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Flag of Angola

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Flag of Angola

The flag of Angola reflects that of its ruling political party. It is the only flag that the nation has used since it became independent of Portugal near the end of the 20th century, but there have been several other proposed flags that gained some support during the nation's recent history.

The national flag of Angola came into use at independence on November 11, 1975. It is split horizontally into an upper red half and a lower black half.

As in some other African countries, this flag is a modification of the ruling party's flag. The guerilla movement and later governing party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), used the same design with a golden star in the center. Red stood for socialism and black for Africa. The star was modeled after the red star of the Soviet Union, which sponsored the MPLA.

Later the explanation was made less party-specific: The red is for the blood spilt by Angolans during their independence struggles, while the black is for the continent of Africa. The symbol in the middle is of a crossed cog wheel (representing workers and industry) and machete (representing the peasantry) with a gold star. It was adopted during a time when Angola had a Marxist government, and thus was supposed to evoke the image of the hammer and sickle found on the flag of the former Soviet Union, a common symbol of Communism. The flag is most recently described and explained in article 162 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Angola (Constitution) of August 25, 1992.

  • Capital of Angola: Luanda
  • Area of Angola: 1,246,700 sq. km
  • Languages used in Angola: Portuguese (official), Bantu
  • Religions in Angola: Indigenous beliefs, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Colors and Symbolism of Angola Flags

Angola flags are horizontal bicolors of red and black that display a crossed machete and gear with a star between them in the center. The design is derived from the flag that represents the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, which began as a guerrilla movement and transitioned into a political party after the nation became independent. The red part of the field originally represented socialism, while the black portion represented Africa. Modern interpretations instead say that the red section represents the blood that was shed during the nation's struggle for independence. The star was derived from the Soviet Union's flag, and it was used because the Soviet Union helped to fund the nation's independence movement. The crossed gear and machete on the flag of Angola are intended to be reminiscent of the crossed hammer and sickle that can be found on the flags of many communist nations. The gear was chosen to represent the power of industry and the country's industrial workforce, while the machete is a symbol of the nation's rural workers.

History of Angola Flags

There have been many proposed Angola flags, but only one has been used. It predates the country's independence and was first used to represent the soldiers that fought to make the country independent of Portugal. Their efforts were successful, and their military flag became the national flag of Angola in 1975 after undergoing a slight modification. The movement's flag featured a gold star in the center, which altered to add space for the crossed gear and machete. The symbolic interpretation of the flag's colors has changed slightly since then in order to make the flag more universal, but the design has not changed.

The most recent alternative flag was proposed by the nation's parliament in 2003. It featured five alternating bands of blue, white, and red of unequal size and a unique emblem in the center. The emblem resembles cave paintings that have been found in Angola and was meant to serve as a symbol of the nation's ancient heritage. It was not adopted, but it achieved some popularity despite that fact.