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UNITA (Angola)

União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola

Last modified: 2002-06-21 by jarig bakker
Keywords: angola | unita | black rooster |
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[Angola - UNITA] by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 Jun 2002 See also:

União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA)

UNITA, the third of the three guerrilla movements which fought the Portuguese (and each other) for control of Angola was formed in 1966 when its leader, Jonas Savimbi, broke with the FNLA. UNITA is an 'Africanist' party emphasising ethnic and rural rights in distinction to the urbanized Marxism of the MPLA. UNITA was also 'Maoist' - not in the sense that it followed Chinese Communism but that Savimbi learned from Mao how to fight a successful guerrilla war. The CIA regarded UNITA as the most radical and the weakest of the three guerrilla movements. This proved to be a grave underestimate. Over 20 years after its 'defeat' in 1975-76, UNITA was still in the field and by 1989 had, with intermittent South African and USA support, fought to a standstill up to 40,000 Cuban troops plus the MPLA army. After losing the 1992 elections, UNITA took up arms again. However, it is involved in negotiations with the MPLA government on the future of the country and an uneasy ceasefire appears to be holding.
The flag of UNITA is a red over green over red tri-bar. On the green stripe is a 16-pointed rising sun (Angola had 16 provinces at independence; the subsequent creation of two more has not been recognized in the UNITA flag). Crowning the dawn is a black cockerel, placed to the left of the sun. The top red stripe stands for the revolution against Portugal, the bottom one for the 'second liberation struggle' against the Cubans. (Since the UNITA flag was used before 1975, this symbolism must have been added later). The green stands for hope, victory, and agriculture. The flag is popular amongst Angolan emigrés and was frequently seen in Lisbon during the 1992 Angolan election period.
Stuart Notholt,10 Jan 1996

The UNITA, União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), fought since 1975 a bloody civil war against the recognized government of MPLA. UNITA is older than that, of course, and its flag was already flown before independence. With peace slowly returning to Angola, it may be also the source of co-inspiration for a still unheard of but anyway predictable, new flag.
Antonio Martins, 30 June 1997

The colours of the UNITA flag are: green Pantone 340 (CMYK 100-0-69-15, RGB 0-136-94, browser safe RGB 0-153-102)
Stuart Notholt,10 Jan 1996

Since the image from the UNITA homepage appears to be more accurate than the one from Flagmaster (originally drawn by Stuart), even if there is little substantive difference, I remade the UNITA flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 Jun 2002

The second party in the sitting Angolan Parliament is UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, that is, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), with 77 MPs. The flag is well-known: a horizontal triband of RVR with a rising sun and a black cock in the central band. A website can be found at this address.

Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was killed during a fight with Angolese goverment troops. The reporter of "France-Inter" said that Savimbi's nicknames was "the Black Rooster". The flag of UNITA includes a black rooster. This is probably not a coincidence, but I am wondering if Savimbi was nicknamed after the flag or if the flag was made "canting" by adding the leader's nickname.
Ivan Sache, 23 Feb 2002

That's a reporter's goof. Savimbi was never known as the black rooster, it was the *movement* he led that had that nickname. The origin is, naturally, its symbol, pre-eminently featured in the flag. Savimbi did have a nickname, though. Or a couple of them. His supporters called him "pai-velho", i.e., "old-father"; his opponents called him "bandit".
Jorge Candeias, 25 Feb 2002

UNITA emblem

[UNITA other flag] by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 Jun 2002

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