Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Maldive Flags
(Part 2of 3 parts)

By: Xavier Romero-Frías

Xavier Romero-Frías born in Barcelona in 1954, is an independent scholar. He lived in the Maldives between 1979 and 1991 studying the oral tradition and other folk expressions. He has worked for the Ministry of Education of the Maldive Government dealing with the publication of schoolbooks, and for UNDP in a project for the promotion of the local handicraft industry. He is the author of a 300-page illustrated ethnography on the Maldives, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom. Presently he resides with his family in the city of Trivandrum, South India.

Romero-Frías is married to Aishath Naazneen of Gaìge house in Malé, Maldives. She is a Divehi language broadcaster whose voice is heard in the Maldives, Minicoy, India and Sri Lanka.

Font: To read the Standard Indic transcription correctly in this document, please right click here and select Save Target As... and browse to your Fonts folder to download and install TROM2DR.TTF (file size: 46 kB). If you find some words unfamiliar they will more than likely become familiar following the correct installation of this font

Military Flags

      First Military Jack

The first military Jack displayed the colours of the feìli waistcloth worn by the soldiers and the noblewomen, which incidentally were the same colours as the danödöimati of the National Flag.

The Maldive soldiers were more a personal guard of the ruler than a regular army, and they have remained so till today. It is not sure when this flag was flown for the first time, perhaps in the 1910ís according to Mr. Tanödööiraiymaìge Shafig.

      Military Jack

The colours of the Military Flag were changed in the 1940ís when Muhammad AmÄín, still acting as a regent, took the step of modernizing the external appearance of the Maldive military forces. These jacks were not naval flags and were flown either on military parades or at the military headquarters.

       Present-day Military Jack

In the late 1970ís the Maldive military jack reverted to its original colours but with a new simplified design. This flag is usually charged with the circular emblem of the NSS (National Security Service) in the middle, except on smaller flags used to decorate the streets during military parades.

Ministerial Flags

      Flag of the Prime Minister

      Ministerial Flag

The Ministerial Flags were first flown in the early 1950ís and their use was quite limited. The Prime Ministerís flag was not used by Ibrahim Nasir when he was prime minister (1958-68). In the 1960ís the blue colour of the upper right quarter was replaced by white for reasons not specified.

     Last Prime Ministerís Flag

The prime ministerial (Bodöu VazÄíru) office was abolished in the 1968 (republican) constitution and then reinstated in 1972.  This flag was used by Ahmed Zaki on his car and boats until he was deposed and the office abolished in 1975.

      Last Ministerial Flag

The Last Ministerial Flag was still flown on launches ferrying Maldive government ministers to Huløule airport in the early 1990ís, but itís probably no longer in use.

The Disappearance of the Danödöimati

    New National Flag

The black and white 'dandimati' was never regarded as part of the flag. When the Maldive National Anthem was composed, no reference was made to the black colour of the Ďdanödöimatií. This feature was removed in September 1965, over 3 years before the second republic.  The reason was the difficulty of explaining to the UN (whose membership the Maldives had just acquired) staff in New York, who casually queried, that the Maldive colours were only green red and white, while there was black as well on the flag. Still, a narrow white band was kept close to the hoist.

    Presidential Flag

For some reason, this flag was already flown in this form without danödöimati in the 1950s, before the end of the Monarchy and the removal of the danödöimati from the national flag. Thus, the Presidential Flag has retained the basic design of the last Kingís standard. It is still currently in use and can be seen at the Presidentís Office in MaleØ.

     Ziyraiy Flag

This giant white flag, the last with a danödöimati, was flown from a tall pole at the Medu Ziyaìraiy, where the saint who converted the Maldivians to Islam allegedly lies buried. It used to have a fringe of small triangular pieces of cloth like the ancient Maldive flags. Owing to Wahhabi influence within the Maldive government (Wahhabis and other militant Muslim hard liners frown at the veneration of saints and Ďholy mení) this flagís use was discontinued in the late 1980ís. Similar flags were flown also at Ali Rasgefaìnuís ziyaray and other important graves of holy men. All those tombs were formerly important landmarks in Male.

   Flag of the Uttama Fanödöiyaìru

A few flags with a design based on the Green Ensign were approved in the 1950s. This was the flag of the Chief Justice Minister (Uttama Fanödöiyaìru). A popular joke was made about this flag that when there was little wind (lack of bribes) one of the plates of the Scales of Justice was heavier.

    Flag of the Port Health Officer

This flag has the same basic design as the Flag of the Uttamu Fanödöiyaìru. Both were short lived. The Red Crescent represents the Muslim version of the Red Cross. After a few years it was replaced by the flag below.

   Last Flag of the Port Health Officer

This flag, charged with the initials of the Port Health Officer replaced the flag above in the early 1960ís. It fell into disuse at an unknown date some time in the 1970s.

     Customs Flag

This flag was adopted at about the same time as the last version of the PHO flag. The emblem on the customs flag carries the outline of the Ďmunnaruí at the Hukuru Miskiy in MaleØ (the only customs of Maldives was there). The word Ďcustomsí is written in English. No flag in Maldives had any writing either in the old Divehi Akuru or in the Taìna script. The date in which this flag was abandoned is not known.

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