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Political flags of Guinea Bissau

Last modified: 2003-02-01 by antonio martins
Keywords: paigc | star: 5 points (black) | pan-african colours |
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Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo-Verde - PAIGC

[Flag of PAIGC]
by Jorge Candeias 02 Nov 1999

Recently, after the civil war that torn the country apart, the guinean governmental party PAIGC (Partido Africano da Independencia da Guiné e Cabo-Verde — I think this is still it's name) held a convention to decide on its future. The decisions aren't interesting for us (except that the party continues and keeps the same symbols), but the flag is. This flag I'm sending along was hanging from the table of the convention presidency (a common practice in Portugal also), so I suppose that it as official as one can get. The source for this are TV images.

The flag is just the national flag in a proportion of 1:2 with the sigla of the party beneath the black star, also in black.

This party flag is particlarly important because it gave birth to not one but two national flags: that of Guinea-Bissau and the old national flag of Cape Verde. The Cape-Verdian party PAICV, that nowdays has a different flag, used also a flag in these lines. The reason for this is that Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde constituted a short-lived confederacy after independence under the leadership of the PAIGC, a party that had cape-verdian and guinean membership and was winning the war against the portuguese colonial forces in Guinea-Bissau by the time of the portuguese revolution.

The union broke apart because there were conflicts between the cape-verdians (with a much more european culture — Cape Verde is basically a mixed country, racially, culturally, linguistically, etc.) and the guineans (who in the vast majority didn't speak portuguese) inside the party, that immediately were reflected at state level. The symbols, however, remained very close until the democratization of Cape Verde and the consequent change of national symbols in this country.

The symbolism of this flag is just like that of the national flag and inherited from the symbolism of Ghana, from which it comes: an arrangement of the pan-african colours with the black star of Africa added.

Jorge Candeias, 02 Nov 1999