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Maps, Flags, Boundaries

The United Nations Flag

Flag of the United Nations as adopted by A/RES/167(II) on 20 October 1947

On 20 October 1947 the General Assembly adopted resolution 167 (II) on the United Nations Flag. 

Description: The official emblem of the United Nations in white, centered on a light blue background (colour code PMS 279 in the Pantone Matching System).

Proportions: Hoist (width) : Fly (length) 2:3 or 3:5 or the same proportions as the national flag of any country in which the UN flag is flown. The emblem is one half of the hoist and is entirely centered.

Use: The use of the flag is regulated by the United Nations Flag Code and Regulations (ST/SGB/132) of January 1967.

Procedural history:

  • The Secretary-General submitted the memorandum A Flag for the United Nations (A/342) to the General Assembly on 21 August 1947.
  • The General Assembly referred the question to the 6th Committee on 23 September (A/PV.91). 
  • The 6th Committee discussed the question at their 43rd meeting on 7 October (A/C.6/SR.43) and submitted their report (A/414) to the plenary on 17 October 1947.
  • Resolution 167 (II) was adopted on 20 October 1947 (A/PV.96).

The United Nations Emblem

Emblem of the United Nations as adopted by A/RES/92 (I)

The emblem of the United Nations was approved by General Assembly resolution 92 (I) of 7 December 1946. 

Description:  The design is "a map of the world representing an azimuthal equidistant projection centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree, in gold on a field of smoke-blue with all water areas in white. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles" (A/107).

Symbolism: The olive branches symbolize peace. The world map depicts the area of concern to the United Nations in achieving its main purpose; peace and security.

Use: The use of the emblem is restricted. The restrictions are based on the following documents:

  • General Assembly resolution 92(I);
  • Regulations for the control and limitation of documentation - Addendum - Use of the United Nations emblem on documents and publications (ST/AI/189/Add.21) of 15 January 1979 and its Amendment 1 of 23 January 2008.

Procedural history:

  • The 2nd part of the 1st session of the General Assembly discussed the "official seal and emblem of the United Nations".
  • The Secretary-General submitted a report to the General Assembly on 15 October 1946 (A/107).
  • Drawings of the emblem are contained in document A/C.6/75 + Add.1 (18 and 26 November 1946).
  • The 6th Committee of the General Assembly discussed the emblem at their 21st and 25th meetings on 20 and 30 November 1946 (A/C.6/SR.21 and A/C.6/SR.25) and submitted their report to the Plenary on 2 December (A/204 + Corr.1 + Add.1).
  • Resolution 92(I) was adopted at the 50th plenary meeting on 7 December 1946 (A/PV.50).