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Democratic Republic of Congo: Pre-independence


Last modified: 2002-11-09 by jarig bakker
Keywords: congo |
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[Flag of Congo Free State] by Antonio Martins
See also:

International Congo Society 1877 - 1885, Congo Free State 1885 - 1908 and [Belgian] Congo 1908 - 1960

When the Congo Free State was formed in 1885, its flag, reputedly designed by the explorer H.M. Stanley, was blue with a gold star in the centre. One explanation of its symbolism was the light of civilization (i.e., the star) shining in the darkness of Africa. No change was made to the flag when the Free State became Belgian territory in 1908.
Stuart Notholt, 10 Mar 1996

I am writing on the flag used by the Congo Free State. According to J Roland and E Duchesne, Cours Complet de Geographie, Le Congo Belge, Namur 1914, p.9; the Congolese flag had been hoisted since 1877 by the Association Internationale Africaine (presided by King Leopold of Belgium) founded at the Brussels Geographic Conference (1876).
The flag goes back to one historical African King or Prince, but I have to still follow that up.
I am in the process of posting the abovementioned booklet (Roland/Duchesne) on the web, in English translation. URL : <> (!link does not function anymore!, ed.)
Alexander Ganse, 19 Oct 2000

On the site at <> (!link outdated!, ed.) one reads from Roland/Duchesne booklet:

"Two months after the closing of the conference [that is: April 1885], Leopold II. requested, conforming with the Belgian constitution, and obtained from the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate the authorization to become the Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo. One of the first acts of the new state was to declare itself perpetually neutral. It adopted a blue flag with a golden star in it's center, which the International African Association had hoisted since 1877."

It appears from those pages that Stanley was very busy travelling, exploring and civilizing and that he had hardly time to do some flag-designing..And I haven't found the reference to the mysterious African prince.
Jarig Bakker, 5 February 2001

Congo cigarette-card flag

[Congo cigarette-card flag] sent by Olivier Touzeau, 28 Oct 2002

From a series of Cigarette Silks Iron-on Transfers, the subject of which is: Nation Animals & Flags, the flag of .Congo (the belgian one) - accompanied by an okapi
(source this site)
Olivier Touzeau, 28 Oct 2002

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