago Dotor are called star polygons or star figures and the notation for them is {p/q}, which means a regular p-gon with every q-th point connected. The number q is called the density of the star polygon. For example, the stars you talked above would be star polygons {7/3} and {7/2}, respectively. A hexagram is the star polygon {6/2} and a pentagram is {5/2}.

Ossi Raivio, 7 November 2000

According to the above discussion regarding the construction details of the Jordanian flag, the flag shown in Album des Pavillons 2000, page JO 1.1, is wrong. The star is to be inscribed in a circle with diameter 1/7th of hoist, be of density 3, and set in the point where the bisectors of the angles of the triangle cross.

Željko Heimer, 15 January 2001

I visited Jordan early in 1997. Regardless of any official specification sheet, the stars in actual flags looked different. I have never seen such a star as we now have as official above. All the stars were 'thicker', i.e. had an inner diameter of about 50-60%. Here is a picture of a star from a national flag flying in Aqaba (photo 27 March 1997). I would recommend showing this pattern, not a star pattern that is never used on flags.

Regarding star size, the flags flying in Aqaba, had a star with a diameter of 1/7 of the hoist. Most other flags I saw had bigger stars: the police flag I succeeded taking a photo of, had a star with a diameter of 1/3 hoist.

Marcus Schmöger, 26 March 2002

Flag Variants

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Mistaken variant with oversize star (1/4th of flag width)
by Mark Sensen

The size of the seven-pointed star on the flag of Jordan is not fully clear. To start with, maybe it is not specified at all in any regulations, but even if that is the case there must be some kind of usual size unofficial specification. All my sources show the star in two clearly different sizes, fitting into a circle whose diameter is either 1/7th or 1/4th of the flag's hoist:

Considering the scarce reliability of Dorling-Kindersley 1997 and the many errors in Znamierowski 1999, I wonder if it is possible that the star used to be 1/7th of the hoist originally, but was later made larger for some reason (for instance in order to make the flag more clearly different from the Palestinian one).

By the way, all the above sources show the star centred at the point of intersection of the angle bisectors of the hoist triangle. If this is correct, several of the Jordanian flag images are mistaken. Also, please note that the hoist triangle is not an equilateral one.

Santiago Dotor, 31 October 2000

Flag Colours

I found nothing regarding colour shades in Album des Pavillons up to Album des Pavillons 1997 (correction no. 27) or due to the lack of any standardisation.

Željko Heimer, 2 November 2000