Captured MPLA Flag

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Tattered and beaten by the wind, faded and subdued by the blazing African Sun, this MPLA Angolan Battle Flag had been there and seen it all... The Angolan flag is based on the flag of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which fought Portuguese colonial rule and emerged as the ruling party of Angola following the Angolan Civil War. The MPLA flag is similar to the flag of Angola but features a star in place of the central emblem. As outlined in the Constitution of Angola, the red half of the flag signifies bloodshed during Angola's independence struggle, and the black half symbolizes Africa. In the central emblem, the gear represents industrial workers, the machete represents peasantry and the star is shaped like the red star, symbolizing socialism. The Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, Portugal in 1974 established a military government that promptly ceased anti-independence fighting in Angola and agreed to hand over power to a coalition of three pro-independence Angolan movements. The coalition quickly broke down and the newly independent Angola broke into a state of civil war. In 1974/76, South Africa intervened militarily in favor of FNLA and UNITA, and Zaire and the United States also heavily aided the two groups. Cuba deployed thousands of troops in 1975 to aid the MPLA against South African intervention, with the Soviet Union aiding both Cuba and the MPLA government during the war. In November 1980, the MPLA had all but pushed UNITA into the bush, and the South African forces withdrew. The United States Congress barred further U.S. military involvement in the country against the wishes of President Ronald Reagan, fearing another Vietnam-style quagmire. In 1976 the FNLA withdrew its troops to their bases in Zaire, while part of them joined the 32 Battalion formed by South Africa in order to receive anti-MPLA Angolans. This particular flag was brought back by a South African Veteran as a memento of the long and grueling war.

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Collections: Archive Tags: Flags & Other, Other African, Post WWII