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Mermaid flag of Anguilla (1967.07.23-1967.09.29)

Last modified: 2022-02-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: republic of anguilla | mermaid | invasion | drug |
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1967 Anguilla provisional flag image by Jaume Ollé, 17 June 1997
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About the flag

This is the first flag of Anguilla Island when this island proclaimed its independence. Between 12 and 23 July 1967, Anguilla did not have a flag but on 23 July 1967 was adopted a flag named “Mermaid flag”, which was in use until 29 September 1967, when the Dolphin flag was introduced. (Source: [smi91s])
Jaume Ollé, 27 September 1996

This flag was manufactured at the request of an Anguillan friend of the owner of the Paramount Flag Company of San Francisco, CA, USA. They were made by silk-screening the mermaid emblem onto the blue fabric and then appliquéing that in an oval onto the red background, and then adding the lettering to the front and back. The mermaids were done entirely in a white line drawing on blue, there was no black with white on the mermaids. It was not Paramount’s policy to have cut a screen for only one flag. My best guess is that a minimum of 24 and a likely maximum of 50 flags were produced.
Jim Ferrigan, 11 December 2002

A sinister plot later emerged whereby drug barons were accused of attempting to take over the island’s government to use it as a base for their activities. Although probably just a convenient fictional cover, this was the reason given by the British for their “invasion” of Anguilla in 1969. Anguilla thereby joined the very short list of nations (Rhodesia being the other one) to have returned to British rule having experienced a period of independence, albeit unrecognized.

Vexillographically, the Mermaid flag is in my humble opinion is total mess — any flag which has to have the name of the country in huge letters across it surely lacks any meaningful symbolism. (The dolphin flag on the other hand, is a beautiful piece of vexillography.)

Stuart Notholt, 29 September 1996

Mermaid flag in Anguilla postage stamp

1967 flag in stamp image located by Nozomi Kariyasu, 25 January 2022

The page about flags at the Anguillan official government website includes a 50¢ Anguillan postage stamp showing a somewhat different image, without lettering and with dark purple background.
António Martins, 24 September 2002

According to Anguilla flags stamp issued on Nov 5 1990, the 1967 Mermaid flag is not red but purple without the country name on it.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 25 January 2022