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The World Health Organization Flag

Apr 24, 2017

[World Health Organization] 



About WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on April 7, 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.


The Flag

My collection of UN Agencies' flags are based both on William G. Crampton's "Flags & Coats of Arms" and the official logos of each agency. 
The blue color is taken from a UN logo at its website:

The World Health Organization coordinates programmes aimed at solving health problems and the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health. It works in areas such as immunization, health education and the provision of essential drugs.

The use of the flag of WHO by the collaborating centers is regulated as follows:
"A WHO flag can be obtained upon request for use by the centre on certain occasions - and not on a permanent basis - (e.g. on World Health Day, 7 April; on the occasion of any official event related in some way to the World Health Organization) and provided it is displayed in conformity with the WHO Flag Code and Regulations (sent at the same time as the flag)."


I was eager to do a bit more research on this after reading Ron Lahav's comment on November 30, 2007 where he mentioned that the WHO flag had indeed a white logo (the snake) and not yellow. The flag he mentions is it. Source Wikipedia ). 
There's an actual flag of the same color scheme seen here.

The caption reads: "1966, The new headquarters building of the World Health Organization in Geneva is inaugurated." Even though the picture is in b/w, one can infer that the background of that vertical flag is light blue, and it has the UN logo only on top in white, and on the left it reads W H O in white capital letters, and on theright of the
UN logo it reads O M S. This same vertical flag is seen here as well. 



It is clearly visible on these pictures that the snake and rod of Aesculapius are yellow on the flag. 
By my opinion, the snake, the rod and the inscriptions have a different shade of grey on these pictures, which means that they are not the same colour as map and laurel of UN badge. It could be yellow. 
Browsing in WHO related images through the internet, I have not found any image of WHO flag with white snake. Image posted also could be only a graphical rendition of the WHO flag.

I have found the document "The World Health Organization Flag Code and Regulations" (January 1982). Under section 1 of the document, the rod of Aesculapius and the snake are gold in color. The sizes of the flag can either by 2x3 or 3x5 or match the proportions of the member country that it is being flown in (so 1x2, etc.). However, the emblem height must be 1/2 of the hoist (similar to the UN specifications).