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Republic of Congo (Congo-Leopoldville) 1960 - 1963

Last modified: 2004-11-06 by
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Congo-Léopoldville flag of 1963-1971 by Zeljko Heimer, 26 Dec 2000 See also:

Republic of Congo (Congo-Léopoldville) 1963 - 1966

This is the flag of Congo-Kinshasa, in use from 1 July 1963 until 21 November 1971. In that year, the country was renamed Zaire and the flag was replaced with the Zairean flag, [which remained in use until 1997 — ed.].
Stuart Notholt 10 Mar 1996

On that 30th June 1963 Congo adopted a flag light blue flag was a red stripe with yellow fimbriations, running from the lower left corner to the upper right coner, and a big yellow five pointed star in the canton.
Jos Poels, 19 May 97

Various sources give diffeent position of the diagonal stripe. The one shown above seems to be the right one, even if such flags where yellow fimbriations (either of the two) touch the corners are reported, and probably were is use. [Ed.]

I have the following on the flag of 1963 - 1971:

Law of 30 June 1963 "fixing the arms, motto and emblem of the Republic of the Congo.

The arms of the Republic of the Congo are composed of a leopard's head framed to the left (by) a palm branch and an arrow, and to the right an ivory tusk and a spear (with) the whole resting on a rock. The motto is: "Unite, Justice et Travail" Our emblem is the sky-blue flag, decorated with a yellow star in the upper left corner and crossed by a diagonal red band finely framed (in) yellow.
Christopher Southworth, 23 May 2004

With regard to the latest information on the proposal to change the flag of the D.R.C., I have one piece of information.  The 1963-1971 flag shown in the illustration, is not correct.
While it may be true that flags were made in this pattern, such flags were not correct.  The correct style had the diagonal running from lower hoist to upper fly, but based on the hoist and fly edges, not top and bottom.
This is as shown in Flagmaster 113, just issued.
This is also the result of personal observation on my part at the time the flag was in use.
Michael Faul, 3 Nov 2004


Later usage

The Front National de la Liberation of Jean Tshombe is reported [in 1976] by some journalists travelling in the Shaba warzone, to have the old Congolese flag: in blue a red yellow fringed diagonal stripe; in the top left corner a yellow star.
Source: Flaggenmitteilung [fnb] (report of L. Philippe, 1977.09.11).
Jaume Ollé, 5 Sep 1999

The rebels of the RCD (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie, Congolese Union for Democracy) have started using the 1963 flag as the flag of Congo.
Filip Van Laenen, 2 Jul 1999


Current usage of the 1963 flag

The rebels of the RCD (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie, Congolese Union for Democracy) have started using the 1963 flag as the flag of Congo, whereas Kabila chose the 1960 flag. Kabila used the 1960 flag as a symbolic continuation of September 1960, when prime-minister Patrice Lumumba, Kabila's idol, was put down from power.
Lunda Bululu, former prime minister of the former Zaire and current member of the political bureau of the RCD says to De Standaard that this isn't correct. The flag of independence has six stars, but there are ten provinces now. We use the flag of 1963 to honour the political-historical truth.
The flag is the one as designed at the constitutional reform of 1963 in Luluaburg. The name of the country became République Démocratique du Congo or RDC in that same reform, the same as the name today.
"We hoist the flag of Luluaburg out of respect for the history and for the people, that voted by referendum the constitution in 1964" says Lunda.
The situation in Bukavu has been unstable these last days: the population feared that the new flag was a foreplay for a declaration of secession on June 30th - the day at which Congo became independent - of the Eastern part of Congo by the RCD.
The peace negotiations for Congo between the RDC and the RCD in Lusaka have been suspended. The rebels are divided, and the RCD/Goma of Emile Ilunga has boycotted the negotiations because the RCD/Kisangani of Ernest Wamba dia Wamba was invited to the talks.
Filip Van Laenen, 2 Jul 1999, summaryzing from De Standaard
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