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Lesotho: 1966 flag

Last modified: 2005-02-06 by
Keywords: lesotho | independence | hat: basotho |
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[Lesotho - 1966][Variant] 2:3~
by Bruce Berry, 19 February 1998 See also:

1966 - 1987 Lesotho flag

On independence on 4 October 1966 the Kingdom of Lesotho adopted a new Coat of Arms, a national flag and a Royal Standard. Details of the new symbols were published in the Government Gazette Extraordinary of 30 September 1966 and are as follows:
The national flag is a rectangular tricolor in proportion three by two with two vertical stripes, one green and one red in that order, on a blue ground on the left hand side of the flag next to the flag staff; each stripe being one tenth of the total width of the flag and a white Basotho hat being placed in the centre of the blue stripe.
The Royal Standard, illustrated in Whitney Smith's, Flags through the Ages and across the World, had the full Arms in colour superimposed on the white Basotho hat in the fly.
Bruce Berry, 19 February 1998

W. Smith explains the colors as: blue - sky and rain, white - peace, green - land and red - faith. It was officially hoisted on 4 October 1966. The Royal flag was similar, having a bit smaller hat above the states coats of arms.
Željko Heimer, 1 May 1996

I've always seen the 1966 Lesotho flag in a lighter shade of blue. Did all the flag charts in Europe make a mistake for so long?
Philippe Bondurand, 19 February 1998

This flag incorporates the colors of the National Party which led Lesotho to independence and shows a traditional Basuto hat. The constitution was suspended in 1970 when the National Party refused to accept the victory of the opposition Congress Party in the first post-independence elections. A military coup overthrew the National Party régime in 1986 and the present flag was adopted a year later. Elections subsequently brought the Congress Party to power.
Illustrations of the flag in books vary in proportion (2:3 or 1:2); in the shade of green and blue; and in the size, shape and position of the hat.
Vincent Morley, 21 February 1997


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