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Front de Libération National Kanak Socialist (Political party, New Caledonia)


Last modified: 2014-05-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: front de liberation national kanak socialiste | flnks |
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[Flag of FLNKS]         [Flag of FLNKS]

Left, Flag of FLNKS - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 16 March 2006
Right, Variant with centered emblem - Image by Kazutaka Nishiura, 22 November 2009

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Presentation of FLNKS

The political party FLNKS (Front de Libération National Kanak et Socialiste) is an umbrella organization grouping several independentist parties in New Caledonia, for instance the Palika (Parti de Libération Kanak), the Rassemblement Démocratique Océanien and the Union Progressiste Mélanésienne. The composition of FLNKS is not stable since the independist movement is extremely divided.
The FLNKS was founded in August 1984 by the historical independentist leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who was murdered with Yeiwéné Yeiwéné by a Kanak extremist in Ouvéa on 4 May 1989. The most extremist Kanak independentists did not accept the Matignon Agreement signed on 26 June 1988 by Tjibaou, Jacques Lafleur (the historical leader of the loyalist party RPCR - Rassemblement pour la Calédonie dans la République), the independentist party LKS (Libération Kanake Socialiste) and the French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2006

Flag of FLNKS

The flag of FLNKS was created in 1984 after a popular vote. It was originally sold only by the Edipop bookshop in Nouméa, now closed.

The symbolism of the flag is:
- Blue: the clans of the sea
- Green: the clans of the mountain
- Red: the alliances uniting us, the ancestors' blood, the fight
- The sun: equality, life
- The rooftop spear: the Great Case, symbol of the ancestors and the Kanak sovereignty over their land

The "official" colour specifications for the flag are:
- Blue: Pantone 286c; Cyan 100 - Magenta 72
- Red: Pantone 032c; Magenta 100 - Yellow 100
- Green: Pantone 347c; Cyan 100 - Yellow 70
- Yellow : Pantone 102c; Yellow 100 - Magenta 10.

Source: Kanaky on line website (no longer on line)

Pascal Vagnat, 22 December 1998

The FLNKS wants the independence of New Caledonia under the name of Kanaky or Kanak Republic, and drafted a proposal of Constitution as follows:

Title 1. Fundamental principles
Section 1. The Kanak Republic
Article 1. The Kanak people constitutes a national, pluri-ethnic, free, united and sovereign community based on the solidarity of its components. The Kanak Republic is a democratic, non-religious and socialist republic.
The national emblem is the flag made of three horizontal stripes, from bottom to top: green, red and blue, charged near the hoist with a golden disk on which is shown in black a rooftop spear crowned with a tutut, the whole surmounting the roof of a hut. [...]

I am not aware of more detailed specifications for the emblem and flag of FLNKS, and there are several variations. Nozomi Karyasu purchased a FLNKS flag in New Caledonia, which shows the disk larger and less decentered than on the image shown above. The details of the rooftop spear are also slightly different.
For the moment, this flag is only the flag of FLNKS and not the flag of New Caledonia, where the only official national flag is the French Tricolore flag. Discussion of symbols of the Kanak identity, as allowed by the status of New Caledonia, have not yielded anything significant yet.

In the Kanak traditional organization, the main hut is the place where the power of the head of the clan shall be exerted. The rooftop spear and the door frame are the main symbols of this power. The door is low (1.50 m) in order to force the visitors to be seen from inside and to bend over as a sign of respect. The trunks forming the framework of the case represent the lineages forming the clan and converge near the roof around the central post, which represents the head of the clan. The rooftop spear is made of three parts: a central human face surrounded with decorative designs, a foot linking it to the top of the hut, and one or more decorated with shells. The spear, one of the most important attributes of the clans, was given to the head of the lineage by the older clans, considered as autochtonous and founders of the country.
All the elements are made with a wood called houp, which is associated with the spirits of the ancestors of the clan.

The tutut shell placed on the top of the rooftop spear is a conch. It was traditionally used as a horn during the ceremonies, symbolizing speech. The conch is the voice of the head of the clan, who blows and gathers the clan.


Ivan Sache, 26 March 2006

First independentist Kanak flag

[Flag of FLNKS]

First independentist Kanak flag - Image by Olivier Touzeu, 26 December 2013

The Kanak, l'art est une parole exhibition (October 2013-January 2014, Museum of Quai Branly, Paris; presentation) shows the "original version" of the Kanak flag.
The flag is horizontally divided blue-red-green. At hoist is placed a yellow shape (combination of a rectangle and a disk), on which there is a traditional rooftop spear between two fern leaves.
This flag, handmade and sewn by women of the movement, was presented and chosen to be the emblem of the Kanak people at the 13th Congress of the Union Calédonienne, held in November 1982 in the tribe of Petit-Couli (Sarraméa municipality). The flag belongs to the personal collection of Marie-Claude Tjibaou, the widow of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who founded the FLNKS in 1984. Obviously, the flag of the FLNKS has an affiliation with this first Kanak flag made two years before.

Olivier Touzeu, 26 December 2013