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Spanish Protectorate of Morocco (1912-1956)

Last modified: 2022-10-14 by antónio martins
Keywords: solomon seal | magen david | caliph | vizir | protectorate | star: 6 points (yellow) | star: 6 points (black) | star: 5 points (yellow) | star: 5 points (white) | makhzen | error | doubt |
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Merchant Flag (1937-1956)

Flag of Spanish Morocco
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002
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In the end of the XIXth century, there were a lot of revolts in Morocco and the European powers decided to solve the “Moroccan problem”. France occupied Ujda and Casablanca in 1907, whereas Spain occupied Salwan and other strategic places in 1909. In spite of German protest, the French Protectorate over Morocco was established on 30 March 1912. The Sultan kept a nominal sovereignty. The Spanish zone was completely autonomous (treaty from 27 November 1912). Independance of Morocco was accepted by France on 6 November 1955 and officialized on 2 March 1956, when King Muhammad V came back from exile. Spain gave back the Rif area to Morocco on 7 April 1956 and the port of Ifni in June 1969.
Ivan Sache, 15 Jun 2003, based on [lux01]

Some Moroccan provinces were under Spanish protectorate until 1956. These are Al Hoceima, (Che-)Chaouen, Nador, Tetouan, Larache, and parts of Kenitra, Taounate, Taza and Tiznit (the Sidi Ifni enclave). (I believe Laayoune is the old Spanish Aaiun).
Santiago Dotor, 12 Jan 1999

Description of the flag

In Neubecker’s Flaggenbuch [neu92] the Merchant Flag of the Spanish Zone is a red flag with white fimbriated green canton containing a white pentagram in the middle (ratio: 2:3). The canton is hlaf the hoist high, and the pentagram is in relative the same ratio to it as in the (current) national flag, i.e. inscribed in circle 1/3 of the canton height.
Željko Heimer, 12 Jun 2002

The original legislation establishing the civil ensign for the Spanish protectorate of Morocco is a Dahir (a Decree signed by the Khaliph i.e. the Sultan’s lieutenant) dated 7th January 1937 regarding the «Nationality of vessels and creation of the ensign for the merchant navy in the zone». Article 3 reads (my translation from original Spanish text):

Vessels registered in the Spanish Zone of Morocco shall fly, when they meet a ship of the [Spanish] State, or when at port, if required by the appropriate authority, the Ensign of the Merchant Navy of this Spanish Zone of Morocco.

Such ensign shall be made up of a red flag defaced on the top part and hoist side with a rectangle depicting the flag commonly used by our Khaliphian House, that is, a natural green [sic] colour rectangle bearing on its centre the five-pointed seal of Solomon in white. The diameter of the imaginary circle circumscrbing the seal of Solomon shall equal one third of the height of the green rectangle, which in turn shall be the same as a quarter of the Ensign [area]. Such rectangle shall be bordered by a white braid of 1/2 centimetre wide, the lines making up the seal of Solomon being three to five centimetres wide depending on the size of the flag.

No vessel may fly this ensign if it does not possess the Khaliphian Merchant Navigation Patent or is not registered in some of the regional maritime districts of this Zone.

The Ensign of the khaliphian merchant navy shall be flown from the stern of the vessels.

Santiago Dotor, 18 Sep 2003

1937 was the adoption date. However the protectorate was established in 1912.
Santiago Dotor, 05 Apr 2000

According to Flaggenbuch, the fimbriation around the canton is white. Canton, fimbriation included, is 1/2th of the flag. Star diameter is 1/3rd of the canton height, fimbriation included. (No national flag mentioned.)
Ivan Sache, 05 Dec 2000

Yellow star variant

Flag of Spanish Morocco
image by Mark Sensen, 06 Jun 1996

The image of the flag of the Spanish Occupation zone in Morocco in the book of K. A. Ivanov, Drapeaux marocains [ivaXX] is red with a green canton with in the canton the pentagram in yellow. I have a written description of this flag where the pentagram is said to be white, also the fimbration of the canton is not mentioned.
Harald Müller, 14 Jun 1996

Square canton variant

Flag of Spanish Morocco
image by Ivan Sache, 15 Jun 2003

According to Lux-Wurm’s book [lux01], in the Spanish zone the civil ensign was red with a square green canton charged with a white Magen David.
Ivan Sache, 15 Jun 2003

Previous version (1912-1937)

Sp. Morocco 1912-1937
image by Santiago Dotor, 18 Jun 2003

1926 Flaggenbuch 1934 correction [d9e34a] shows a square red flag as national and merchant flag of the Spanish zone — no trace yet of the green canton with white pentagram, which supports the theory that the latter flag was adopted in 1937.
Santiago Dotor, 18 Jun 2003

The 1926 Flaggenbuch [d9e26] copy from München City Library does include two flags for Marocco — the national flag (the usual red with green pentagram) and the ensign for the French zone. I can’t say how much corrections are included (and performed) in the München library copy (certainly on some pages traces of sticking small pieces of correction patches are noticable), but the only two flags for Marocco seems to indicate a stage between the original 1926 edition and 1934 correction.
Željko Heimer, 18 Jun 2003

King’s (?) personal flag

Flag of Morocco King
image by Ivan Sache, 15 Jun 2003

I vaguely remember a flag for the Spanish possessions in Northern Africa: identical in design to the Moroccan flag, but colours white pentagram on dark green.
Harald Müller, 12 Feb 1996

According to Lux-Wurm’s book [lux01], the “Royal standard” was a green square flag with a yellow pentagram. I can’t figure out which King would have used such a flag. There was no King in Morocco at the time and I cannot imagine the King of Spain using such a flag when in Morocco. However, both Calvo & Grávalos [cag83] and Neubecker [neu92] reported the Kaliph’s flag as a green square flag with a yellow Magen David. Therefore, I believe that Lux-Wurm [lux01] either mixed things up or used erroneous sources.
Ivan Sache, 15 Jun 2003

Such “royal standard” is most probably a mistaken version of the Caliph’s standard.
Santiago Dotor, 17 Jun 2003

Caliph’s personal flag

Khaliph (Spanish Prot. of Morocco)
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

In Neubecker’s Flaggenbuch [neu92] the Caliph’s Standard is a green square flag with yellow hexagram (ratio: 1:1).
Željko Heimer, 12 Jun 2002

Flag of the Khaliph of the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, which can be seen in Calvo and Grávalos [cag83]. This was used from 1945 (Reglamento de Banderas, Insignias y Distintivos of 11th October 1945) till the independence of Morocco, 28th March 1956. It is described as «a square flag, green with the Makhzen emblem in yellow». The so-called Makhzen sign happens to be an outlined six-pointed star. Though the star is reminiscent of the shield of David, the word Makhzen has nothing to do with magen or mogen (Hebrew for shield). The Makhzen is the name given in Morocco to the central administration together with the Sultan’s governmental suite.

The Arabic term khaliph (deputy) is used here in its strict sense and has nothing to do with the supreme imam of the Muslim community (khalifah rasul Allah or deputy of the messenger of God), a title held by the Ottoman sultans up to this century. During the Spanish protectorate, the Khaliph acted as supreme authority as the Sultan’s deputy, under the control of the Spanish High Commissioner.

Santiago Dotor, 25 Sep 1998

The original edition of Flaggenbuch 1926 [d9e26] showed no flags for Morocco. Correction no. 329 [d9e34a], issued 1st December 1934, shows several flags for the French and Spanish zones. The sultan’s standard is not shown but the kaliph’s (and the vizier’s) standard certainly is, which implies that the two latter were adopted in the early 1930s (if not before).
Santiago Dotor, 18 Jun 2003

Depiction according to legal typo

Khaliph (Spanish Prot. of Morocco)
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

I am not sure what are the differences between the image from Flaggenbuch [neu92] and the one from Calvo and Grávalos [cag83]. I realise that [cag83] has a too large hexagram — according to the 1945 regulation, its width should be a third of the flag’s side. Also, the width of the yellow lines making up the hexagram should be 1/25th of the flag’s side.
Santiago Dotor, 13 Jun 2002

This regulation just can’t be right: it produces a too thick hexagram, nothing like the images in Flaggenbuch [neu92] nor in the law quoted by Calvo and Grávalos [cag83]! I assume that there may be some typo, and that width of the yellow stripes is maybe 1/25 of "c" (i.e., 1/3×1/25 of hoist) which makes an image much more similar to images in the two sources.
Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

Grand Vizir’s personal flag

Grand Vizir (Spanish Prot. of Morocco)
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jun 2002

In Neubecker’s Flaggenbuch [neu92] the Grand Vezir’s Standard is a red square flag with black hexagram (i.e., same as the Caliph’s flag, but in different colours; ratio: 1:1).
Željko Heimer, 12 Jun 2002

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