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Somali (Ethiopia)

Somali National Regional State

Last modified: 2003-09-13 by zeljko heimer
Keywords: somali | ethiopia | somailia | somaliland | ogaden |
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[Flag of Somali]
by Jorge Candeias, 19 December 1999

See also:

Presentation of Somali

The state is often called simply Somalia, not to be confuzed with the neighbouring county of that name.

According to the Ethiopian Parliament site, "the State of Somalia has a very large area size ranking second next to Oromiya. At present the state comprises 9 administrative zones and 49 woredas." Being very large means "an estimated area of about 250,000 square kilometers." Still quting the website, we find out that "the State of Somali [sic!] is located in the eastern and south eastern part of Ethiopia. The State has common boundaries with Afar and the Republic of Djibouti in the north, Kenya in the south, the State of Oromiya in the west, and Somalia in the east and in the South." The capital is Jijiga.
This means that Somali State includes the whole of Eastern Ethiopia, including partially or completely the old provinces of Harerge, Bale, Sidamo and eventualy portions of neighboring provinces such as Welo, Shewa or Arsi. Again, the new capital is a relatively small center (this seems to be a pattern), this time quite off-centered. Jijiga is located in the north of the old state, half-way between the old capital of Harerge and the somalian border (50-60 km from both).
Ethnically, this is another state with large homogeneity, being it's population of 3,439,860 (September 1997) constituted by Somalis in 95.6%. Other ethnies: "Oromo 2.25%, Amhara 0.69%, Somalians 0.63% [what's the difference between these and the Somalis?], and Guragie 0.14%".
Jorge Candeias, 19 December 1999

Flag of Somali

The flag is a green-white-dark red horizontal tricolour with a light blue triangle at the hoist charged by a white star. Jaume posted a very close image, but it isn't quite as the image at the ethiopian parliament site because apparently the star is supposed to be rotated so that it points to the fly. Jaume also says that "[the flag of the] Somali state seems to be based in the Western Somalia Liberation Front flag adopted when were merged WSLF and SALF (flag is a mixture of both)". FOTW is all but clear as to what movement predated what, but to me it seems pretty clear that this flag is an evolution of the *Somalia-Abo Liberation Front*, not the Western Somalia Liberation Front. Also, I can't help noticing the great similarities between this flag and the flag of Somaliland, as we all know a self-proclaimed state in the old british Somalia (just a green-white-red tricolour with star and sahada). It could even be a sort of "conciliation flag" between the two Somalias, due to the white star on blue at the hoist.
Jorge Candeias, 19 December 1999

Previous Flags of Somali

[Flag of Somali 1975] by Jaume Ollé 14 January 1997.

[Flag of Somali 1982] by Jaume Ollé 14 January 1997.

Green and red vertically divided flag with white star was reported in use by Somali movements in 1975. In 1982 a variation of black in place of green was reported.
Jaume Ollé

Historical notes

Concerning the Ethiopian regional state of Somali, it's worth mentioning (although no special flags were used for it) that the Ogaden was administered, following the defeat of Italian forces in East Africa, as part of the British occupation of Somali territories, separate from Ethiopia.
Although the postal administration differentiated between the Somaliland Protectorate and the rest of the region (Ethiopian Ogaden and former Italian Somalia), the entire Somali region was under a single administration until Somalia was handed back to Italian control.
In the 1960s, newly independent Somalia tried to take the Ogaden, but was repulsed by Ethiopian forces.
Mike Oettle, 2 January 2002