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Antananarivo, Madagascar

National Capital

Last modified: 2022-10-22 by bruce berry
Keywords: madagascar | antananarivo |
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[Flag of Antananarivo] image by Arnaud Leroy, 29 Sep 2001 See also:

Flag of Antananarivo

Here the flag of the city of Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar.  This is the same flag used by the province.
Arnaud Leroy, 29 Sep 2001

Does there exist some kind of rule, that the provinces of Madagascar use banner of arms? I ask because on this site you can find the arms of some provinces of Madagascar (I am not quite sure, if these this is the current division of the country).
Dirk Schönberger, 30 Sep 2001

I don't know but I don't think that all provinces use banner of arms, the one of which I was able to have confirmation is Antananarivo, I await an answer for other provinces.
Arnaud Leroy, 01 Oct 2001

The full name of the municipality is "Urban Community of Antananarivo". The Urban Community is located in the province of Antananarivo, and is bordered by the municipalities of Antananarivo-Avaradrano (east and north), Ambohidratrimo (west), and Antananarivo-Atsimondrano (south). The area of the Urban Municipality is 78.7 squ. km, its population 1,265,920 (1995 census). The Urban Municipality is divided into six arrondissements.

The name of Antananarivo means "the City of the Thousands". In the XVIIth century, King Andrianjaka's thousand men conquered the hill of Analamanga, on which was later built the Rova, the royal palace. The Rova is the highest point of the city (range 1,000-1,400 m a.s.l.)
The Imerina kings unified Madagascar under their rule and established Antananarivo as the capital city of their kingdom. Prince Ramboasalama (c. 1787-1810), later known as King Andrianampoinimerina ("The prince wished by Imerina), whose motto was "Ny ranomasina no valamparihiko" (the sea is the limit of my ricefield, i.e. the sea is my border) was appointed king of Ambohimanga in 1787. He sized Antananarivo in 1794 and gave the city its current name. He established the "twelve sacred Imerina hills", each of them being ruled by one of his twelve spouses. After having pacified the rest of the country, the king modernized his capital city and organized the economic development of the country. He was succeeded by his son Radama I, who definitively transferred the capital city from Ambohimanga to Antananarivo. The former capital city kept a status of sacred city.
The French protectorate on Madagascar was signed in 1885 but Queen Ravanola III attempted to resist. In 1894, the French Army bombed the Rova. On 30 December 1895, the French troops seized Antananarivo and the colony of Madagascar was officially recognized by the French National Assembly on 6 August 1896. General Galliéni landed on the island on 7 September and Resident General Laroche abolished the slavery on 26 September. The Queen was overthrown on 28 February 1897 and died in exile in Algiers in 1917.
During the French era, Antananarivo was renamed Tananarive and completely reorganized. The French administrative city was established in Antaninarenina, a borough of the lower city, in order to supress the reference to the royal power of the upper city. Galliéni was appointed Governor General of Madagascar in September 1896. During his 9-year tenure, he founded the School of Medicine; reformed the education, forbidding the use of Malagasy; founded the Institute Pasteur and the Malagasy Academy and set up laws.
In 1899, the population of Antananarivo was 43,000, in 1900 48,000, including 655 foreigners, 528 of them being French. In 1930, the population had grown up to 100,000.

The autonomous municipality of Antananarivo was created by decree on 30 November 1898. The full municipal status was obtained on 2 February 1899. The mayor and the municipal councillors were appointed by the French Governor General. On 1 July 1945, a two-college system was established, with 12 councillors elected by the French colons and 8 by the natives. The first municipal council elected according to the new system gathered on 21 July 1945. In 1956, the double college system was abolished and all electors voted together. On 24 November 1956, Stanislas Rakotonirina was the first elected Malagasy mayor of Antananarivo. After the proclamation of the Republic on 14 October 1958 and the proclamation of the Constitution on 29 April 1959, the first municipal elections took place on 11 October 1959. The newly elected municipal council of Antananarivo gathered on 17 October 1959 and elected Richard Andriamanjato as the mayor. The statutes of the city are prescribed by ordinance 60/149, adopted on 3 October 1960, with effect on 1 January 1961.
Source: the Antananarivo website.
Ivan Sache, 19 Apr 2003

Antananarivo Coat of Arms

[Antananarivo CoA] image by Ivan Sache, 19 Apr 2003

The arms of Antananarivo were created in 1950. The shield is quartered, one and four or a zebu head sable, two and three azure a fleur de lis or. It is surmounted with a seven-tower mural crown, the towers symbolizing the seven main cities of the island [which could be Antananarivo (ex Tananarive), Antsiranana (ex Diégo-Suarez), Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga (ex Majunga), Toamasina (ex Tamatave), Antsirabé and Toliary (ex Tuléar)]. The motto on the scroll below the shield is "Ny arivo lahy tsy maty indray andro" (Thousand men will not die in one day), a reference to the origin of the name of the city (see above).
Source: the Antananarivo website.
Ivan Sache, 19 Apr 2003