Angola flag 10 x 15 cm
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola, pronounced IPA: [??'publik? d? ?~'g?l?] Kongo: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa bordering Namibia to the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, and Zambia to the east, and with a west coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. The country is the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its people are among the continent's poorest. According to the International Monetary Fund, more than $4 billion in oil receipts have disappeared from Angola's treasury in the 2000s. In August 2006, a peace deal was signed with a faction of the FLEC, a separatist guerrilla from the Cabinda exclave in the North, which is still active. About 65% of Angola's oil comes from that region.
The national flag of Angola came into use at independence on November 11, 1975. It is split horizontally into an upper red half and a lower black half.
Like in some other African countries this flag is a modification of the ruling party's flag. The guerilla movement and later governing party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), used the same design with a golden star in the center. Red stood for socialism and black for Africa. The star was modeled after the red star of the Soviet Union, which sponsored the MPLA.
Later the explanation was made less partywise: The red is for the blood spilt by Angolans during their independence struggles, while the black is for the continent of Africa. The symbol in the middle is of a crossed cog wheel (representing workers and industry) and machete (representing the peasantry) with a gold star. It was adopted during a time when Angola had a Marxist government, and it thus supposed to evoke the image of the hammer and sickle found on the flag of the former Soviet Union, a common symbol of Communism. The flag is most recently described and explained in article 162 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Angola (Constitution) of August 25, 1992.
The Angola flag has remained controversial. Some see it as an excessively political symbol, pointing out the similarity with the MPLA's party flag. It has also been criticized for representing memories of Angola's bloody and violent past, instead of hope for the future.