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Vexillopedia

Flag of Congo

Congo
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1959
Design A diagonal tricolour of green, yellow and red radiating from the lower hoist side corner. [0]
Colors
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History

Under French colonial rule over French Congo, the authorities forbade the colony from utilizing its own distinctive colonial flag. This was because they were worried that this could increase nationalistic sentiment and lead to calls for independence. However, with the rise of the decolonization movement in Africa, the French were obliged to grant limited autonomy to the Congo as a self-governing republic within the French Community. This was granted on November 28, 1958, after a referendum was held and nine months later, the Legislative Assembly began deliberating over a national flag.

The new flag was officially adopted on September 15, 1959 and remained unchanged when the French Congo became an independent state less than a year later on August 15, 1960. It was hoisted on top of the building that formerly housed the French high commission to mark the proclamation of independence. In 1968, a coup d'état took place in the country, with the new government proclaiming the People's Republic of the Congo a year later. By doing so, it became the first Marxist–Leninist country in Africa. In order to symbolize the revolutionary change, the regime instituted a new national anthem and chose a new flag. This featured a red field charged with the country's new coat of arms—a gold star with an overlapping hammer and hoe encircled by a wreath—in the top-left canton. The design was inspired by that of the Soviet Union's flag.

The red flag remained in place until 1991, when economic problems and the weakening of the Soviet Union's power due to the Revolutions of 1989 culminated in democratic elections and ultimately, the collapse of the People's Republic of the Congo. The National Conference, which oversaw the transition to a democratic government, reinstated the original flag from 1959 on June 10, 1991. The colours and shapes on the flag are mentioned in Article 5 of the constitution of the Republic of the Congo. [0]

Meaning

Nationally, the green epitomizes the agriculture and forests of the Congo, while the yellow represents the "friendship and nobility" of the Congolese people. However, the symbolism behind the red was left unexplained. From a continental viewpoint, the green, yellow and red are the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement. It is the only Pan-Africanist flag to utilize a diagonal pattern in its design. [0]