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C.N.R.T. (National Council of East Timorese Resistance)

Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense

Last modified: 2023-12-09 by zachary harden
Keywords: falintil | cnrt | cnrm | patria povo | star: 5 points (white) | star: 5 points (yellow) | wheat | machete | provisional | different reverse |
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CNRT flag image by Jorge Candeias and Jan Oskar Engene, 04 January 2000
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Description of the flag

The purpose of the CNRT initiative was to produce a symbol with which all pro-independence Timorese could identify, being based on the FALINTIL (guerrilla) flag instead of coming from FRETILIN (one of many political parties) symbols as the black-yellow-red did. But the flag was never widely accepted — people seemed to prefer the arrowhead from the start, and later the massive vote in FRETILIN in the Timorese elections explained why. So, the CNRT flag died as CNRT’s raison d’être disappeared.
Jorge Candeias, 30 March 2003

This is not the flag of East Timor, but the flag of the CNRT, the independentist sector that won the referendum. It is probably the best candidate for the future flag of an independent East Timor, but currently as the territory is under a UN mandate, it has no flag of its own.
Jorge Candeias, 17 January 2000

A (very) recent party made use of the C.N.R.T. sigla (with a slightly different meaning), and basic flag pattern: horizontal tricolor of blue, white and green, with letters on the white area. The 1998-2001 C.N.R.T., by the way, was not a political party, but a coordination organ for anti-occupation activities, conducted by different entities, some of which went on existing after independence as political parties.
António Martins, 12 February 2008

Emblem detail

canton detail image by Jan Oskar Engene, 18 Sep 1999
click for detail

The emblem in the canton consists of a yellow (Y+) bordered red (R) shield. The shield is dominated by two black swords with white details in the hafts. Between the swords is an upwards pointing spear, also in black, with two crossed arrows right below the point of the spear. These details have been difficult to distinguish in the images of the flag I have seen before. Above the black emblem is a white star. The motto on the scroll under the shield reads "PATRIA POVO". As for the rest of the flag, the blue band is closer to B- (light blue) than B (medium blue), while the bottom green band is definitely V- (light green). The letters CNRT, in italics, are in solid black — a serif font is used, something like Times or Times Roman; no dots between the letters.
Jan Oskar Engene, 18 September 1999

"PATRIA POVO" means "Fatherland, People". These two words are both nouns, and in Portuguese there are no adjective nouns, so that’s why I put a comma on the translation. For what is worth, one might as well put a full stop or any other separation. Please note the the correct spelling of "pátria" uses an acute accent mark on the "a", but this is sometimes (quite seldom, really) discarded in uppercase.
António Martins, 19 September 1999

Apart from the lettering, another difference relative to flag of the FALINTIL are the spikes, replaced a black spear disposed vertically pointing upwards. Also, the swords have larger hilts and they cross closer to the center.
Jorge Candeias, 20 August 1999

There were also some variations in the charges in the canton: I remember flags with a white fimbriation around the shield, with different size (and also, to a point, placement) of the weapons, with somewhat different shapes in the shield itself, etc.
Jorge Candeias, 04 January 2000

History of the flag

This flag (better said, a close relative to this flag) was used for a very long time as the flag of the FALINTIL, the armed resistance operating in the mountains.
Jorge Candeias, 10 August 1999

This week both the Indonesian government and army announced that they are no longer against independence for East Timor. I found a webpage about a new East Timorese flag at: I also don’t know if this flag is accepted by all Timorese fractions. I recently saw the red flag with the white star and black and yellow triangles on Dutch TV. Anyway here is the text of the page, the image is posted above.

A new flag was adopted by the representatives of the Timorese politcal parties and organizations during the first East Timorese National Convention held in April 1998 in Portugal. The results of the Convention were the formation of the CRNT (The National Council of East Timorese Resistance), which replaced the CNRM (The National Council of Maubere Resistance), and the adoption of the Freedom Charter of the People of East-Timor.

About the flag

The flag originally was the flag of FALINTIL, the liberation Army of East Timor. FALINTIL is non-partisan and therefore represents the interests of the people and not the interest of any organization. Furthermore, the members of FALINTIL are the ones that continue to keep the flame of the struggle to self-determination and independence of East-Timor in times of difficulties. They are the ones that continue to shed their blood for the sacred right to self-determination and independence of East-Timor. Because of that there was a concensus of the participants of the Convention adopt the flag as a temporary flag of East-Timor. Until a new one is adopted, this flag will be used in any public events.

Constâncio Pinto
CNRT Representative to the United States
Mark Sensen, 31 January 1999

The CNRT is an assemblage of nearly all the Timorese groups, leaving out only the integrationists of APODETI and it’s logical that they adopted some flag that didn’t relate so much to the flag of FRETILIN as the black yellow red. But now I wander: could it be that this version is the flag of the CNRT and the other version (with differences in the shield and FALINTIL in the white stripe) remains as the flag of FALINTIL?
Jorge Candeias, 02 February 1999

The CNRT (National Council of Timorese Resistance) was officially dissolved yesterday, 9th of June 2001, to open way for the implantation of normal political parties in the country, preparing East Timor for the municipal elections due in August. As a consequence, the flag of the CNRT turned historical. In yesterday’s ceremonies, seen on TV, a lot of CNRT flags where flown.
Jorge Candeias, 09 June 2001

This flag, or a close relative to it, is well-positioned to reappear as the flag of the country once full independence is achieved, though. I donít think this is the last we saw of East Timorese blue-white-green flags with black cantons.
Jorge Candeias, 09 June 2001

Variation with no lettering

CNRT flag variation image by Jorge Candeias and Jan Oskar Engene, 04 January 2000

At the website the text mentioned earlier hasn’t changed, but the flag has (slightly): Previously, it was without the CNRT initials (and perhaps with a slightly different canton, or am I confusing things?).
Jorge Candeias and Jarig Bakker, 01 September 1999

That would make it virtually identical to the flag of Falintil, of which it is vexillographically nothing more than a variant, after all…
António Martins, 21 September 2001

Variation with full name

CNRT flag variation image by Jorge Candeias and Jan Oskar Engene, 04 January 2000

The CNRT flag was hoisted officially in Dili for the first time yesterday. This was a very formal ceremony, regarded by the independentists as the first hoisting of the national flag. In the ceremony, a local poet red a poem dedicated to the flag and the atmosphere that sorrounded it was overall quite solemn. The flag itself was the one we already know, a blue-white-green horizontal tricolour with a black canton occupying the two upper stripes charged with a sort of coat of arms. This consists of a red shield fimbriated in gold and a white scroll. The scroll has the motto "PATRIA POVO" in black capitals. The shield is charged with a white star in chef and in the center a device consisting of a spear, two crossed arrows and two crossed swords, all black with white lines. The white stripe is charged with the initials "CNRT" in large italic capitals and, below, the full name "Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense" (meaning "National Council of Timorese Resistance"). This, however, was the least seen flag of the CNRT. The variety that was most common had only the initials in the white stripe (no full name), usually in italics, but sometimes not.
Jorge Candeias, 16 August 1999 and 04 January 2000

Reverse of the flag

It seems that the backside of this flag varies according to manufactoring constraints.
António Martins, 21 September 2001

Mirror version

CNRT flag reverse

image by Jorge Candeias and
Jan Oskar Engene, 21 September 2001 | two-sided reverse

In yesterday’s ceremonies, seen on TV, a lot of CNRT flags where flown. A note about the backside: it was mirrored. The letters where unreadable.
Jorge Candeias, 09 June 2001

Plain version

CNRT flag reverse

image by Jorge Candeias, 04 Jan 2000 | two-sided reverse

These flags had frequently a plain reverse, consisting only of the stripes and the black canton, without any charges.
Jorge Candeias, 04 January 2000