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From what I understand what has been announced by the national symbols committee is the winner of the competition for a new flag of Angola. The old symbols, both flag and arms, will continue in use until the constituent assembly can agree on a constitution in which the new national symbols will be described. Hopefully, our Portuguese speaking correspondents can clarify the matter, but it seems to me the new flag will have to wait before being run up the flagpoles.
Jan Oskar Engene, 28 Aug 2003
I say you are absolutely correct. This is just a project, still waiting for a new constitution to be institutionalized. That, as we all know, can take years to be implemented.
So, there is no new flag of Angola just yet.
Jorge Candeias, 28 Aug 2003
Uije Citizens Refute Change of Country's Flag
Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
September 6, 2003
A crowd of citizens in Angola's Northern Uije province gathered on Friday here to demonstrate against the new flag choosen by the Parliament's Constitutional Commission of the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament).
In a survey carried out by Angop, some interviewed people defended the maintenance of the current national symbols, and others said the flag to be adopted represents nothing to the Angolan people.
According to Eliás Kutuila, a civil servant, the colours of the choosen flag "do not go in accordance with the country's historical
background". Some people back substantial changes of the flag but without "neglecting the history of Angola".
The citizen Pedro Augusto said there are lots of countries in the world that have gone through situations like the Angolan one but did not change their national symbols".
Another citizen said the flag "they want to impose upon us has no any historical meaning, whereas the previous one describes the suffering of the Angolan people (blood and sorrow) plus the country's fortunes".
Antonio Teixeira, 11 Sep 2003
I wouldn't call "survey" to a few interviews made to people protesting against a flag. Angop, for those who do not know, is the
angolan press agency, still not quite independent from MPLA influence. So, all this tells us is that there are people in Angola who do not like that proposed flag, as would be expected. It says nothing about numbers, how majoritary or minoritary that opposition really is.
Speculating, and considering similar cases in other countries, I do suspect it to be majoritary: there are those that prefer the current flag for political reasons, those that don't like the proposal because they'd prefer some other design (and several ideas have necessarilly been put forward, informally), those that don't like it because they consider it ugly, etc.
Jorge Candeias, 11 Sep 2003
I completely agree that these are not scientific surveys but they might be the closest we will come to them. So here goes another
article about another "survey". But I find it interesting to listen to the reasons for disliking the new flag, some of which are in line
with what was already discussed here.
Public Opinion Disagrees On New National Symbols
Angola Press Agency (Luanda)
September 4, 2003
Several citizens disagreed today with the new national symbols (Flag, Anthem and Insignia), chosen last week by the National Assembly's Constitutional Commission; The citizens manifested their discontent during the programme of the State-run Angolan National Radio (RNA) "Manh? Informativa" (Informative Morning).
Among the chosen symbols, which took three years to analyse, the citizens manifested more sceptical about the new flag proposal, defending that the country should adopt an exclusive flag, which is not the case of the one that has been chosen, since it is very
similar to the flags of several countries and is not exclusive in terms of colours. During the phone-in session, callers said things
such as "You deputies (MP's) will not copy a flag from other countries (...)".
One of the callers, José Quipungo, a bishop of the United Methodist Church, considers that in the Hall of Nations, the present national flag is not similar to that of any other country, therefore, it should not be changed "Just like that".
He stressed that the chosen flag, both the colours and the configuration, does not represent any patriotic or nationalistic feeling for Angolans. "Perhaps it represents the present political sentiment", he said.
Another caller, Mateus Bimbi, is of the opinion that since the deputies are always complaining about the lack of democracy, in this
specific case they should show their democratic attitude, by letting people choose. "It is as if they are denying the greatest symbol of our independence, which means, renouncing our independence".
Ana Bela who also phoned the programme said that the deputies are being too hasty, because Angola is just coming out of a war situation and there are still a lot of important things to do, therefore, some more time should be given so that the various artists that the country has may work more calmly on a more complete flag, a well designed one.
In the opinion of Manuela Santana, a popular consultation, regarding the flag, should be carried out, because the sovereignty rests on the people. "It is necessary to find a flag which people can identify with, because the one that has been chosen does not represent anything for us. Angola has always had a bright son".
Meanwhile, the guests to the radio programme, deputies Jerónimo Wanga (UNITA) and Anália Pereira (PLD), are of the opinion that the referred flag, chosen by the constitutional commission, represents neutrality.
As regard the similarity with the flag of Costa Rica, the PLD deputy explained that the commission did not define criteria for the public contest from which they got the chosen proposal, allowing contestants to design their flags as they pleased. "That is why we did not have a lot of choice", she said.
However, the MP's assured that the people will have a say, before the symbols are finally approved by the National Assembly. The new national anthem to be approved will keep the melody of the present one with a few changes to the word. A lot of the callers in the radio programme also think that the anthem should only change the lines referring to the ruling party's official date for the start of the armed struggle against colonialism (February 4), since the other historical parties advocate different dates.
The Constitutional Commission has also agreed to keep the country's present Insignia.
The Parliament's Constitutional Commission, made up of members of all the political parties seated in the National Assembly (Parliament), is in charge of drafting the next Constitutional Bill to be approved before the next elections.
Antonio Teixeira, 11 Sep 2003
Details on the new proposed flag of Angola can be found at this webpage. As supplied by Mello Luchtenberg.
My Portuguese is extremely basic, but it seemed to me that the flag (and presumably the arms as well) was still a "proposal" rather than the new flag of Angola ( at least as yet)?
Christopher Southworth, 27 Nov 2003
Yes, the flag is a proposal until a new constitution gets approved. But that whole thing is quite inconsistent. If you check the page of the "SUB-COMISSÃO DE TRABALHO PARA OS SÍMBOLOS DA REPÚBLICA" (working subcommission for the symbols of the Republic) you can read the internal regulations of that organism where is expressed that "A Sub-Comissão da trabalho para so Símbolos da República tem por objecto o apuramento de três propostas de cada um dos Símbolos Nacionais, submetidos a concurso pela Comissão Constitucional." (the working subcommission for the symbols of the Republic has the purpose of electing three proposals for each National Symbol, submitted to contest by the Constitutional Commission). And yet, only one final proposal for flag is known and no proposals for a new hymn or COA are known.
That whole thing is a bit bizarre, if you ask me...
OTOH, in the page about the proposals for the national symbols, you get a long list of names (and respective provinces) and no proposals at all. I assume (because it's written nowhere) that these are the names of those people that put forward flag proposals. I also see one name with a differently coloured background. Number 106, Katica, from Luanda, is probably the author of the proposed flag.
Jorge Candeias, 27 Nov 2003
Concerning the not yet new flag of Angola, Pascal Vagnat found a recent update:
The draft of the future Constitution of Angola shall be presented to the Constitution Commission of the National Assembly next Tuesday. Provided that the original wire (from < http://www.angola.org > was dated 23 January 2004, the draft must have been presented on 26 January 2004.
The Commission shall discuss the draft before its adoption. A public consultation shall also be set up.
The draft of the Constitution includes the new flag proposal.
We can consider that another step was probably made towards the change of the national flag of Angola.
Ivan Sache, 8 Feb 2004