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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 20:28 GMT 21:28 UK
'Identical flag' causes flap in Romania
Flag of Chad and Romania
The national flag of Romania... or Chad

Romanian President Ion Iliescu has said his country will not give up its national flag despite the fact that it appears, to most observers at least, identical to that used by the central African state of Chad.

His comments follow unconfirmed reports in the Romanian media that Chad has called on the UN to examine the issue.

The flags of the two countries converged as far back as 1989 when Romania's dictator, Nicolae Ceasescu, was overthrown and the incoming government dropped the communist-era insignia from the flag's centre.

While both flags have blue, yellow and red stripes, some experts say the blue colour in Chad's flag is darker than that used in Romania's version.

But Mr Iliescu said there was no reason for Romanians to worry as Chad had only been an independent country since 1960.

"The tricolour belongs to us. We will not give up the tricolour," he said.


The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a press release that Romania had carried out the registration procedure called for by the Paris convention for the protection of industrial property in 1997.

The procedure is administered by a specialised UN agency, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, which registers state symbols, official signs and seals.

The Foreign Ministry said it had no knowledge of any claim being lodged against the registration within the required 12-month deadline.

It added that it had received no official notification from Chad regarding any move to raise the issue with the UN and said it was currently investigating the reports carried by the Romanian media.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Country profile: Chad
27 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Chad
27 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Romania
22 Oct 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Romania
10 Feb 04  |  Country profiles

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