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Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)

Republic of the Congo; République du Congo

Last modified: 2014-01-29 by bruce berry
Keywords: congo | brazzaville | star: 5 points (yellow) | hammer | hoe | palm leaves | diagonal | pan-african |
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Republic of the Congo is also often referred as Congo-Brazzaville, to be differentiated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa (formerly Zaire).

[National flag and ensign] 2:3~ .  Image by Mark Sensen and António Martins, 10 Jan 1999

Flag originally adopted 18 August 1958, re-adopted 10 June 1991, coat of arms adopted 10 June 1991.

See also:


Background

 

The territory known today as the Republic of Congo (or Congo - Brazzaville to distinguish it from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo or Congo - Kinshasa) is located west-central Africa and came under French sovereignty in the 1880s when the Frenchman Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signed a treaty with Makoko, ruler of the Bateke people.  The area became part of French Equatorial Africa (Afrique-Equatoriale-française) which existed between 1910 to 1958 as the federation of the four colonies of Gabon, Moyen-Congo (now the Republic of Congo), Oubangui-Chari (now the Central African Republic), and Chad.  Brazzaville (named after de Brazza), in the Moyen-Congo, was selected as the federal capital.  Following a French referendum in September 1958, the Afrique-Equatoriale-française was dissolved and the various territories became autonomous members of the French Community.  Moyen-Congo was renamed the Republic of Congo and adopted a new flag.  Formal independence was granted  on 15 August 1960.

 

Following a Marxist revolution in 1964, a one party state was established in December 1969 and the country was renamed the People’s Republic of  Congo and a new flag based on the that of the former Soviet Union was adopted.  At the National Conference for the Restoration of Democracy held in 1991, multiparty democracy was restored and it was also decided to re-adopt the original flag, arms and national anthem.
Bruce Berry, 12 Mar 2011


The Original and Present-day Flag

The flag adopted on 18 August 1958 by a then autonomous republic within the French Community is in the Pan-African Colours and was the fifth national flag to use these colours.  The Pan African Colours were originally adopted by Ghana in reference to Ethiopia, the only African state which successfully resisted colonisation.   The flag is divided diagonally from the lower hoist to the upper fly in green, yellow, red, with the yellow stripe narrower than the other portions.

On the 15 August 1960 the Republic gained its full independence and kept the same flag.  

The flag was abolished on 30 December 1969 when a new constitution introduced a Marxist one-party state under the name of the People's Republic of  Congo and a new flag was adopted.  With the restoration of multiparty democracy, the original flag was re-adopted as the national flag on 10 June 1991.
Dov Gutterman, 11 January 1999

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual, London, 2012 [bib-lna.html]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each National Olympic Committee was sent an image of their flag, including the PMS shades, by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for their approval. Once this was obtained, the LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specifications may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the National Olympic Committee believed their flag to be.

For the Congo : PMS 109 yellow, 355 green, 032 red. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version in proportion 5:3.
Ian Sumner, 10 Oct 2012
 


National Flag in the Constitution

The Constitution of 1992 (Constitution de la République du Congo-Brazzaville Examinée par le Conseil Supérieur de la République le 20 Décembre 1991et adoptée au Référendum du 15 Mars 1992) determines the flag in Article 2 (English text from CongoWeb :

Article 2.
L'embleme national est le drapeau tricolore, vert, jaune, rouge. De forme rectangulaire, il est composé de deux (2) triangles rectangles de couleur verte et rouge, sépars par une bande jaune en diagonale, le vert étant du côté de la hampe. La loi précise les dimensions, les tons des couleurs et les autres détails du drapeau.
Article 2.
The national emblem is a tricolor, green-yellow-red flag. Of rectangular shape, it is made of two (2) rectangle triangles, green and red, separated by a diagonal yellow stripe, the green triangle lying along the hoist. The law states the dimensions, the colour shades and the other details of the flag.
Article 3.
The national anthem is 'La Congolaise'.
The motto of the Republic is 'Unite-Travail-Progress' (Unity-Labour-Progress).
The seal of the State and the arms of the Republic are defined by law.
The official language is French.
The national common languages are Lingala and Munukutuba.
The capital city of the Republic of Congo is Brazzaville.
[...]
Ivan Sache and Željko Heimer, 05 Jan 2001

L'Album (1995) gives ratio of the flag as 2:3~, while Bartram's World Flag Database and the Shipmate Flag Chart have it 2:3 exactly.
Željko Heimer, 26 May 2001

The 1992 Constitution was abolished in 1997 and replaced by a Fundamental Act. It's Article 2 says:
Article 2.
L'emblème national de la République est le Drapeau tricolore, Vert, Jaune, Rouge - De forme rectangulaire, il est composé de deux triangles de couleur verte et rouge, séparés par une bande jaune en diagonale, le vert étant du côté de la hampe.
L'hymne national est "La Congolaise".
La devise de la République est "Unité - Travail - Progrès".
La langue officielle est le français.
Le sceau de l'État et les Armoiries sont définies par la loi.
Article 2.
The national emblem of the republic is the green, yellow, red tricolour. Of rectangular shape, its made of two triangles, green and red separated by a yellow diagonal stripe, the green being on the hoist.
The national anthem is "La Congolaise".
The national motto is "Unité - Travail - Progrès".
The official language is French.
The state seal and the coat of arms are defined by Law.
There is no mention of a flag law.  The description gives many graphical possibilities.
J.-F. Blanc, 6 August 2001

There is a newer Constitution for the Republic of the Congo. It is dated 20 January 2002 and reads as follows regarding the flag:

Title l, Article 5:
"The national emblem is a tricolour flag in green, yellow and red. In a rectangular form, it is composed of two regular triangles of green and red separated by a diagonal yellow stripe. The green part is next to the hoist.
The precise dimensions, colour shades and other details of the flag are prescribed by law."

I have been unable to locate any legislation regarding this flag (as referred to in the Constitution of 1992). I have, however, managed to obtain an official model. The model itself (containing no surprises) is unfortunately undated, but the accompanying letter from The Ministry of Information, Brazzaville, is dated 02 December 1999 and shows a flag with a rising diagonal stripe contained entirely within the length of the flag and occupying one-third of that length. I have, of course, no way of confirming the accuracy of its colour reproduction, but when compared to my Pantone chart the nearest equivalents appear to be red 032, yellow 109 and green 354.
Christopher Southworth, 30 January 2005


National Flag in the National Anthem

Last stanza of national anthem 'La Congolaise' from CongoWeb mentions the national colours:
Et s'il nous faut mourir en somme
Qu'importe puisque nos enfants
Partout pourront dire comme
On triomphe en combattant
Et dans le moindre village
Chantent sous nos trois couleurs.
And if we shall die
Never mind since our children
Everywhere shall be able to say
How we triumph in fighting
And in the smallest village
They sing under our three colours.

Lyrics and music by Jean Royer, Jacques Tondra and Jo Spadiliere. Adopted in 1962, abolished in 1969 and re-adopted in 1991.
Ivan Sache, 05 Jan 2001