Last modified: 2005-02-06 by bruce berry
Keywords: malawi | nyasaland |
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A British Protectorate was declared over the 'Nyasaland Districts' (i.e. present day Malawi) on 15 May 1891. In 1893 the territory was renamed the British Central Africa Protectorate. By the Nyasaland Order in Council, dated 6 July 1907, the name of the territory was changed again, this time to the Nyasaland Protectorate and Legislative and Executive Councils were established and a Governor was appointed in the place of the former Commissioner. The first Legislative Council met on 4 September 1907.
The possibility of associating Nyasaland with one or more of its neighbours
had been considered at various times between the two World Wars. On 7
September 1953 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also
known as the Central African Federation) consisting
of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, came into being. On
31 December 1963 the Federation was dissolved with each participating state once
again becoming single political entities. On 6 July 1964 Nyasaland became
the fully independent state of Malawi within the British Commonwealth. On
the second anniversary of independence, Malawi became a republic, remaining a
member of the Commonwealth.
Bruce Berry, 24 Nov 1995
On 11 May 1914 a formal grant of arms to Nyasaland was made. This comprised
a leopard with a rising sun reflected against a black background. Coffee,
having not lived up to its expectations as the major crop in the colony,
was thus dropped as the main symbol of the territory.
Following this grant of Arms, a new flag bearing the leopard and sun was adopted as the flag of the territory. The Nyasaland Blue Ensign contained the arms in the fly (without roundel) and was used until 23 October 1953 when the territory was incorporated into the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and the Federation flag was adopted.
Following the break-up of the Federation on 31 December 1963, Nyasaland received its independence as the self-governing state of Malawi on 6 July 1964 and adopted a new flag without any colonial connotations.
Bruce Berry, 14 Oct 1997
by Clay Moss, 04 Aug 2004
The badge on Nyasaland Blue Ensigns, made between 1914 and the end of 1919,
was set on a white circle. I imagine that existing ensigns continued to be while stocks
lasted, but any ensigns made after 1919 had no white circle.
by Clay Moss, 04 Aug 2004
In 1919 the Colonial Office sent a circular dispatch asking Governors for details of the
flags in use, particularly with regard to whether or not the badge on ensigns appeared on
a white circle. In a letter dated 28 April 1919 the Nyasaland Governor's Office wrote,
"Coat of Arms, which is the badge, is in a white circle, but it would be better without,
since the field of the escutcheon is white (argent)". On 12 December 1919 the Crown
Agents were instructed to omit the white circle from the Nyasaland Blue Ensign [National Archives (PRO) ADM 116/1847B].
The eighth amendment (1925) to the 1916 edition of the Admiralty Flag Book included a complete list of all colonial and departmental badges, and whether or not they were to appear on a white circle. The entry for Nyasaland was "On Union Flag as shown, with garland; On Blue Ensign, no white circle".
Illustrations of the badge usually show a more rectangular straight-sided shield, and have a darker shade of yellow for the sun, and the coat of the leopard.
David Prothero, 05 Aug 2004
The flag to be used by the Governor of the Protectorate of Nyasaland
was a British Union Flag charged in the centre, on a white roundel, with
the Arms granted to the Protectorate on 11 May 1914, namely: "Argent, on
a Rock issuant from the base a Leopard statant proper, on a Chief wavy
sable the Rising Sun Or".
In common with other flags used by British Colonial Governors, the Arms were within a green garland of laurel.
This flag continued to be used by the Governor of Nyasaland when Nyasaland became on of the constituent territories of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland between 1953 and 1963 and ceased to be used once Nyasaland gained independence on 6 July 1964 as the self-governing state of Malawi.
Source: SAVA Journal SJ: 3/94, The Union Jack over Southern and Central Africa, 1965-1994 by FG Brownell.
Bruce Berry, 17 Jan 2003
I have no detailed information on this
flag and if it was ever in official use. The above illustration is from 'Flags of The
World' by Bill Yenne, published by Bison Books (1993).
Željko Heimer, 22 Mar 2003