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Vexillopedia

Flag of São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe
Ratio 1:2
Adoption 1975
Design A horizontal tricolour of green, yellow and green; with a red triangle based at the hoist and two black five-pointed stars in the yellow stripe. [0]
Colors
#D21034
#12AD2B
#FFCE00
#000000

History

The Portuguese colonized the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe during the 16th century and incorporated them into their colonial empire. Four centuries later, the Batepá massacre in 1953 stoked nationalistic sentiment and galvanized a struggle for independence. This was led by the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP), which were established seven years later. The Portuguese, however, refused to grant this and continued to fight on until the Carnation Revolution occurred in 1974. The new government decided to withdraw from their remaining colonies, and negotiated on a roadmap for independence with the MLSTP, whom they had recognized as the "sole representative" of the islands.

Several submissions for a new flag were made, all of which utilized the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement. These were all turned down, and a new flag – reportedly designed by MLSTP leader and future president Manuel Pinto da Costa – was approved of. It was adopted either on July 12, 1975 – the day the country became independent – or on November 5 of that same year. The flag is almost identical to the flag of the MLSTP, and although they lost their "monopoly of power" in 1990, the flag remained unchanged. [0]

Meaning

The green alludes to the plentiful vegetation of the country, while the yellow stands for the tropical sun and cocoa, a key agricultural crop for the nation. The red evokes the "struggle for independence", as well as equality. The two stars on the yellow band represent the two islands that make up the country. [0][1]