The President of Malawi has officially unveiled the country’s new flag.
The new design retains many of the original elements but the ‘half sun’ is now a full sun, in white.
The president insists this is a modification, not a change, which symbolises the development of Malawi into a modern state. The colors, red, green and black are retained, but the black and red have swapped so that he black is now in the center. The sun, which previously only occupied the black stripe, now touches all three colors with its rays.
The decision to modify the flag has been controversial, with human rights advocates pointing out that more than 50% of the country’s population still live in severe poverty. This is made more significant by the high cost of replacing and updating all of the old flags, signs and crests which feature the old design.
“We strongly call upon government to desist making changes to the flag because of the financial and budgetary implications this course will take,” said Undule Mwakasungura, spokesperson for the Human Rights Consultative Committee – a plat form for human rights groups in Malawi.
The Protected Flags, Emblems and Names Amendment Bill was passed through the Malawi parliament, and unveiled by President Bingu Wa Mutharika but there remains the possibility of a legal challenge to the decision.
Area: 18,484 sq km
Borders: 2881 km with Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia.
Capital City: Lilongwe
Source CIA World Factbook.