Last modified: 2006-08-05 by phil nelson
Keywords: biafra | benin | nigeria | africa | sun |
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image by Željko Heimer
On May 29, 1967 Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu, the military governor of the eastern region
emerged as the leader of Igbo secessionist sentiment, declared the
independence of the eastern region as the "Republic of Biafra." The ensuing
Nigerian Civil War resulted in over 30,000 deaths before ending in the
defeat of Biafra in 1970.
Jens Pattke, 8 July 2006
"The Republic of Biafra formed in Eastern Nigeria on 30 May 1967 had a flag of red, black and green, horizontally, with a rising sun from the Coat of Arms (of the old Eastern Province) in gold in the centre. This became obsolete when the Republic ceased to exist on 15 January 1970."
Don Hagemann 28 November 1995
Recent newspaper reports tell about plans for relaunching Biafra and it
flag. A flag hoisting ceremony is announced for 27 May
Jan Oskar Engene, 13 April 2000
image by Rob Raeside
The eleven rays of the sun represented the eleven provinces of Biafra. The
lowest rays were usually more or less horizontal and the remaining rays spread
evenly. The rays were normally long and slender, and usually slightly wavy.
I have in my possession a 12-inch LP entitled "This is Biafra,"
issued during the war by the Biafran Students Association in New York City.
The cover design is a large picture of the Biafran flag, quite similar to the
first image. There is also a picture in the book "The Nigerian Civil
War" by John de St Jorre, of Ojkwu witting in front of a Biafran flag.
Although the flag is partially obscured, it seems similar to the first image.
The flag in this picture was obviously 'thrown together' and not
professionally made. This 'makeshift' quality was typical of much of the
Biafran experiment and may account for the several slightly different versions
of the flag extant.
John Beadle, 12 April 1999
With reference to my earlier comments on the Biafran flag, I enclose a couple of scans which help illustrate how the sun in the flag usually looked. Although neither example is from a proper national flag (one shows a couple of uniform patches, and the other a unit flag), to the best of my knowledge they are representative of how the sun was presented on the flag and elsewhere. Note the slightly wavy rays, of unequal length and width.
image by Jorge Candeias, 3 August 2005
This is a variation of the flag of Biafra. The flag above is used in a
number of places, the sun-symbol as being composed of two separate elements,
the half-sun above and a narrow rectangle below. However, some images of this
symbol show it a bit differently, with three elements, as a half ring
separates the sun proper from its rays. Several examples of this design can be
seen at Biafranet together
with other examples with the solid sun. Since Biafranet is as Biafran as
webpages get, I suppose that the two versions are used interchangeably.
Jorge Candeias, 3 August 2005
image by Ivan Sache
Republic of Benin (19 September 1967 until 21 September-1967):
secession by Mid Western State.
Jens Pattke, 8 July 2006
Flag of the so-called Republic of Benin established in mid-west Nigeria in
Stuart Notholt, 30 June 1996
The flag was the same as Biafra's but the red is
changed to black (and then the black is 2/3 of the flag). The Republic of
Benin survived only hours. The capital was taken by Biafran forces in the day
and was recovered by the Nigerian federal troups in the night. The nominal
territory of the republic (in fact under Biafran control) was recovered later.
Jaume Ollé, 20 January 1997