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Pre-independence flags of Mauritius

Last modified: 2006-07-08 by antonio martins
Keywords: key(red) | star | dodo | stella clavisque maris indici | sambur deer | deer (red and white) | deer: sambur | mauritius |
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Mauritius was called Île de France from 1711 to 1810 by the French. The island was initially colonized and owned by the Compagnie des Indes, and later ceded to the king of France. Port-Louis might have been named after either Louis XV (1715-1774) or Louis XVI (1774-1791). Louis XV is most probable, since the Compagnie des Indes lost a lot of money on the Île de France and might have tried to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Ivan Sache, 20 Dec 2003

Blue ensign without disc (1923-1968)

pre-1968 Mauritius flag
image by Vincent Morley and António Martins, 15 Dec 1999

This flag was superseded at the time of independence in 1968.
Vincent Morley, 25 Feb 1997

Blue ensign with disc (1906-1923)

1869-1923 Mauritius flag
image by Vincent Morley and António Martins, 10 Nov 1998

This form of the Mauritius Blue Ensign was approved 14-12-1869 (CO 325/54), but 7-7-1921 it was agreed that the white disc was not necessary and was officially removed 14-12-1923 (ADM 116/1847B). Both Public Records Office documents.
David Prothero, 30 Nov 1998

The arms were adopted 1906 and before were another pattern.
Jaume Ollé, 05 Dec 1998

Blue ensign with old arms (1869-1906)

1869-1923 Mauritius flag
image by Jaume Ollé and António Martins

The badge approved 14 Dec 1869, consisted of a quartered shield, similar to the one that appears on the Arms granted 25-aug-1906; beneath it was a scroll bearing the motto, «stella clavisque maris indici» (star and key of the Indian Sea). No sugar cane, embattled dodo, or antelope.

The shape of the shield was different. It had an ornate “frame”, similar to, but not the same as, the style of the shield of St Helena (1875-1984). There were also differences in the details of the quarters: the first quarter was a three-masted sailing ship, not a lymphad: the key in the third quarter was gold, on a black background: the fourth quarter was divided horizontally to represent the sky above the sea, with the light from the star, which had six points, shining down and reflecting in the sea.

A note alongside the drawing in the Colonial Office Flag Book reads:

This is called the arms of the colony, but in Governor’s Despatch No 139 of 21-6-1875 it was explained that the drawing is a badge for the governor’s flag, approved by the Secretary of State in Despatch 14-12-1869, and that it differs from the device on the seal sent out in Despatch No 29 of 10-12-1839.
Theoretically this badge should have been applied direct to the Blue Ensign with no white disc. However the fact that the 1906 Arms were initially borne on a white disc which was not removed until 1923, suggests to me that the 1869 badge was similarly displayed on a white disc.

David Prothero, 08 Dec 1998

British Red Ensign (undefaced)

pre-1968 Mauritius civil ensign
image by Malcolm Grieve

Mauritius did not have a defaced Red Ensign; the official merchant ensign was the plain Red Ensign. That is not to say that there may not have been unofficial Mauritius Red Ensigns.
David Prothero, 22 May 1999

Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.