Friday, September 14, 2012

Malawi's Flag Change

New and old flags of Malawi
Malawi's original rising-sun flag (left) is being re-adopted, after being controversially replaced two years ago by the full-sun banner (right). Graphics are in the public domain (left source; right source).
Just two years after adopting a new flag, the southeast African country of Malawi is changing back to the old one. The original banner, in place from independence in 1964 until its replacement in 2010, was voted back in by the national parliament on May 28, 2012.

Flag of Malawi Country Name:  
• Malawi (English)
• Malaŵi (Chichewa)
Official Name:  
• Republic of Malawi (English)
• Dziko la Malaŵi (Chichewa) 
Capital: Lilongwe
The independence flag, which displays a rising sun to represent the dawn of hope for Africa, was controversially replaced by President Bingu wa Mutharika two years ago. The colors were shuffled around to more closely match the Pan-African Flag, and the red rising sun was changed to a full white sun to symbolize the progress made by Malawi since independence.

When President Mutharika died last April, the Malawian government wasted little time in reverting the unpopular flag change. The move was supported by newly sworn-in President Joyce Banda, who had recently experienced a falling-out with Mutharika and started a new political party.

Although the flag change vote passed in parliament, it is still unclear whether it has passed officially into law via the required presidential signature. In any case though, the rising-sun flag appears to be widely in use again, being flown in the Olympics and displayed on many official websites (except for the main government homepage).