Constitution

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, July 14, 2009, and August 8, 2017.

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.”

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:

  1. To create a strong bond among those associations and institutions and to encourage and coordinate their work, studies, and research;
  2. to promote the organization of International Congresses of Vexillology and to lend its support to their organizers;
  3. to encourage the creation in all countries of associations and institutions dedicated to vexillology; and
  4. to recognize 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.

II. HEADQUARTERS
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.

III. MEMBERSHIP
Art. 6  An applicant for membership in FIAV:

  1.  must be an organization of the type expressed in article 2;
  2.  must be committed to the purposes of FIAV expressed in article 3; and
  3.  must be constituted in conformity with the laws of the country where it is located.

Art. 7

  1. Membership in FIAV is open to any association or institution anywhere in the world having as a substantial purpose the scientific study of vexillology.
  2. The processing of membership applications is the responsibility of the Board. The procedure consists of the following:
    1. 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.
    2. The Board shall consider the application and inform the applicant and Members of its recommendation not later than one month before the convening of the next session of the General Assembly.
    3. The Board may recommend acceptance of the applicant as a Member, recommend rejection of the applicant, or make no recommendation.
    4. The General Assembly at its next session shall vote on the application. An authorized representative of the applicant must appear at the session to present its case.  Unless excused by the General Assembly, the representative must serve an active role in conducting the applicant’s affairs. If the applicant is an association, then the representative must also be a member of the association. A rejected applicant has the right to reapply for membership at any later session of the General Assembly.
  3. The Board and the General Assembly, in making their decisions about an applicant, shall have regard to the following:
    1. the existence of a written constitution and its provisions;
    2. the vexillological and non-vexillological activities of the applicant, including meetings, publications, and international relations;
    3. in the case of an association, the number of it active members (minimum of five);
    4. registration of its members or representatives in International Congresses of Vexillology; and
    5. the length of time it has existed.

Art. 8

  1. A Member voluntarily resigns if it does not send a delegate to three consecutive regular sessions of the General Assembly.  The resignation is effective at the adjournment of the third consecutive regular session.
  2. A Member may voluntarily resign by writing to the President.  The resignation is effective on the date of its receipt.
  3. 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 or to provide a written response to a potential violation of article 11. 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 shall be notified at least three months before the convening of the next regular session of the General Assembly.  The Member shall be invited to present its defense before the General Assembly and may participate in the vote on the matter.

Art. 10  Each Member regulates its own affairs in complete freedom, limited only by this Constitution and the laws in effect in the territory where it functions.  FIAV may not otherwise limit the rights of Members in this respect.

Art. 11   Members shall not undertake any activities contrary to the interests of FIAV.

Art. 12

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. The General Assembly may name as “Laureates of the Federation” persons who have made outstanding, original contributions to the science of vexillology. The General Assembly may delegate this power to the Board.
  2. The General Assembly may name as “Fellows of the Federation” persons who have made significant contributions to vexillology and/or rendered significant service to FIAV or a FIAV Member. The General Assembly may delegate this power to the Board.
  3. Except as provided in article 19(d), Laureates and Fellows have no special rights in the General Assembly.

IV. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Art. 14

  1. The General Assembly is composed of the Officers together with a delegate from each of the Members.  Each delegate shall 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.
  2. A session of the General Assembly is not constituted unless delegates of at least half of the Members are present.
  3.  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 and Officers present:

  1. A simple majority in the election of Officers or to excuse the absence of an Officer under article 19(d).  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Two-thirds for all other motions.
  4. Three-quarters for amendments to the Constitution or dissolution of FIAV.

Art. 16   The General Assembly:

  1.  elects Officers;
  2.  examines and approves the administration of the Board and the Commissions;
  3.  examines all questions concerning FIAV and in particular the organization of the International Congresses of Vexillology;
  4.  interprets the Constitution;
  5.  names Laureates and Fellows 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);
  6.  establishes such Commissions as it deems necessary and appoints Commissioners.

Art. 17  The General Assembly holds a regular session every two years during each International Congress of Vexillology.  If extraordinary circumstances exist, a special session may be called with the notice specified in article 18 by either the Board or upon written request to the President by at least two-thirds of the Members.

Art. 18  The Board convenes a session of the General Assembly. The Board shall give notice of (1) the date, time, and location of the session and (2) the agenda, including any membership applications, amendments to the Constitution, or a motion to dissolve FIAV, to all Members at least three months before the convening of the next session.

V. ADMINISTRATION

Art. 19

  1. 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.
  2. The Officers serve a term that commences after the final adjournment of the session of the General Assembly at which they are elected and ends at the final adjournment of the next session at which Officers are elected. The election of Officers shall be on the agenda of each regular session. Consent of the candidates for election is required. The Officers are eligible for re-election.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 18 and preside until the General Assembly elects a presiding officer for the remainder of the session. Neither the interim Secretary-General nor the presiding officer serving under this article shall be considered as a voting Officer under articles 14 and 15.

Art. 20  The Board:

  1. manages the current affairs of FIAV and establishes the duties and obligations of its Officers;
  2. issues directives which it considers necessary to the success of the activities of FIAV, including the International Congresses of Vexillology;
  3. establishes such Commissions as it deems necessary and appoints Commissioners;
  4. convenes sessions of the General Assembly pursuant to article 18;
  5. represents FIAV in its relations with other national and international institutions; and
  6. 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.

VI. LANGUAGES
Art. 22  The General Assembly may designate languages for use in FIAV and the Internatiinal Congreses of Vexillology, taking into consideration the global nature of vexillology and the related practical and economic concerns, but may not require a delegate, applicant, Officer, or Congress attendee to use any specific language.

VII. PUBLICATIONS
Art. 23

  1. 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.
  2. The Proceedings of the International Congresses of Vexillology shall be published by the Congress organizer(s). Beginning with the Twenty-Ninth International Congress of Vexillology, Congress organizers shall grant a license to FIAV to provide an online version of the Proceedings.

VIII. SYMBOLS
Art. 24

  1. 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:
  2. The General Assembly may adopt Officer flags and other symbols for FIAV.

IX. DISSOLUTION
Art. 25

  1. The General Assembly may dissolve FIAV and establish the terms of the dissolution.
  2. If the General Assembly does not hold a session at which a quorum is present within six ears from the final adjournment of the last session at which a quorum was present, then FIAV is dissolved.

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 resignation under article 8(a) was at the adjournment of the Twenty-Fourth Session in 2015.

Amended August 8, 2017 (articles 1, 3(d), 7(b), (c), 8(a), 9, 10, 13, 14(a), (b), 15, 16(e), 17, 18, 19(b), (d), and 20(d), 22, 23(b), 24, and 25) by the Twenth-Fifth Session of the General Assembly held during the Twenty-Seventh International Congress at London, England, United Kingdom.