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Incorrect depictions of the (1992-2006) Mariy-El flag (Russia)

Last modified: 2014-06-07 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: error |
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Wrong flags

It was asked if there was the colour purple on the Marii-El flag. The answer is no. It is also to be noted that flags without ornament (#1) never existed, as well as flags with a dark red line in the middle of the white stripe (#2).
Pascal Vagnat, 13 Sep 1997

Yet another case of dark red being refered as “purple” in translations from Russia, after the already known Chuvashian case.
António Martins, 13 Mar 1999

Wrong flag #1

Wrong flag of Mari-El #1
by Željko Heimer, 11 May 1996

Wrong flag #2

Wrong flag of Mari-El #2
by António Martins, 04 Mar 1999

In our files we have information that the sun and the inscription were replaced by a dark red line in 1993.
Ralf Stelter, 27 Jun 1999

This flag, in medium blue, is listed under number 88 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: «Mari El (Marsi) [Cheremisses] - Central Russia».
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999

This flag, even if it ever existed, in not in current use: Only the 1992 flag is used locally in Mariy-El. I know because I’ve been there…
António Martins, 27 Mar 2000


Reported color specifications

These Pantone shades (PMS 186C, PMS 285C and PMS 032C) were given by Jiři Tenora in its Le cabinet des drapeaux communique… [cdd].
Pascal Vagnat, 20 Sep 1999

An article in Jiři Tenora’s bulletin Le cabinet des drapeaux communique… [cdd] informs quite plainly that the maryan flag goes in the colors PMS 186C, PMS 285C and PMS 032 (plus white).

These specific shades are though nowhere to be found on the relevant legal texts, and in loco observations doesn’t confirm the shade of blue — PMS 285 is a bit greyish and real maryan flags has the same medium blue usual for the russian national tricolor (whithin the usual variation).

Checking them against other sources, I seem to know now that these Pantone values are Jiři Tenora’s personal proposal [jtn99a] to correlate the vexillological (subjective, relative) color coding to a chromographic standard (objective, absolute): The values above are simply his way to say "R+", "B" and "R".

Of course I agree that some absolute references should be given when possible, and that subjective discriptions should be anchored somewhere in the objective reality, provided the adequate caveats are given.

But this article in [cdd] didn’t say «cloth and photo analysis points to these PMS values», nor even «the flag laws use subjective descriptors we feel to be ideally represented by these PMS values». On the contrary, it makes believe that the given PMS values are some sort of local standard, either express or implied. Wich is not true.

NB: Although FOTW has also its own color standard, we would never declare that «According the Resolution relative to the flag and the coat of arms of the Republic of Marii-El of the 3rd of September 1992, the flag has three horizontal stripes (1:2:1), the first is blue (B = RGB:0-0-255), the second is white and the third is red (R = RGB:255-0-0). »…« The sun and the letters are dark red (R+ = RGB:204-0-0)».

António Martins, 22 May 2000


Incorrect reverse in use

Reverse of the flag of Mari-El
image by Željko Heimer, 11 May 1996 | two-sided reverse

The reverse of these flags, spotted in a police checkpoint at the maryan border, was not plain white (as prescribed by law) but simply showing a chiral design of the obverse: the sun emblem, and the inscription written backwards. Most surely these were cheap made flags, with the emblem and lettering printed with some thick paint on the obverse, so that it bleeds to the reverse. Probably most local flags are like this, though.
António Martins, 19 Sep 1999

Last week I crossed twice the border of Mariy-El and the only noteworthy news is that the same flag I spotted last summer has now the blue stripe completely faded to white. An awkward sight…
António Martins, 09 Mar 2000


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