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Portuguese Angola

Last modified: 2005-04-29 by
Keywords: portugal | welwitschia | overseas province |
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Angola was discovered by the Portuguese mariner Diogo Cao in 1483 and became one of Europe's first colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. It was also one of the last to achieve independence, when the Portuguese left in 1975. (Angola became officially independent on 11 November 1975). From 1951 onwards, Portugal regarded its overseas territories as integral parts of the Portugal itself - they were 'provinces', not colonies - and accordingly maintained at the United Nations that they were not subject to decolonization. For the same reason, Portuguese overseas provinces did not have flags of their own: the Portuguese flag was official for all the usual purposes. However, there were distinctive flags for the Governors and Governor Generals of the territories. The flag of the Governor General of the Portuguese Overseas Territories was white, with the cross of the Order of Jesus, on which was centred the arms of Portugal. Two light green stripes ran horizontally across the flag. The flag of the Governor was similar, except that the stripes were vertical.
Stuart Notholt, 10 Jan 1996

Angola was divided into two colonies. In the 1920s stamps were issued separately for Angola and for Portuguese Congo (this last colony consisting of Cabinda and Zaïre provinces, Zaïre lying to the south of the Congo River mouth). The colony of Congo Portuguesa would seem to have been an attempt to revive the BaKongo state - I see you illustrate a flag for Kakongo, although it is not surprising that you have no illustrations of flags for earlier states of the BaKongo.
Mike Oettle, 20 Dec 2001

Portuguese General Army Command

[Angola - Portuguese General Army Command] by António Martins, 21 April 1998

The General Army Command of Angola (Comando Geral Militar de Angola) used the Welwitschia mirabilis (which grows in Namibia and Southern Angola, red.) as its coat of arms' (COA's) main charge, instead of the 1935 colonial COA's sinister mantel, like the commands of Mozambique, São Tomé and Principe, [Portuguese] Guinea and Cape Verde. This is a putative banner of arms of the Army Command.
António Martins, 21 April 1998

Proposal for Portuguese Angola, 1967

[Langhans' proposal for Portuguese Angola, 1967] by António Martíns-Tuválkin, 13 Apr 2005

Heraldist F. P. de Almeida Langhans published in p. 67 of his Armorial do Ultramar Português (Lisbon, 1965) [lgh65] a general model for the overseas "provinces" flags: The national flag defaced with the shield of the lesser arms of each province centered in the lower fly quarter of the red field. This proposal was approved in 1967, but never came into effect. The colonial armss, decreed on 8 June 1935, had a shield of the same pattern, tierced in mantel, the dexter silver, five escutcheons in saltire, each charged with five bezants, gold, in cross; and the point silver, five waves green. The remaining sinister mantel had some local emblem: Angola: Purple, an elephant and a zebra, both proper, passant dexter, per pale.
Antonio Martíns, 8 July 1997, corrected 14 September 1997

Municipal flags

In old issues of the Diário da República one can probably locate accurate information about flags and Coat of Arms of towns and municipalities. All legislation has to be published there, and I believe that it has been the case at least since the revolution of 1910. c. 40 Coats of Arms can be seen on Ralf Hartemink's site.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Feb 2005