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Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)


Last modified: 2002-10-12 by jarig bakker
Keywords: zaire | congo | mobutu |
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Zairian flag by Gerard van der Vaart and António Martins, 22 Nov 1998 
See also:

Laws about the flag

The Constitution of Zaire, which was in force until last Saturday was adopted 5 July 1990. The flag was described in article 4 of Title 1 (The Territory and sovereignty of the Republic) as follows:
Article 4: The emblem of the Republic is a light green flag, ornamented in the centre with a yellow circle in which a right hand is holding a torch with a red flame.
This flag was adopted on 19th November 1971 when the parliament adopted Loi no. 71-007 du 19 novembre 1971 portant revision de la Constitution.

In the first week of August 1992 there was already a legal mouve to get rid of the ’green flag with tourch’. At that time a National Conference was held in Kinshasa, which task it was to give Zaire a new - democratic - constitution - following other African countries which already did that. This National Conference decided to rename Zaire to Congo as well as to go back to "the old flag". Already a few days later this National Conference was abolished by order of mr. Mobutu.

Jos Poels, 19 May 97

As far as I know the lightest green used on a flag was in Zaire’s flag.
Ralf Stelter, 25 Jul 1999

Presidential flag

Zairian flag by Marcus Wendel, 16 Aug 1999 (source:[tal94])

This is the Presidential flag of Zaire under Mobuto.
Bruce Berry, 16 Aug 1999

The silhouetes are very familliar: The tank is a French AMX-13  and the jet is a French Mirage IIIC
Dov Gutterman, 16 Aug 1999

See DR Congo - Coat of Arms for details on the coat of arms.

As others have noted, the flag is not in use any more. It was shown in Smith's 1980 [smi82] book and text regarding it says:
"Presidential flag is used by the prime-minister in his office as lietenant-general of Zaire armed forces. On his car he uses the national flag."
The flag is provided ratio approx. 3:4, and marked as "alternation" (one of several possible flags used either simultaniously or under certain conditions):[alternative]
Zeljko Heimer, 17 Aug 1999

Flag of Mobutu’s party?

Flag of Mobutu’s party by António Martins, 22 Nov 1998, after image sent by by Nathan Bliss, 7 Jan 1997

My question here is what really is this flag, because is surely not Mobutu’s party flag. Not only it has no resemblance to the Zaire flag, but also it features a map of Zaire / Congo-K. without the southern secessionist provinces of Katanga/Shaba, Southern Kasai and what seems to be part of Kivu, something Mobutu would never had endorsed.
António Martins, 22 Nov 1998

It seems to me that that the map is just a distortion in order to fit the flag (and the outspread hands). The long stretch into Zambia is there, as well as the hiccups in the frontiers between Congo and Zambia. IMO it's quite safe to assume that Nathan Bliss' image was a bit distorted and that the real flag had the real map of Congo (or Zaïre) on it in red. Many political flags produced by expatriates have been proved to be geographically (or otherwise) incorrect.
Mobutu's party was the Popular Movement of the Revolution (Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution), founded in 1967 as the principle vehicle of the Mobutu regime. It was renamed in 1990 to Popular Movement for Renewal (Mouvement Populaire Renouveau - MPR).
Jarig Bakker, 9 Oct 2002

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