Congo-Kinshasa
Flag
  • Most recently adopted on February 20, 2006.
  • The flag is sky blue and has a yellow star and a diagonal red stripe bordered by two yellow stripes.
  • The blue stands for peace, red for the blood of martyrs (one who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty for refusing to renounce their religion), yellow for the nation's wealth, and the star for a radiant future.

Background
· Peoples from western Africa migrated into the Congo Basin thousands of years ago.
· The Kongo Kingdom controlled the southwest when the Portuguese.
· The Congo Free State, recognized by the Conference of Berlin in 1884, became, in effect, a feudal estate.
· Leopold enslaved the people and plundered the land.
o His harsh treatment of the region eventually aroused an international outcry
o The Belgian Parliament was moved to seize the domain from King Leopold in 1908.
o The area then became known as the Belgian Congo.
· After World War II, and following the trend in much of Africa, the Congolese negotiated with Belgium for their independence.
· In 1960, the new country was named the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
· Independence leader Patrice Lumumba became prime minister, but soon after the first elections, the province of Katanga in the southeast seceded, Lumumba was murdered by political rivals, and unrest spread throughout the region.
o UN troops could not restore peace.
· Mobutu Sese Seko eventually seized power in 1965 with help from Western nations.
· In 1971, he renamed the country the Republic of Zaire, after the Portuguese name for the Congo River.
· Mobutu ruled a brutal one-party dictatorship and robbed the national treasury to amass a personal fortune.
· Under international and domestic pressure, he lifted the ban on political parties in 1990.
· Rampaging underpaid soldiers, corruption, and a collapsed economy plunged the country into chaos.
· In May 1997, Kabila entered Kinshasa.
o He declared himself president and changed Zaire's name back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
o Mobutu died in exile in September 1997.