The Fédération internationale des associations vexillologiques (FIAV) is an international federation of 59 regional, national, and multinational vexillological associations and institutions across the globe. The translations of FIAV’s French name into the other three official FIAV languages are the International Federation of Vexillological Associations (English), the Internationale Föderation Vexillologischer Gesellschaften (German), and the Federación Internacional de Asociaciones Vexilológicas (Spanish).



FIAV unites those associations and institutions throughout the world whose object is the pursuit of vexillology, which is the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge. FIAV’s purposes are: to create a strong bond among those associations and institutions and to encourage and coordinate their work, studies, and research; to promote the organization of International Congresses of Vexillology and to lend its support to their organizers; to encourage the creation in all countries of associations and institutions dedicated to vexillology; and to sanction international standards facilitating the development of these activities.



The idea for FIAV began with the informal “International League of Vexillologists,” formed on September 5, 1965 at the First International Congress of Vexillology held in Muiderberg, The Netherlands. The Congress was organized by Whitney Smith of the United States, Klaes Sierksma of The Netherlands, and Louis Mühlemann of Switzerland. The “Fédération internationale des associations de vexillologie” was provisionally organized on September 3, 1967 at the Second International Congress of Vexillology held in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. The FIAV flag, designed by Klaes Sierksma, was first hoisted during ICV 2 on Sunday, September 3, 1967, at the Institute Gottlieb Duttweller.

FIAV.flags.Secretary-General for Congresses

Secretary-General for Congresses

FIAV was officially created on September 7, 1969 at the Third International Congress of Vexillology held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where the North American Vexillological Association was founded—Boston University. ICV 3 was organized by the North American Vexillological Association, The Flag Research Center, the Heraldry Society of Canada, and the United States Flag Foundation.  Since 1969, FIAV has sponsored the biennial International Congresses of Vexillology that have been held in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The current FIAV Board consists of Michel R. Lupant (President, first elected 1997) of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Charles A. Spain (Secretary-General, first elected 1997) of Houston, Texas; and Graham M.P. Bartram, (Secretary-General for Congresses, first elected 1999) of Ruislip (London).

The Association is one of the twelve charter Members, of which only five are still active in FIAV: The Flag Research Center (established February 1, 1962); Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlaggenkunde (established June 19, 1966); Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Fahnen-und Flaggenkunde / Société Suisse de Vexillologie / Società Svizzera di Vessillologia (established January 21, 1967); North American Vexillological Association / Association nord-américaine de vexillologie (established June 3, 1967); and the National Flag Foundation (established March 26, 1968). The Association has organized six International Congresses of Vexillology: ICV 3 (Boston 1969), ICV 7 (Washington, D.C. 1977), ICV 9 (Ottawa 1981), ICV 12 (San Francisco 1987), ICV 18 (Victoria, British Columbia 1999), and ICV 24 (Alexandria, Virginia 2011).

Additional FIAV links within
FIAV Member Websites
FIAV Flag Information Code

FIAV publishes a newsletter, Info-FIAV (ISSN 1560-9979 print), that is a chronicle of internal organizational matters such as the FIAV Constitution, a list of FIAV Members, and the minutes of FIAV General Assembly sessions.