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Ilha do Príncipe, São Tomé and Príncipe

Last modified: 2024-02-10 by ian macdonald
Keywords: principe |
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Principe island flag image by Ben Cahoon, July 2013

See also:


About the flag

At last! 16 years after Principe became an autonomous region adopted its flag. From local news sites I understand it was first flown in late April this year (Apr 29, 1995, being the date of autonomy). It’s a vertical triband of green-white-blue with the national coat of arms in the canton and in the middle in the white stripe I believe its the parrot from the national coat of arms.
Paraskevas Renesis, 11 June 2011

The flag is real. Here is one of the news articles.
Valentin Poposki, 12 June 2011

This news story dated 2011.05.03 says that «Príncipe entoou pela primeira vez no último fim-de-semana, o seu hino e hasteou a sua nova bandeira. Símbolos de uma região autónoma, que se confirmou no ano passado com a aprovação do estatuto político e administrativo.» (= "Príncipe sung for the first time this weekend its anthem and hoisted its new flag. Symbols of an autonomous region which got confirmed last year by the approval of its political and administrative status.")
António Martins, 19 June 2011

Here’s a photo of the Legislative Assembly building and 2 flags flying in front. It seems to me that they are the national and the new regional flag.
Paraskevas Renesis, 12 June 2011

First reports online at were met with distrust: The domain name is, not Anyone can register almost any domain under the tld .st (from a German company…) — the government of the country reserves for itself only a few domains, and is where I’d expect to see the flag.
António Martins, 30 June 2011

The controversial site with the flag has "resurfaced": Same contents nothing new!
On a site at with photos of Peter Ribton we get a photo: of the region's president Cassandra and in the background, out of focus unfortunately, part of (what it seems to be) the regional flag. Obviously the photographer is not very interested in flags. Very nice photo of the president though!
From the same portfolio we get another photo (2nd row 3rd photo) titled Saint Laurent festival: where we can spot the regional flag in front of the regional assembly and the (pink) government building. I have little doubt that the green-white-blue vertical triband is the regional flag but we still need to see the whole "thing"!
Paraskevas Renesis, 5 December 2011

Flag also reported at and from
Paraskevas Renesis, 26 February 2012

Cursory analysis of the available photographic evidence (mostly linked above) suggests that the shades of green and blue of this flag are light, the green being also a tad yellowish, when contrasted to the regular medium green of the national flag: photo.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 December 2023

I am wondering if the lighter colors are from the flag being displayed outside for a long time and getting sun dyed? The outside photo of the flag seems to show those lighter colors you can see that outside version here (link below). Another thing to note is the tail feathers (reddish) are shown and the more realistic shading of this local bird over all, compared to the versions we have which you can see in this outside version of the flag here:

At the bottom of this article, about the swearing in of the regional president in 2020, shows a version of the region flag in the basic colors we have now rather than the lighter suggested colors: and a few more here at the regional presidency Facebook:
Ben Cahoon, 30 December 2023

Here are various images of Principe's regional flag:

It seems to me that the flag displayed inside the regional government's offices has a "simplified" image of the bird in silver (grey) , black and red tail feathers:
P. Renesis, 31 December 2023

I wonder if the lighter colors are from the flag being displayed outside for a long time and getting sun dyed? I thought so too, and even the contrast between the two shades of green on the national and regional flags displayed on the same building could be accounted for one of them being newer, but meanwhile we’ve seen photos of actual flags, seemingly brand new and yet in pale colors. (Ex. located by Paraskevas:

However, the detailed flat image given at that regional goverment’s Facebook page (and likely elsewhere) as found by Paraskevas shows the same paler shades for both panels (blue and green) — and it also has a 2:3 ratio, which seems to be yet another variation vector.

The bird on the middle of this flag image is shown with its distinctive red tail fanned out behind the feet, while on the pale colors flag shown on the photo found by Ben, the feet are more spread out, along other smaller differences in attitude.

On 2023.12.31 15:09 PM, Paraskevas sent links to the flag images offered by what seem to be *two* concurrent official presences of the regional goverment in Facebook (in their posts these two accounts seem to promote each other’s content). Each of these include further imagery that, while used preeminently in their respective main pages, is contradictory:

- Flat image used for example for this Facebook account’s user image, with simplified bird (no red tail, no feet), 1:2 ratio, panels in medium green and dark blue:

- Cover image showing photo of the regional government headquarters with clearly pale 1:2 version (bird obscured), maybe the same exact flags as shown in the balcony photo?

- Cover image showing the mentioned flat flag image with pale colors, 2:3 ratio, and detailed bird. (This same image was posted twice: 2014.05.31 and 2023.01.23):,

And both these two non-photographic flag images show different versions concerning details of the central bird, brightness of the blue and green panels, and overall ratio, adding to the known photos of two actual flags in (official) use.

Looks like there is free variation of these details, conceptually and that actual flags in local use have at least 3 different realizations. It also doesn’t seem to be a matter of diachronic variation, with a newer version supplanting older ones. The witnessed variation seems to stem from lack of interest in the details of the flag, not from deep held divergent opinions about design and/or symbolism.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 January 2024

Pre-2011 flaglessness

I know no reports on a flag of Principe Island.
António Martins, 08 August 1999

I have met today the brother of the Sao Tome defense minister. I obtain from him first hand information on flag use in his country. The man was, 17 years ago, the leader of the Youth organization of Sao Tome, but in this era this organization didn’t have flag of their own. He was president of the delegation of Youth people that traveled to Principe Island but no flags different from the national one were hoisted then.
Jaume Ollé, 03 July 2000

Michel Sicard, former Secretary general of the Societé Française de Vexillologie, said to me that in April of 1995, the Island of Principe acquired an autonomous government. No reports on flag.
Jordi Pérez, 01 October 1997.

1981 rebel flag

In the 1981 revolt of the island against the Sao Tome power, a rebel flag was hoisted, but is unknown to me.
Jaume Ollé, 09 November 1996