Last modified: 2000-01-28 by ole andersen
Keywords: angola | cabinda | flec | simulambuco monument | kongo | enclave | portuguese congo |
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by Joan-Frances Blanc 28 April 1998
detail of the central emblem
by Joan-Frances Blanc 28 April 1998
And the word "Cabinda". I did a drawing of the symbol I'll try to
computerise tomorrow. I was still waiting (my wife was trying hard to
find a cheaper cassava...) when three ladies came to the car. I asked
them about that flag and I was given the address and phone of an
itinerant ambassador in Europe of the exile government of the Republic
So I'll try this week to get more information.
Just a reminder: the Portuguese Congo colony was situated between the
French Congo (now Republic of the Congo) and the Belgian Congo (now the
Democratic Republic of the Congo). In 1920, it was administratively
joined to the Portuguese Angola.
During the 50s, as Angola became a "province" of Portugal, people from
former Portuguese Congo, now known as Cabinda, created their own
The issue is that Cabinda has huge oil reserves, now exploited by the
american company Chevron. Angola won't let go such a source of
Joan-Frances Blanc, 27 April 1998
Last Friday I met people from Cabinda so I got the full stroy about
Cabinda and its flag (almost)...
That movement adopted an horizontal tricolour blue-yellow-red.
Then a scission occurred and one of the new movements took these colours
and added the symbol shown in the present FOTW-ws page about the
The Cabindese I met added that another movement has a white flag with
some yellow, green and red devices on it, but were unable to describe it
For them the blue-yellow-black flag is the "National" flag, while the
other designs are those of political or military organisations.
Joan-Frances Blanc, 4 May 1998
Flaggenmitteilung 42 report a flag with three horizontal stripes: top and
bottom are WHITE, and the central one is divised in three stripes of green,
yellow and black. In the center of the flag a red ring (occuping all the
central threestriped stripe and 1/3 of each one of the whites).
Jaume Ollé, 5 May 1998
by Stuart Notholt - 1996-01-10
To the north of Angola proper is the enclave of Cabinda, which is rich in oil and therefore has considerable significance both to the Angolan government and the western oil companies who exploit it.
In 1963 a movement called the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) was formed to press for independence for this territory.
FLEC was largely inert during the war against the Portuguese and languished afterwards, although UNITA staged some attacks against oil installations.
FLEC was reformed in 1984 and began operations against the MPLA regime.
It is currently (January 1996) in negotiation with the government. FLEC has had its own factional problems and there is (or was) also an organization calling itself 'UNALEC' (presumably, the National Union for the Liberation of the Enclave in Cabinda). Whether this was a split from FLEC, a UNITA front, or merely another name for FLEC, is not clear.
Another organization is the Cabinda Democratic Front.
A flag for FLEC has been reported by our old friend _Flags of Aspirant Peoples_. It is shown as being a light blue over yellow over red tricolour. In the centre is a brown circle, containing a green triangle on which there is a white star.
I have little information regarding the accuracy or symbolism of this flag, although I have seen the triangle/circle device, in black and white, on FLEC literature, so I believe this part at least to be accurate.
Stuart Notholt - 1996-01-10
The flag is a horizontal tricolour of red, yellow, dark
blue. At the center there is a black
circle that occupies only the yellow strip. Inside the circle there is a
green triangle and an inverted white 5-pointed star over the triangle.
Both the triangle and the star touch the circle.
Jorge Candeias - 9 August 1997
So, apart from oil-greed, Cabinda's fight for self-determination has some historical basis.
As far as flags are concerned, I don't think there was one. Salazar's policy was 'one nation in Europe and outside Europe', so the flag was just one, the Portuguese national flag (again reminds me of France). So, I don't know (and I would like to) what is the origin of Cabinda's flag(s) and colours.
Jorge Candeias, 11 August 1997
Dieter Linde, 10 May 1998
I hope that after the recent info posted by Joan France`s some clarification will be made on this subject: The Cabinda "national" flag, the old FLEC flag, the new FLEC flag, flags of the other movements, etc.
Antonio Martins, 11 May 1998
Jorge Candeias, 24 July 1998
Jorge Candeias, 20 August 1998
First question: I don't know, but I don't think so.
Second question: No. Cabinda was a separate portuguese protectorate until either the late XIX century or the early XX century, after which the colonial administration integrated it in Angola. Naturally, the locals weren't heard about it. In 1974-75 when Portugal gave the independence to it's african colonies, it was done in a colony per colony basis, including Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (that had a common nationalist party (and guerrilla) for both - PAIGC, operating mainly in Guinea, but with a leadership composed mainly of cape-verdeans. A loose confederation was formed between the two countries after the independence. It didn't last long, though). So, since Cabinda was already a part of Angola, there where never plans for a separate independence process for the territory.
Jorge Candeias, 4 March 1999
The Fischer Weltalmanach (1976) has a virtual independent Cabinda;
Cabinda became important in the '60's, when the Golf Oil Co. dicovered
oil. The independance movements of Angola saw Cabinda always as an
integral part of Angola, while Zaire and the PR Congo (Brazzav.)
assisted separatist tendencies; FLEC (Frente de Liberac,ao de Cabinda)
had its main seat in Kinshasa till 1975. In July 1975 a provisional
revolutionary government (president: Luis Ranque Franque, president of
FLEC, prime minister: Francisco Xavier Lubota) was proclamed, which
wanted elections, and independence on 11.11.1975, together with Angola.
The Fischer Weltalmanach (1977) has (p. 701): The struggle for independence in Cabinda came to an end when the MPLA occupied it. Since 1976 Cabinda is part of Angola.
(p. 691): The exclave Cabinda was declared independent by the FLEC on 1 Augustus 1975, but fell into the hands of the MPLA.
The Fischer Weltalmanach (1978) mentions a new FLEC-provisional government under Henrique Thiago in Sanda-Massala.
After that it stayed Angolan, as far as I know.
Jarig Bakker, 4 March 1999
This [the 1977 entry, ed.] is very innacurate. See my previous message on the subject.
Jorge Candeias, 4 March 1999