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President of Kenya

Last modified: 2008-03-22 by
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image by Miles Li, 06 Jan 2008

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President of Kenya flag (2008)

Following the recent elections in Kenya, I have noticed in a couple of newspaper photos a flag behind President Kibaki that I haven't seen before. It is white, with yellow diagonal stripe(s) and what seems to be the shield from the coat of arms within a wreath in the centre. Might this be the presidential flag?
Jan Oskar Engene, 05 Jan 2008

On closer inspection of the photos mentioned by Jan Oskar, I see that there are actually two golden diagonal stripes, in saltire, suggesting the crossed spears as found on certain of the older presidential flags.
Miles Li
, 06 Jan 2008

President of Kenya flag (2003)

[New reported President's flag] image by Željko Heimer, 13 Jul 2003

The South African weekly newspaper, the Mail and Guardian of 27 June - 3 July 2003 showed a photograph of a recent meeting of the East African Community held in Nairobi. Of interest is what is apparently a new Presidential flag, clearly shown in front of the President of Kenya. The flag follows the basic design of the Kenyan national flag but with the full arms in the centre instead of the shield and spears.
Bruce Berry, 07 Jul 2003

Bruce Berry sent me off-list the photo of the Kenyan presidential flag in use that he referred few days ago. Based on it, I have prepared an image (shown above). The coat of arms is set in the centre of the national flag replacing the shield there. It is set on a black patch following the curvature of the Coat of Arms, as it is clearly visible on the photo.
Željko Heimer, 13 Jul 2003

President of Kenya (2002 interim flag)

The recent presidential elections in Kenya resulted in the transfer of power to the opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki. A newspaper report from the inauguration ceremony, describes a new interim presidential flag. In its Tuesday, December 31, 2002 online edition, The East African Standard wrote:

"The Presidential Standard of the just-retired President Moi was lowered and Kibaki's hoisted.
Former President Moi's Presidential Standard was green in colour, with a shield in the middle and a cockerel next to it. The shield has national colours.
In contrast, the new Presidential Standard (interim) flag is a brilliant white in backdrop, and adorned with a shield in the middle, bearing national colours and a coat of arms as well."

The full article can be accessed here:
Jan Oskar Engene, 31 Dec 2002

President of Kenya flag (1978)

[Kenyan president according to Smith 1985] image by Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

Green flag with Masai shield, similar, but not the same as in the national flag, and two golden spears in saltire pointed down, and in fly a red rooster.
Two main sources for this to me are Album 2000. and smi80, they differ mainly in the look of the white stitching along the shield edges.
According to Armand Noël du Payrat, his version was approved by Michel Lupant.
Source: Album 2000.
Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

Smith gives more detail on the symbolism of this flag:
"Jomo Kenyatta, the man who led Kenya to independence, also served as its first president. His first name means "burning spear" -- hence the spears on the presidential standard. Blue is for the skies over Kenya. The cockerel here and in the national arms is a traditional herald of a new and prosperous life, but it is also familiar to Kenyans as the emblem of the Kenya African National Union."
By the time of the original 1978 edition of Barraclough and Crampton's 1981 "Flags of the World" the standard's field colour had changed:
"The Standard of the President is dark green, with a small version of the shield crossed by two large assegais [sic] in the centre, and near the fly edge a golden cockerel. The latter is the emblem of KANU." Source: [bcr81], page 151.
However, Smith 1985 shows a medium shade of green, certainly lighter than the bottom stripe of the national flag, and the cockerel is *red* not golden. Since this is simply the Spanish, updated edition of Smith 1980, I believe the image was taken from this book.
Using Eugene Baldwin's image of the pre-1978 flag, I have made two possible variations of the 1978 flag which I am sending separately:
Santiago Dotor, 23 February 2000

Three versions of the presidential flag have existed. The first was the national flag with a black square in the centre, on which was the national coat of arms. This was replaced by the blue flag:

An illustration of this flag is at [smi75b] (page 247) and [ped70] (page 95). Ratio 2:3.
President Daniel Arap Moi changed the colour of the field to green in September 1978. None of the presidential flags report any devices carried by the cockerel.
Jaume Ollé, 28 February 1999

[Kenyan president according to Barraclough and Crampton] image by Santiago Dotor, 23 Feb 2000

About the 1978 assumed presidential flag, green with yellow rooster, unless some firmer evidence is given, I am ready to assume that it is just an erroneous report by Barraclough and Crampton.
Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

President of Kenya flag (1970)

[Kenyan president] image by Eugene Baldwin, 2 November 1998

There are several variations of this flag shown at FOTW (historical, so not relevant in this context), but the shield details are different. While I am more ready to believe the design shown in L'Album (especially since very similar is shown in smi80 ). I guess that a look into the matter might be worthwhile. In any case, I am wondering about the "stitches" along the edge of the shield - shouldn't they "go around" the shield edge?
Željko Heimer, 15 Jan 2001

My design was provided by Michel Lupant.
Armand du Payrat, 16 Jan 2001

First presidential flag (1963-1970)

[First presidential flag - revised] image by Željko Heimer, 15 Apr 2002

Jaume Ollé sent me off-list an image scanned from some vex-bulletin showing how the first presidential flag was recorded. Contrary to my supposition, the square panel was indeed reaching in all fields. I have redrawn the image, adding the golden fringe which was also recorded on the scanned image.
Željko Heimer, 15 Apr 2002

 [Kenyan president] image by Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

There is nothing said about the size of the black square, but I assume that it was not bigger than the red stripe, even if that yields rather small emblem, a bigger square would not be aesthetically pleasing.
Željko Heimer, 30 Mar 2002

Presidential Colour


image by Željko Heimer, 04 Jan 2008

In both the Kenya Army and the Kenya Air Force, the Colours (ceremonial flags) of regiments come in pairs : the Presidential Colour (equivalent to the Queen's Colour of the UK and the National Color of the US) and Regimental Colour. The Presidential Colour follows the common pattern of being a golden fringed version of the National Flag, with the central badge replaced by the Coat-of-Arms; in fact this is identical to the previous Presidential flag, apart from the 4:5 proportion (presumably 3 feet by 3 feet 9 inches following the British practice).
Miles Li, 04 Jan 2008