Sunday, 26 July 2009

Cameroon - Current


The national flag of Cameroon consists of a vertical tricolor of green, red and yellow, defaced with a gold five-pointed star in its centre.[1] The ratio of the flag is 2:3.[2] It was adopted in its present form on 20 May 1975 after Cameroon became a unitary state. [3]

There is much discussion regarding the star on the Cameroon flag. There appears to be no specified size for the star within the constitution. [4] The star does however, always seems to be contained within the central stripe.[5] The size of the star has been reported to vary in size from “…very small…hardly visible from a distance”[6] to “…7/8th of the width of the central stripe, or maybe more.”[7]

The colours of the flag of Cameroon are the pan-African colours of green, red and yellow. They are based on the colours of a historic Ethiopian flag from 1897.[8] These colours were adopted by the African Democratic Rally, the leading local political force in French West Africa.[20] Cameroon was the second country to adopt these colours after Ghana.[9] The vertical tricolor of the Cameroon flag reflects the links with France which was the colonial power controlling most of its territory before independence.

The symbolism of the colours of the Cameroon flag are given as follows. Green is said to represent hope for a happy future and the rich vegetation of the Southern forests. Yellow stands for the Sun, the source of peoples happiness and for the savannas in the northern part of the country. Red stands for national sovereignty and is the symbol of independence and unity. The star is referred to as "the star of unity".[10][11][12][13]

The history of the current flag dates back to 1957 when the newly independent Cameroon adopted a unadorned tricolor of green, red and yellow as there flag. When in 1961 the former British territory of Southern Cameroon voted to join the former French Cameroon, two stars of gold were added to the top of the green band to represent the federated states. In 1972 the federal system was replaced by a unitary government, and in 1975 the two stars were removed from the green and a single star was placed on the red portion of the flag.[15][16][17][18][19]







The flag of Cameroon may have been completely different if one of the other 1957 proposals had been adopted. One popular symbol suggested for the flag was the prawn that had given the country its name. (The Portuguese place-name Rio dos Camarões “River of the Prawns” or “River of Shrimps” was corrupted into Cameroons or Cameroon.)[20]

[fig1] Flag of Cameroon, Željko Heimer, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[fig2] Flag of Cameroon (1961-75), Željko Heimer, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[fig3] Flag of Cameroon (1957-61), Vincent Morley, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[1] Željko Heimer, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[2] Željko Heimer, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html citing
Whitney Smith, Zastave i grbovi svijeta, Globus, Zagreb, Croatia, 1992 (in Croatian)
[3] The Cameroon Flag, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Cameroon
[4] Christopher Southworth , Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html citing
Pascal Vagnat; Jos Poels, Constitutions — what they tell us about national flags and coats of arms, South African Vexillological Association (SAVA) (South Africa), 2000
[5] The Cameroon Flag, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Cameroon
[6] Ivan Sache, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html citing National flag hanging on stadiums during The football Nations' Africa Cup (CAN),Ghana 20th January to 10th February 2008
[7] James Dignan, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html citing picture from Reuters of flags outside the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting in Malta.
[8] Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[9] Željko Heimer, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[10] Siobhán Ryan, Ultimate pocket Flags of the World, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, UK, 1997
[11] Whitney Smith, Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK) Ltd, Maidenhead, UK, 1975
[12] Christian Fogd Pedersen, The International Flag Book in Color, R.N.William Morrow & Company Inc, New York, USA, 1971
[13] Arnold Rabbow, DTV-Lexikon politischer Symbole, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG: München, Germany, 1970 (in German)
[14] The Cameroon Flag, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Cameroon
[15] Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[16] Stuart Notholt, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[17] Michael Smuda, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[18] Jarig Bakker, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[19] Jaume Olle, Flags of the World, http://www.fotw.net/flags/cm.html
[20] Whitney Smith, Flag of Cameroon, Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1355111/flag-of-Cameroon

1 comment:

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