Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The World

Rwanda Adopts New Flag, Anthem in Effort to Heal

January 01, 2002|From Associated Press

KIGALI, Rwanda — Hoping symbols can help heal, Rwanda unveiled a new flag, national anthem and coat of arms Monday at a gathering of national reconciliation 7 1/2 years after more than 800,000 people died in ethnic massacres.

A trumpet played as two army captains lowered the old red, green and yellow flag for the last time at a ceremony at Kigali's Amahoro Stadium, where thousands of minority Tutsis sought refuge in 1994 from Hutu attackers.

The new flag has a gold sun with 24 rays on a field of green, yellow and blue. President Paul Kagame said the colors stand for prosperity, wealth, peace and happiness.

The new anthem, chosen in an international competition, praises the natural beauty of Rwanda, a country of rolling green hills and dormant and semi-dormant volcanoes. It refers to the country's 8.3 million people simply as Rwandans. It was composed by a group of jailed Hutus awaiting trial on charges of genocide. The warden said he submitted the song to encourage reconciliation.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|