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Variants and incorrect depictions of the national flag of Guinea-Bissau

Last modified: 2017-12-09 by antónio martins
Keywords: variant | error |
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Possible 2:3 ratio

Alt. GW flag
image by Željko Heimer and António Martins, 26 Jul 2009 | alternate

This might be not really a mistaken depiction, as I read somewhere in the 1st constitution of Guinea Bissau (or maybe in the Statutes of P.A.I.G.C.) that the three areas of the flag are to have the same area, saying nothing about the final ratio of the flag.
António Martins, 26 Jul 2009

In 1978, the East German Post issued a 20 Pf. stamp marking the 5th death anniversary of Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973), showing e.g. a 2:3 depiction of the flag, flat on the background.
António Martins, 26 Jul 2009


With “sharp” star

unusual Guinea Bissau flag
image by Francisco Santos, 12 Jan 2004

In the book História da Guiné e Ilhas de Cabo Verde, by PAIGC, 1974, the image on the cover is a vertical Guinean-Bissau flag, with a “leaner” star. The book does have only one image on the cover page, which is like the national flag in vertical position (top to the right), with the difference that it has an irregular star, pointed to the top (of the image/book).
Francisco Santos, 29 and 30 Apr 2003


Misarranged elements on Portuguese road sign

image by António Martins, 21 Mar 2017

Portimão city, in Portugal, is twinned with four other settlements worldwide and displays their names and the flags of the countries they are located on by means of road signs placed at several spots arounds its street maze. Those settlements are Guanaré, in Venezuela, Villemomble, in France, Vila Real, in Portugal, and Buba, in Guinea Bissau. Back in 2005 local vexillologist and former FotWer extraordinaire Jorge Candeias lead me in a vexillological safari through the city and environs, and a photo (detail) of this road sign is one of my trophies: The flag of Guinea Bissau as painted on it is something to behold: An approximately 2:3 horizontal bicolor of yellow over green, charged on its middle with a vertical red stripe (C.A.R. style), itself sporting a black star roughly centered on its upper half: In short, all elements are there, but rearranged in a totally different pattern!
António Martins, 21 Mar 2017

The width of the red stripe seems to be 3/8ths of the flag’s height. This suggests that this weird variation was created by mismatching the four elements of a flag image that was otherwise correct but which had been squeezed from 1:2 (where the red stripe has a width of 1/3rd of the flag’s width) to 2:3 (keeping said 1/3rd but reducing the red area) — i.e. without keeping with the legal prescription for three equal areas. I can imagine a scenario where the people in charge of creating the panel (seems to have been stencil painted on metal, 1990s technology for durable outdoor items to be made in only a few copies) accidentally scrambled the original artwork and reassembled without a re-check — cp. the incorrect on the same panel the Portuguese flag with equal areas.
António Martins, 22 Mar 2017


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