Where does the Libyan flag come from?

Those who watched the images of the Libyan war on their TV might have noticed: the new Libyan flag appeared to be everywhere. Did the National Transitional Council (NTC) have a secret stash of these flags somewhere in Benghazi before the beginning of the conflict?

Flag of Libya

Flag of Libya (1951-1969; 2011-)

This flag was used between 1951 and 1969 when Libya was an independent state ruled by King Idris. The different colors symbolised three different parts of Libya. The red stripe was for Tripolitania, the black stripe with the white star and crescent were the personal flag of the Emir of Cyrenaica (King Idris) whereas the green stripe represented Fezzan.

Does the NTC really want to refer to the monarchy of King Idris by choosing this flag? After all, Libya was already allied with the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. The choice of this flag would be coherent when seeing the role of NATO in the fall of Gaddafi. Unless, the NTC simply wants to symbolise the unity of Libya.

However, I have still not answered the question. Where do these flags come from technically? Who made them? You have to look patriotic these days in Libya: not having your “new” flag would not be very clever. Apparently they come from China via Egypt. A look at the Chinese Ebay, Alibaba, confirms it. Knowing that China was suspected to sell weapons to Gaddafi makes it even more ironic.

Vincent Hiribarren


About perspectivesonafrica

Research and news about Africa
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