The FIAV provisional council adopted provisional statutes on September 3, 1967. The FIAV statutes were formally adopted on September 7, 1969 and amended on September 29, 1983. The statutes were replaced by the current FIAV Constitution, which was adopted on September 27, 1989. The Constitution has been amended on August 12, 1997, July 29, 1999, July 23, 2001, August 7, 2007 and July 14, 2009.
The current text of the Constitution is set out below. It contains the exact text as adopted and amended.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DES ASSOCIATIONS VEXILLOLOGIQUES
I. NAME AND PURPOSES
Art. 1 The name of this association is the Fédération internationale des associations vexillologiques, which is abbreviated as “FIAV.” The official translations of FIAV’s name are: International Federation of Vexillological Associations (English); Internationale Föderation Vexillologischer Gesellschaften (German); and Federación Internacional de Asociaciones Vexilológicas (Spanish).
Art. 2 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.
Art. 3 FIAV has as its purposes:
- 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.
Art. 4 FIAV, being strictly scientific, has no commercial ends and renounces any political or religious activity or stand.
Art. 5 The administrative headquarters of FIAV are located at the residences of its two Secretaries-General. If necessary, the General Assembly may establish a legal headquarters for FIAV.
Art. 6 An applicant for membership in FIAV:
- must be an organization of the type expressed in article 2;
- must be committed to the purposes of FIAV expressed in article 3; and
- must be constituted in conformity with the laws of the country where it is located.
- Membership in FIAV is open to any association or institution anywhere in the world having as a substantial purpose the scientific study of vexillology.
- The processing of membership applications is the responsibility of the Board. The Board may delegate this responsibility to a person appointed by it for this purpose. The procedure consists of the following:
- The applicant shall submit a membership application, which must be received by the Board no later than six months before the convening of the next session of the General Assembly.
- The Board shall consider the application and make a recommendation to the General Assembly relative to the applicant and shall communicate that recommendation to the applicant and to existing Members not later than three months before the convening of the next session of the General Assembly.
- The Board may recommend acceptance of the applicant as a Member, or may recommend rejection of the applicant.
- The General Assembly at its next session shall vote on the application. An authorized representative of the applicant may appear at the session to represent its case. A rejected applicant has the right to reapply for membership at any later session of the General Assembly.
- The Board and the General Assembly, in making their decisions about an applicant, shall have regard to the following:
- the existence of a written constitution and its provisions;
- the vexillological and non-vexillological activities of the applicant, including meetings, publications, and international relations;
- in the case of an association, the number of its dues-paying members (minimum of five);
- registration of its members in International Congresses of Vexillology;
- the length of time it has existed; and
- the presence of an autochthonous and authorized representative of the applicant at the session of the General Assembly at which there is to be a vote on the application.
- A Member voluntarily resigns if it does not send a delegate to three consecutive sessions of the General Assembly. The resignation is effective at the adjournment of the third consecutive session.
- A Member may voluntarily resign by writing to the President. The resignation is effective on the date of its receipt.
- FIAV cannot reject a Member’s voluntary resignation.
Art. 9 At its discretion, the Board may require a Member to furnish evidence of its continued qualification for membership under the terms set forth in article 7. On the basis of this evidence, the Board may make a recommendation to the General Assembly on the continuation of the membership of the association or institution. If the recommendation is made to remove a Member from FIAV, the Member in question must be notified at least three months in advance of the session of the General Assembly at which there is to be a vote on the matter. The Member shall be invited to present its defense before the General Assembly, but shall not participate in the vote on the matter.
Art. 10 Each Member regulates its own affairs in complete freedom, limited only by the laws in effect in the territory where it functions. FIAV may not limit the rights of the Members in this respect.
Art. 11 Members shall not undertake any activities contrary to the interests of FIAV.
- FIAV may not act on behalf of its Members without their authorization expressed in the General Assembly. Members may not make commitments nor act on behalf of FIAV.
- Members may not hold international vexillological meetings outside of International Congresses of Vexillology. Notwithstanding this prohibition, a Member holding a vexillological meeting in any year in which no International Congress of Vexillology is held may invite participation by a Member from a contiguous country.
Art. 13 The General Assembly may name as “Laureates of the Federation” persons who have made outstanding contributions to vexillology. The General Assembly may delegate this power to the Board. The status as a Laureate does not confer any right within FIAV.
IV. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- The General Assembly is composed of the Officers together with a delegate from each of the Members. Each delegate must present to the President written credentials from the Member represented. A Member may delegate any or all of its powers in writing to a delegate from any other Member or to an Officer.
- A session of the General Assembly is not constituted unless delegates of at least half of the Members are present, except as provided for in article 25.
- Each Member and each Officer is entitled to one vote in the General Assembly.
Art. 15 Majorities in the General Assembly consist of the following fractions of those Members present and voting:
- A simple majority in the election of Officers. If more than two candidates stand for election for an Office and no candidate receives a simple majority, then the candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated from the next ballot, and so on.
- A simple majority for a motion to amend a motion under consideration, to proceed to the next item of business on the agenda, to defer consideration of a motion, to refer a motion to a Commission, to appeal a ruling of the chair, for a record vote, or to adjourn a session of the General Assembly.
- Two-thirds for all other motions.
- Three-quarters for amendments to the Constitution or dissolution of FIAV.
Art. 16 The General Assembly:
- elects Officers;
- examines and approves the administration of the Board and the Commissions;
- examines all questions concerning FIAV and in particular the organization of the International Congresses of Vexillology;
- interprets the Constitution;
- names Laureates of the Federation pursuant to article 13 and awards such other distinctions as it deems appropriate to persons or institutions who have shown particular merit in the field of vexillology (this power may be delegated to the Board); and
- determines the amount and disposition of the annual dues, if any, to be paid by Members; and
- establishes such Commissions as it deems necessary and appoints Commissioners.
Art. 17 The General Assembly holds a session at least once every two years, normally on the occasion of each International Congress of Vexillology. The Board convenes a session of the General Assembly. The Board must give notice of the agenda, including any amendments to the Constitution or motion to dissolve FIAV, to all Members at least three months in advance of the session.
Art. 18 The General Assembly may be called into an emergency session if extraordinary conditions require this, as determined by the Board, or if three-quarters of the Members request this of the Board.
- The administration of FIAV is entrusted to a Board which acts only by unanimous agreement. The Board is composed of three Officers: the President, the Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General for Congresses.
- The Officers are elected at the end of each session of the General Assembly and serve until the election of the new Officers at the next session of the General Assembly. Consent of the candidates for election is required. The Officers are eligible for re-election.
- The Secretary-General and the Secretary-General for Congresses must reside on different continents. The Secretary-General manages the Permanent Secretariat of FIAV and the Secretary-General for Congresses manages the Permanent Secretariat of the International Congresses of Vexillology. The Board is considered to be in continuous session, conducted by correspondence.
- A vacancy on the Board occurs if an Officer dies, resigns, or lacks mental capacity under the laws where the Officer resides. Absence of an Officer at a session of the General Assembly creates a vacancy on the Board unless excused by the General Assembly. The resignation of an Officer must be received in writing by another Officer, or if no Officer remains, then by the organizer of the next International Congress of Vexillology. The resignation is effective on the date of its receipt. If a vacancy occurs, the position shall remain vacant and the duties of that Officer shall be performed by the remaining Officers. If no Officer remains to perform the duties of the Board, then the organizer of the next International Congress of Vexillology shall select an interim Secretary-General from among the Fellows of the Federation, if available, who shall have the limited authority to take those acts necessary to convene a session of the General Assembly pursuant to article 17 or 18 and preside until the General Assembly elects a presiding officer for the remainder of the session.
Art. 20 The Board:
- manages the current affairs of FIAV and establishes the duties and obligations of its Officers;
- issues directives which it considers necessary to the success of the activities of FIAV, including the International Congresses of Vexillology;
- establishes such Commissions as it deems necessary and appoints Commissioners;
- convenes sessions of the General Assembly pursuant to articles 17 and 18;
- represents FIAV in its relations with other national and international institutions; and
- manages membership procedures pursuant to article 7 and encourages vexillological associations and institutions to apply for FIAV membership.
Art. 21 FIAV’s assent to an agreement imposing a binding obligation on FIAV may only be given by a written document signed by all Officers. Current correspondence may be signed by any single Officer.
Art. 22 The official languages of FIAV and the International Congresses of Vexillology are English, French, German, and Spanish. Other languages may be used when appropriate.
- FIAV shall publish a newsletter concerning its activities at least once a year for the benefit of its Members, which may be freely reproduced. The General Assembly may initiate or authorize other publications.
- The Flag Bulletin (ISSN 0015-3370) is recognized as a journal for the publication of scientific articles in the field of vexillology.
- FIAV’s flag is described as follows: “On a blue field, extending horizontally from hoist to fly, two yellow halyards forming two interlaced loops.” The color blue is defined as Pantone Matching System U293 and the color yellow is defined as Pantone Matching System U123. The Flag is illustrated as follows:
- The General Assembly may initiate or authorize other symbols for FIAV.
- A motion to dissolve FIAV may be considered only at a session of the General Assembly at which delegates of at least three-quarters of the Members are present.
- Instead of sending a delegate, a Member may chose to submit to the President a written, notarized statement expressing that Member’s vote in favor of, or in opposition to, the motion to dissolve. A Member that submits any such statement shall be considered present at the session for the purpose of determining that the session is constituted to consider a motion to dissolve.
- The General Assembly establishes the terms of the dissolution.
Adopted September 27, 1989 by the Eleventh Session of the General Assembly held during the Thirteenth International Congress of Vexillology at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
Amended August 12, 1997 (article 14(a)) by the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly held during the Seventeenth International Congress of Vexillology at Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Amended July 29, 1999 (adding new article 1 and renumbering and amending remaining articles) by the Sixteenth Session of the General Assembly held during the Eighteenth International Congress of Vexillology at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Amended July 23, 2001 (eliminating the distinction between Full and Associate Members and amending articles 15 and 23) by the Seventeenth Session of the General Assembly held during the Nineteenth International Congress of Vexillology at York, England, United Kingdom.
Amended August 7, 2007 (articles 19(d) and 24) by the Twentieth Session of the General Assembly held during the Twenty-Second International Congress of Vexillology at Berlin, Germany.
Amended July 14, 2009 (article 8) by the Twenty-First Session of the General Assembly held during the Twenty-Third International Congress of Vexillology at Yokohama, Japan. Note: The first General Assembly session to which article 8 applied was the Twenty-Second Session in 2011. The first possible resignation under article 8(a) would, therefore, be at the adjournment of the Twenty-Fourth Session in 2015.