The old Rwandan flag is what describes the country’s daily results’ table at the ongoing 16th edition of the African Senior Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
From day one of the African championships in Ethiopia, Rwanda’s old flag has been displayed on the results table for Rwandan athletes who are taking part in the event in search for the minimum qualification standard times for Beijing Olympic Games.
The old flag which was designed in 1962 at a time when Rwanda was rocked by state sponsored ethnic divisions and killings, human rights violations and bad governance is Red, Yellow and Green in color with a Black capital letter ‘R’ in the middle.
The new national flag is Blue, yellow and green in color. The top half of the flag is blue with the sun in the top right hand corner.
However, it seems as if no administrator has realized this concern and this means that the Rwandan contingent to the African championship carried no national flag to the event, a feat which also shows incompetentency among the athletics federation administrators.
A related fate happened last month when hosts Kenya could not find a recorded Rwanda national anthem during the U-17 African second leg qualifier in Nairobi and so it was upon the youngsters to sing the national anthem prior to the start of the game. Ever since when Rwanda got a new national flag, anthem and coat of arms in 2001, the old Flag continues to be flown at different functions abroad in spite of having been superseded in 2001.
Recently, a cultural group from Rwanda won the first prize in an international folklore competition held in Sicily, Italy.
During the official ceremony, the old flag was raised. Fortunately, the Rwandans could quickly provide the current flag, a feat which also shows that the former national anthem is also often played in international events.
In 2006, Rwanda’s long distance ace Dieudonne Disi won a gold medal in World Military Games in Nigeria and in an official ceremony; organizers played a the old anthem, something that led to Disi to hold back the ceremony as he sang the anthem alone.
Even at last year’s All Africa Games held in Algiers, Algeria, the whole places was filled with the old flag and it took the intervention of top Rwandan officials to convince the organizers to replace them with the new flag.