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Flag of the Democratic Republic of East Timor

At midnight on May 19, and during the first moments of Independence Day, 20 May 2002, the United Nations Flag was  lowered and the flag of an independent East Timor - the world newest democratic nation - was raised.

As per the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the yellow (PMS 123) triangle represents “the traces of colonialism in East Timor’s History”. The black triangle represents “the obscurantism that needs to be overcome”; the red (PMS 485) base of the flag represents “the struggle for national liberation”; whilst the star, or “the light that guides”, is white to represent peace.

Official Description of the Flag
“The National Flag is rectangular and is formed by two isosceles triangles, the bases of which are overlapping. One triangle is black and its height is equal to one-third of the length overlapped to the yellow triangle, whose height is equal to half the length of the Flag. In the centre of the black triangle there is a white star of five ends, meaning the light that guides. The white star has one of its ends turned towards the left side end of the flag. The remaining part of the flag is red.” 

-The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of East Timor Part II, Section 15

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A flag was adopted by the representatives of the Timorese politcal parties and organizations during the first East Timorese National Convention held in April 1998 in Portugal.  The results of the Convention were the formation of the CNRT ( The National Council of East Timorese Resistance), which replaced the CNRM (The National Council of Maubere Resistance), and the adoption of the Freedom Charter of the People of East-Timor.

About the flag
The flag originally was the flag of FALINTIL, the the liberation Army of East Timor.   FALINTIL is non-partisan and therefore represents the interests of the people and not the interest of any organization.  Furthermore, the members of FALINTIL are the ones that continue to keep the flame of the struggle to self-determination and independence of East-Timor in times of difficulties. They are the ones that continue to shed their blood for the sacred right to self-determination and independence of East-Timor. Because of that there was a consensus of the participants of the Convention adopt the flag as a temporary flag of East-Timor.

Constâncio Pinto
CNRT Representative to the United States



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