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British Somaliland

Last modified: 2002-11-09 by
Keywords: british somaliland | somalia | kudu |
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British Somaliland or Somaliland protectorate was a British protectorate on the South shore of the Gulf of Aden with (1952) 176.113 km2 and 500.000 inhabitants, capital: Hargeisa. In the Middle Ages it was a powerful Arab sultanate, broken up in the 17th century. The coast came under British influence in early 19th century, but remained actually under Egyptian control until 1884; administered by Government of India 1884-98; by British Foreign Office 1898-1905; transferred to British Colonial Office 1 April 1905; occupied by Italian military forces 16 Aug 1940 - 16 Mar 1941; united with former Italian Somaliland to form independent republic of Somalia in 1960.
Jarig Bakker, 8 Aug 2002

1903-1950 Flag

[British Somaliland flag, 1903-1950] by Blas Delgado Ortiz

The badge of Somaliland Protectorate bears the head and shoulders of a kudu, one of the antelopes of the region.

1950-1960 Flag

[British Somaliland flag, 1950-1960] by Jaume Ollé

1950-1960 Badge

[British Somaliland badge 1950-1960] scan by Jarig Bakker, 8 Aug 2002

"When Somaliland was a British Protectorate her Arms were placed on a white disc in the fly of the Blue and Red Ensigns, but the Union Flag on this disc was surrounded by the garland. They consisted of an escutcheon divided vertically, green and blue, having a chief with a Somali shield in front of two spears in saltire, heads downwards, in natural colours. The green portion contained a representation of a minaret in white, and the blue a dhow in full sail on waves of the sea, with a golden anchor in the base. A Kudu's head, with the Royal Crown between the horns - all in natural colouring, on the "wreath of the colours." i.e. white and green - forming the very imposing Crest. Somaliland attained her independence on June 26th, and was united to Somalia in Jluly 1st of the same year."
Source: Carr's Flags of the World (1961).
This implies that the second Blue Ensign has an erroneous badge. I have scanned the correct badge from Kannik's "Vlaggen, Standaarden en Wapens", c.1959.
I assume that on reaching independence Somaliland didn't have a flag????
Jarig Bakker, 8 Aug 2002

Red Ensign

The badge was inserted into the Admiralty Flag Book in 1905.  This does not in itself mean that there was a Red Ensign warrant at that time, but a letter written in July 1922, about the correct way to describe defaced Red Ensigns in warrants for the new mandated territories had, "In 1904 the term 'vessels owned by natives of the Somaliland Protectorate,' had been used."
Source: PRO document ADM 1/8690/219.
David Prothero, 7 Aug 2002

Somaliland cigarette-card flag

[Somaliland cigarette-card flag] sent by Olivier Touzeau, 18 Oct 2002

From our series of Cigarette Silks Iron-on Transfers the subject of which is : Nation Animals & Flags, (source  this website)
Today's guest : Somaliland (without its ostrich).
Olivier Touzeau, 18 Oct 2002

The choice of the ostrich for Somaliland is interesting, since ostriches are (or were) far more widespread. They are extinct or
near-extinct in many parts of their northern range today, but they were (at the time these artworks were produced) to be found across North and West Africa and the Nile region (away from the deep desert and the rain forests) from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, in Arabia and right down to the Cape Colony. They are an important part of the South African economy today, both as wild animals in game parks and on commercial farms as producers of feathers, meat and quality tanned leather. See my webpage.
Mike Oettle, 15 Oct 2002