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Cote d'Ivoire

République de Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

Last modified: 2013-06-07 by bruce berry
Keywords: cote d'ivoire | ivory coast | tricolour: orange white green | elephant head |
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[Côte d'Ivoire] Image by António Martins

Proportions: 2:3
Usage Code:
ISO Code: CI CIV 384
FIPS 10-4 Code: IV
MARC Code: iv

Location: West Africa

Neighbouring Countries:

See other Côte d'Ivoire pages:

See also


Côte d'Ivoire is a republic located in West Africa. It became a French protectorate in 1844 and a French colony in 1893, achieving independence on 07 August 1960.

The country was also known as the "Ivory Coast", reflecting the major trade that occurred along that particular stretch of the west African coast during the 15th and 16th centuries. The English version was increasingly used following independence, particularly outside the Francophone sphere. In April 1986 the Government declared "Côte d'Ivoire" (or more fully, République de Côte d'Ivoire) to be its formal name for the purposes of diplomatic protocol and refuses to recognise or accept any non-French translation in its international dealings. However, despite this request, the English translation "Ivory Coast" is still sometimes used by various media.
Željko Heimer, 01 June 2001

Description of the flag

The flag of Côte d'Ivoire is an orange, white and green vertical tricolour. The construction details provided in Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00] explain that the stripes are of equal width.  The Pantone approximation is given as orange Pantone 151c, green Pantone 347c.
Željko Heimer, 01 June 2001

Meaning of the flag

According to the web site of the Presidency of the Republic (no longer available), the symbolism of the colours of the flag is as follows: orange is the colour of the land, rich and generous, the meaning of our fight, the blood of a young people fighting for emancipation. White is for peace, but peace with justice. Green is for hope and the certainty of a better future.
M.V. Blanes, 21 June 2000

Other sources have reported that orange represents the savannahs in the north of the land, and green the woods in the south. White is a symbol of unity. This symbolism is the same as for the orange-white-green flag of Niger, and the vertical positions are influenced by the French tricolor. Officially adopted on 03 December 1959. Proportions 2:3.

In addition to being similar to the flag of Niger, the flag is also similar to the flag of Ireland (whose colours are in reverse order) and has the similar colours to the flag of India.
Željko Heimer, 01 June 2001

Use of the flag

From the National Presidency web site:

The national flag should be placed

  • on all official buildings
  • on the desk of all State employees (public and semi-public administrations), as a table flag, horizontal or vertical ["fanion ou oriflamme"]
  • in the courtyard of all schools, colleges and universities, barracks, military and paramilitary institutions
  • in the right corner in front of the vehicles used by the President of the Republic and his representatives (prefets, sous-prefets, ambassadors).

Salute to the colours should occur regularly in schools and colleges and during official ceremonies.
Ivan Sache, 30 Nov 2000

Coat of arms


[Côte d'Ivoire coat of arms] Image sent by Mikhail Revnivtsev, 14 July 2007

On a web-site of the President of the Republic of the Cote d`Ivoire is a new image of the Coat of Arms as shown above.
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 14 July 2007

Coat of Arms (2002-circa 2005)

[Côte d'Ivoire coat of arms] Image sent by Ivan Sache, 30 Nov 2000

The Cote d'Ivoire Embassy in Tokyo has confirmed that the coat of arms has been modified.  The colour in the shield  has changed from green to orange fading to green and in scroll from green to orange, white and green. The embassy has informed me this change happened sometime between November 2000 and January 2001.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 17 January 2002, 20 February 2002

The website shows the scroll in the national colours - République on an orange background, de Côte on a white one, and d'Ivoire on a green one, a golden sun with black and white rays, green palm trees with black and white stripes [palm trees are botanically not trees but herbs, so they have stripes instead of trunks] and a shield of indistinct colour (orange-greenish).
Ivan Sache, 30 Nov 2000

Coat of Arms (1964- circa 2002)

[Côte d'Ivoire previous coat of arms] Anonymous contribution

The elephant is the largest and strongest animal in the local fauna and gave its name to the country; it is considered as the national  animal. The arms featuring the elephant, two palm trees and a rising sun, should be placed on all official documents. 

[The elephant was also the emblem of "Rassemblement Démocratique Africain", party of the late president Houphouet-Boigny at the time of independence, according to DK Pocket Book (1997) [rya97]. Whitney Smith (1975) [smi75b] says the party name was "Parti Démocratique de Cote d'Ivoire". These are probably two successive names for the same party.]

The arms are represented in Smith with a green shield and all the rest in yellow (scroll, palm trees, rising sun). Smith and DK Pocket Book both say the shield was initially blue, but altered to green in 1964 to match the national flag colours.
Ivan Sache, 30 Nov 2000

Aircraft Markings

According to Album des Pavillons (2000) [pay00] the roundel is green-white-orange concentric disks with diameters approximately 50:35:14 respectively. Note to the figure explains that the national flag is painted on the fin.
Željko Heimer, 01 June 2001

Force Aerienne de la Cote d'Ivoire was formed in December 1961 and has used the same markings continuously.
Dov Guitterman, 14 June 2004