January 10, 2005

New Flag for Zanzibar

Zanzibar is flying its new flag as part of the Indian Ocean islands' 41st revolutionary celebrations. It is the first time for four decades that the archipelago has had its own flag since uniting with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964. However, Zanzibar's government has stressed that the adoption of a flag did not mean that that was a move towards independence. Inaugurated by President Amani Abeid Karume, the flag is significant to Zanzibari politics, as the archipelago already has its own parliament, executive, legal system and national anthem. But the protocol for flying the flag is likely to prove complicated, since it is not to be raised at international forums such as the United Nations or African Union. And the new design of blue, black and green horizontal stripes with the Tanzanian flag shown in a corner, has not found favour with everyone. The opposition Civic United Front (CUF), some of whose members want independence from mainland Tanzania, disputed the inclusion of the Tanzanian union flag. (The East African Standard, Nairobi)

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