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Lesotho: 1966 - 1987 flag

Last modified: 2019-01-01 by bruce berry
Keywords: lesotho | independence | hat: basotho |
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[Lesotho - 1966][Variant] 2:3~ image by Bruce Berry, 19 February 1998

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1966 - 1987 Lesotho flag


On independence on 04 October 1966 the Kingdom of Lesotho adopted a new Coat of Arms, a national flag and a Royal Standard. Details of the new symbols were published in the Government Gazette Extraordinary of 30 September 1966 and are as follows:
The national flag is a rectangular tricolor in proportion three by two with two vertical stripes, one green and one red in that order, on a blue ground on the left hand side of the flag next to the flag staff; each stripe being one tenth of the total width of the flag and a white Basotho hat being placed in the centre of the blue stripe.
The Royal Standard, illustrated in Whitney Smith's Flags through the Ages and across the World [smi75b], had the full Arms in colour superimposed on the white Basotho hat in the fly.
Bruce Berry, 19 February 1998

Whitney Smith explains the colors as: blue - sky and rain, white - peace, green - land and red - faith. It was officially hoisted on 04 October 1966. The Royal flag was similar, having a bit smaller hat above the states coats of arms.
Željko Heimer, 1 May 1996

I've always seen the 1966 Lesotho flag in a lighter shade of blue. Did all the flag charts in Europe make a mistake for so long?
Philippe Bondurand, 19 February 1998

This flag incorporates the colors of the National Party which led Lesotho to independence and shows a traditional Basuto hat. The constitution was suspended in 1970 when the National Party refused to accept the victory of the opposition Congress Party in the first post-independence elections. A military coup overthrew the National Party régime in 1986 and the present flag was adopted a year later. Elections subsequently brought the Congress Party to power.
Illustrations of the flag in books vary in proportion (2:3 or 1:2); in the shade of green and blue; and in the size, shape and position of the hat.
Vincent Morley, 21 February 1997