Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||February 20, 2006|
|Design||Sky blue flag, adorned with a yellow star in the upper left canton and cut diagonally by a red stripe with a thin yellow frame.|
Variant flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Design||National flag with the addition of the inscription "Le President"|
The national flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a sky blue flag, adorned with a yellow star in the upper left canton and cut diagonally by a red stripe with a yellow fimbriation. It was adopted on 20 February 2006. A new constitution, ratified in December 2005 and which came into effect in February 2006, promoted a return to a flag similar to that flown between 1963 and 1971, with a change from a royal blue to sky blue background. Blue represents peace. Red stands for "the blood of the country's martyrs", yellow the country's wealth; and the star a radiant future for the country. (subscription required)
The previous flag was adopted in 2003. It is similar to the flag used between 1960 and 1963. The flag is based on the flag which was originally used by King Leopold's Association Internationale Africaine and was first used in 1877. The design was then implemented as the flag of the Congo Free State after the territory was recognized as an official possession of Leopold II at the Berlin Conference. After gaining independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960, the same basic design was maintained. However, six stars were incorporated to symbolise the six provinces of the country at the time. This design was used only from 1960 to 1963.
The flag of the first Republic of Mobutu Sese Seko became the official banner after Mobutu established his dictatorship. This flag was used from 1966–1971 and consisted of the same yellow star, now made smaller, situated in the top corner of the hoist side, with a red, yellow-lined band running diagonally across the center. The red symbolized the people's blood; the yellow symbolized prosperity; the blue symbolized hope; and the star represented unity. This flag was changed when the country was renamed Zaire in 1971. The Zaire flag was created as part of Mobutu's attempted re-Africanization of the nation and was used officially until Mobutu's overthrow in the First Congo War.
Flag of Congo-Léopoldville from independence June 30, 1960 until 1963
Flag of Zaire 1971–1997
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1997-2003)
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