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State of Vemarana (Vanuatu)

Secessionist movement

Last modified: 2021-05-15 by ian macdonald
Keywords: vemarana |
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[State of Vemerana (Vanuatu)] image by Calvin Paige Herring



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Description

"Near the time of Vanuatu's independence, many on the island of Espiritu Santo and other nearby islands desired independence from Vanuatu. They planned to call their nation Vemerana. Their party or proposed national flag was of light blue with a green star". Source: Barraclough and Crampton 1981.
Calvin Paige Herring, 7 June 1998

On 1st June 1980 was proclaimed the provisional government of the State of Vemarana, with Stevens as prime minister. The flag was blue with green star, like the posted one, but in ratio 1:2. Espiritu Santo revolt was extended to Aoba (27th June 1980, without success), and Mallicolo [Malakula] (28th June to 4th July 1980). The revolt was controlled by Anglo-French troops 24th July 1980. The capital Louganville was taken, but the revolt followed beat in the island. On 18th August 1980 French and British left the island and Papua-New Guinean and Australian troops arrived, together with Vanuatu police. The revolt ended 31st August 1980 when Stevens was imprisoned.
Jaume Ollé, 10 June 1998

Source: From the New Hebrides to Vanuatu: A Vexillological Excursion], by Michel Lupant 14th International Congress of Vexilology, Barcelona - 30 June-5 July 1991
http://internationalcongressesofvexillology-proceedingsandreports.yolasite.com/resources/14th_Barcelona/02%20Lupant.pdf [Lup91]

On May 28, 1980, 800 supporters of the Nagriamel movement, assisted by 50 French planters, took control of the town of Luganville in the island of Espiritu Santo, cutting off all communications with the capital. On June 1, Jimmy Stevens, leader of the party, announced the formation of a provisional government of the state of Vemarana, with himself as Prime Minister. The French planters were opposed to the English-speaking government of Pastor Lini, but above all to his desire to return to the natives the lands which had been alienated from them. They were also supported by American businessmen in connection with the Phoenix Foundation who wanted total economic freedom in the island. They took care of making the flag of the new state, in the USA, a few days before the proclamation of the independence of Vemarana. This flag is sky blue, with a green star (source: German press and television broadcast photo of 7/27/1980 Communication from Ralf Stelter, Archiv fur Flaggenkunde, partly helped by the Flag Society of Australia) which probably symbolizes a green country, its forests, its agriculture, on the waters of the Pacific. The islands of Aoba, Maewo, Banks and Torres were to be part of this federation. On June 27, the island of Aoba wanted to proclaim its independence but without success. On June 28, the flag of Vemarana was hoisted on Malekula Island (Mallicolo) but the police guarding the airport and government buildings, the secessionist flag was taken down as soon as on July 4.

Vemarana means "Morning star"
Source : Melanesian Politics: Stael Blong Vanuatu, Howard Van Trease (Christchurch, N.Z. : Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Univ. of Canterbury, 1995), p. 227.
https://books.google.fr/

Olivier Touzeau, 4 April 2021