Last modified: 2005-05-28 by ole andersen
Keywords: sudan | arab | splm | anya-nya | lado | machar | secessionist |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
This flag (with red star) is presumably that of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. It appeared on television during a report related to the war in the South of Sudan and was placed at the side of a personage who I think was Colonel John Garang. The SPLM is not a separatist movement (like the Anya-Nya) but operates in the South with the intention of taking power throughout the country.
Jaume Ollé, 3-MAR-1996
On some web sites the flag (with the yellow star) is named the Christian flag of Sudan or the New Sudan flag.
Its colours are described as "black for the Africans,
red for those who died, green for the country and a star for the star of
Bethlehem." The description of the yellow star as "star of Bethlehem" was found on
other (non-Christian) websites, too. If this meaning of the star
is "official" or just an individual interpretation it is not clear. The movement name is nowdays used on
web-site of Free Sudan Center
the Sudan Liberation Movement and its military wing, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLM/SLA), based mainly in the souther province of Dafur.
various reports, May 2004
Ivan Sache, 12 September 1999
We have many southern Sudanese people here (Rochester, Minnesota, USA) who call their flag New Sudan.
It has 5 stripes like Kenya, black/white/red/white/green.
The blue triangle is blue and the star is yellow, not red, and pointing to the pole, away from the point of the triangle.
Lee L. Herold, 14 September 1999
I believe that the first star was red and later (early 1990's) changed to yellow. I saw this flag with red star at side of Garang with red star, but many years ago.
Jaume Ollé, 17 October 1999
Sudan can be divided in two major ethnic-religious parts: in the North the
Arab-Muslim population with the capital of Khartoum, in the South the black
African Christian and animistic population. The Civil war broke out because
of the South's resistance against the Northern government, the National
Islamic Front (NIF), which wanted to impose the Islamic law on the whole
At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Sudan#Civil_strife there is a good summary of this conflict, and you find also informations about the new conflict in the Darfur region.
A quotation from that site:
"Peace talks between the southern rebels and the government made substantial progress in 2003 and early 2004, although skirmishes in parts of the south have reportedly continued. The two sides have agreed that, following a final peace treaty, southern Sudan will enjoy autonomy for six years, and after the expiration of that period, the people of southern Sudan will be able to vote in a referendum on independence. Furthermore, oil revenues will be divided equally between the government and rebels during the six-year interim period. The ability or willingness of the government to fulfull these promises has been questioned by some observers, however, and the status of three central and eastern provinces remains a point of contention in the negotiations."
The liberation movements in South Sudan don't have the same aims concerning the status of autonomy. E.g. the SSLM ( http://members.tripod.com/SudanInfonet/SSLM_Declaration.htm ) pursues full independency whereas http://www.southsudannation.com/ reports voices that still hope for a democratic *and* united Sudan. It is also mentioned there a SPLA/M manifesto from 1983 in which the unity of the country is maintained as a goal but for today there is reported a vast majority in the SPLA/M who aims for independence. However there seems to be still a certain partition about this question within the SPLA/M, for the AFP news agency reports a pro-Sudan manifestation in Khartoum, organized by the African National Union, an association close to the SPLA/M. There was also displayed the "Rebel flag" for the first time in Khartoum, see http://www.sudan.net/news/posted/8569.html
So this "Rebel flag" or "New Sudan Flag" is used now by all parties in the South, be they for independence or just an autonomous status within Sudan. I think if South Sudan should once become independent, this flag has good chances to become its national flag.
We can see that the "New Sudan Flag" is derived from the old SPLA/M flag; just the colour of the star changed from red to yellow. In an off-list message Jaume Ollé gave me background informations which could shed light on that change. He wrote that after the fall of the Soviet-Union the leadership of the originally pro-communist movement widened its political spectrum and looked for American help. The change of the colour of the red star could be a consequence of this new orientation. Jaume reported also to have found in the web a photo of the red star flag which had been digitally changed to a yellow star flag. It seems that the yellow-star flag is not a new variant *beside* the old flag, but should replace it. This would mean a major propaganda success for the SPLA/M which could impose its party flag on the whole South Sudan. BTW: The SPLM (Sudanese People's Liberation Movement) is the civil arm of the SPLA (Sudanese People's Liberation Army).
There are some notions subsumed as "various reports" which seem a bit
strange to me. It's said that on some websites the "New Sudan Flag" is
called "The Christian flag of Sudan". This is new to me and I'd like to know
the source for this remark. I hope it's not derived from my message in which
I attached photos showing Sudanese Christians waving the Christian Flag
together with the "New Sudan Flag"? The description of the yellow star as
"Star of Bethlehem" doesn't make this flag a "Christian flag", all the more
the Star-of-Bethlehem story is perhaps an individual interpretation.
Another thing: the formulation "The movement name is nowdays ... the Sudan
Liberation Movement and its military wing, the Sudan Liberation Army
(SLM/SLA), based mainly in the souther province of Dafur" is misleading
because it suggests that SLM/A is just a new name for SPLM/A. In fact these
are two different organizations. The SLM/A was founded in the Darfur region
when the conflict broke out there in 2003. The SPLM/A still exists as
liberation movement for the South. And Darfur shouldn't be described as
"Southern province" but as Western or South-Western province lest it isn't
confounded with the whole South Sudan. You can find links to both
organizantions at http://mathaba.net/sudan/index1.htm
Unfortunately the SPLM/A still doesn't have an own website.
Martin Karner18 July 2004
For further development, see also Southern Sudan authonomy. (Ed.)
Ivan Sache, 12 September 1999
The emblem is sketchy, with a european cow, a buffalo would certainly be better.
Ivan Sache, 12 September 1999
General Riak Machar give his name to a movement formed in August 1991 as a break-away from the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
Jaume Ollé, 19-NOV-1996
The Lado territory was a British possession which the British government rented to the Congo Free State in 1894. It was returned to Sudan in 1910. The Bari people in Lado have demanded independence for the territory and have adopted a flag.
Jaume Ollé, 19-NOV-1996
My 'Allers Illustrerede Konversations-Leksikon' from 1906-10 (third volume, K-Me: 1908) says about Lado [translation OA]:
"Trade station in Eastern Sudan [This is 'Sudan' in the old meaning. Today, 'Sahel' would be used instead. OA] on the White Nile [Bahr-el-Djebel. OA]. Built 1874 by the well-known Gordon Pasha, and was the most important station in Egyptian Sudan; after the Mahdi's revolt, it was completely cut off from Egypt 1885; now, leased from England, a part of the Congo State."
Ole Andersen, 12 August 2000
1909 - Lado enclave ceded by Belgium from Congo to the Sudan
1912 - Southern half of Lado enclave ceded from the Sudan to Uganda as W. Nile province: Bari-Lotuka area ceded to the Sudan
Source: Freeman-Grenville, 'Chronology of African History', 1973
Lado Enclave: A territory on the West bank of the Nile river north of
Lake Albert, now in Uganda and in souteast Sudan; 15.000 square miles;
explored by British 1870 and later, and claimed for Great Britain 1894;
leased to Belgium 1894-1910. Chief town was Lado, on the Nile just south
of Mongalla, Sudan.
Source: Webster's New geographical Dictionary, 1988
Jarig Bakker, 12 August 2000
[A] referendum in the south of Sudan, once the borders are established, could spell a new flag of a new nation, theoretically anyway.
Steve Stringfellow, 06 May 1998
Jaume Ollé, 5 September 1998
Azania was also a word used by leftist groups during the apartheid regime in South Africa as "local" name of new South Africa to be, however it seems to have been derived from Arab "al-zandjijja", meaning the land from the blacks.
Franc van Diest, 13 January 2000
There was some debate prior to 1994 as to whether the name of South Africa should be changed to Azania. However, the term is not originally from South Africa and actually refers to a part of East Africa in Tanzania.
Bruce Berry, 13 January 2000
For several centuries until the 11th century, Azania was used by Arab seafarers for that part of Eastern Africa, with which they traded. Azania refers to 'the land of the blacks' - compare with the Arab word for a black person 'zanj'.
Ole Andersen, 13 January 2000
In South Sudan and Northeast Congo there was (is) a tribe named 'Azande(h)' - which had nothing to do (as far as I know) with Azania / Zanj / Zanzibar. So instead of: 'Azanian' read (possibly): 'Azande Liberation Front'?
Jarig Bakker, 13 January 2000
From Umma web site on http://www.umma.org/English.html:
The Sudanese Patriots who established Umma Party in February 1945 as the fist Popular Political Party, aimed at attaining the country’s independence from the Condominium Reign. The Umma Party is the Party of Sudanese Independence. It championed that cause until it became the basis for Sudanese consensus in 1955. (The country's Independence was announced in 1st Jan 1956).
It bore the brunt of opposition to all the Dictatorial Regimes, which came to power through coup d’etat. It drew the largest electoral votes in all the free General elections, which took place in the Sudan. It masterminded all the initiatives to arrive at a Great Compromise between North and South. It initiated the principle of making citizenship the basis for Constitutional Rights, the recognition of Religious and Cultural plurality in the Sudan, and a program to resolve the issues of Religion and Politics, Religion and State, on a basis which reconciles National unity and Religious loyalties. Currently the Umma Party is championing the cause of a negotiated Just Peace, and Democratic Transformation and so putting an end to the War and to Totalitarianism.
Elected (April 2003) President of Umma Party is Imam Al Sadig Al Mahdi.
See also: Flags of the Mahdi on this site.
Reconstructed from written description by Ivan Sache, 22 February 2001
Darfur is the westernmost part of Sudan, along the Chadian border. The major ethnic group is the Fur. According to "Nations Without States" the flag of the Fur national movement is a 1:2:1 horizontal tricolor of green, red and black, with a white crescent on the center stripe.
Ned Smith, 21 February 2001