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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Lesotho unfurls 'peaceful' flag
Lesotho flag
The hat was also on Lesotho's first flag (Pic: Zach Harden, Wikipedia)
The small mountain kingdom of Lesotho is marking its 40th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom by flying a new more peaceful flag.

The military emblem of a shield, spear and knobkerrie is replaced by a traditional cone-shaped hat on the blue, white and green flag.

The hat worn by indigenous Basotho people was on the first independence flag but was replaced after a coup.

Lesotho says its new flag shows it "at peace with itself and its neighbours".

As part of the anniversary celebrations, King Letsie III planted trees at the foot of the statue of the founder of the Basotho nation, King Moshoeshoe I.

And a huge diamond found in a Lesotho mine is going on sale in Antwerp.

The world's largest diamond reported to have been found this century is a 603 carat white diamond named "Lesotho's promise".

The nation, devastated by Aids and saddled with big debts, has also published a major long-term development plan.

Lesotho's next elections are due in 2007.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Lesotho
08 Nov 05 |  Country profiles
Lesotho premier sworn in
05 Jun 02 |  Africa

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