Last modified: 2017-11-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: ethiopia |
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A Soviet-backed Marxist-Leninist military junta (the Derg) led by Mengistu Haile Mariam deposed Emperor Haile Selassie I on 12 September 1974 and established a one-party state which was called the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to replace the Empire of Ethiopia.
In May 1991 the Mengistu regime came to an end following the fall of
communism in Europe and withdrawal of Soviet support. A new
Transitional Government of Ethiopia was set up and a new constitution
allowing for multi-party elections was established in 1994.
Bruce Berry, 11 Dec 2010
image by Ivan Sache, 18 July 2000
The new government which replaced that of Emperor Haile Selassie continued to use the plain Ethiopian tricolour of green, yellow and red.
Nick Artimovich, 12 June 1996
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 July 2017
However, the State flag was modified after Haile Selassie's overthrow by
removing the crown from the lion's head and by changing the Cross finial to a
Spear point. This version lasted only a few years until 1987 when a new emblem
was adopted and replaced the lion emblem in the centre of the state flag.
The specific ratio of each needs to be confirmed.
Nick Artimovich, 12 June 1996
The main issue to confirm is which emblem was used on the state flag at which
I would be very surprised if (even a modified) imperial lion would be used for 13 years after the overthrow of the Emperor. I would accept this for some transitional period, for a year or two, but not really for much longer.
Whitney Smith (in both [smi80] and [smi81g]) shows only the plain triband, marked as the civil flag/civil ensign. Smith is remarkably silent about the state flag in use around 1980. However, the book shows an emblem/arms that is not shown on FOTW (a blue circle with sun, cogwheel, plough, surrounded by a green wreath, with a small lion at the bottom). This symbol, designed in 1975 by Taddesse Mesfin, might have appeared on the state flag. But we would need more information and proper sources to confirm this.
Manuela Schmöger, 07 Sept 2017
1:2 image by Manuel Gabino, 14 Dec 2002
This is the flag used by Ethiopia between 1987 and 1991. In 1987 Ethiopia became a Democratic People's Republic and Mengistu was confirmed in the presidency. The country was divided into 24 administrative regions and 5 autonomous regions: Eritrea, Assab, Ogaden, Tigre, and Dire-Daua. (Source: "Guía Mundial", edited by Abril Cinco (Colombia) (1992). This was the flag flown at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and has the new national emblem placed in the centre of the Ethiopian tricolour.
images by Manuel Gabino, 14 Dec 2002
The shield is circular in shape and is blue bearing (according to William Crampton) the "obelisk of Axum"
(a former Kingdom in the region of Tigre), a cogwheel, a red ribbon depicting a golden lion's head,
an spear and a scepter, a yellow star on red and a the country's new name at the top in Amharic characters.
Manuel Gabino, 14 Dec 2002
image sent by Robert Czernkowski, 10 June 1998
This flag appeared on the most common postage stamps even for years after the
overthrow of the socialist government in 1991. The central device is the emblem
of the "Peoples Democratic Republic of Ethiopia" as the country was called at the time.
The five pointed star and rays over a cogwheel is surrounded by a wreath of green leaves.
Simon Gardner, 07 April 2001
image by David Cox, 15 Aug 2004
Like the State flag, the ensign was modified after Haile Selassie's overthrow on 12 September 1974 by removing the crown from the lion's head and by changing the Cross finial to a Spear point.
Jaume Ollé, 06 Feb 1999