Thirty-four year old Patrice Lumumba, leader of the Congolese Nationalist Movement, announced in Leopoldville June 23 that he had succeeded in forming the first Independent Congolese Government.
Thirty-four year old Patrice Lumumba, leader of the Congolese Nationalist Movement, announced in Leopoldville June 23 that he had succeeded in forming the first Independent Congolese Government. While M. Lumumba was informing M. Van Der Meersch, Belgium's Resident Minister in the Congo, a Leopoldville factory was busy producing new flags in readiness for Independence Day, June 30.
Police re-inforcements had been alerted earlier when the million Bakongo people, supporters of Joseph Kasavubu, leader of the ABAKO Party, were in an angry mood following their leader's defeat in recent Government elections. Alarmed at the threat of the Bakongo people revolting against the new Government by organising a series of paralysing strikes, M. Kasavubu contacted M. Lumumba, who re-shuffled his Government to include three ABAKO men. M. Kasavubu had earlier declined. M. Lumumba's invitation to join the Government because he could not get the posts he wanted.
Although there has so far been no mention of a post for M. Kasavubu, it is likely that he will be a candidate for Chief of State when the Senate and Assembly hold a joint ballot for this position.
The new Congo state's flag will be blue with a five-points gold star in the centre. At least until after the June 30 celebrations. When the Executives Council discussed the question of a flag for the new Independent State, there was great argument for and against this traditional flag. Many complained that it reminded them too strongly of Colonial rule.
In 1879 a Study Committee of the upper Congo, founded by King Leopold II, adopted this design. It continued to represent the Congo when the Committee was replaced by the International Association of the Congo, and up until 1908 when the Congo became a Belgium Colony, from which time the flag has flown alongside the Belgian tri-colour on all official buildings.