country in Southern Africa

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence.


  • Some Herero people in Namibia recently have joked that if you squint at the multicolored national flag adopted after independence in 1990, you will see only the DTA or NUDO colors — that is, the red, blue, and white associated with these two Herero-based political groups. As the Namibian flag's actual dominant colors are red, blue, and green — colors associated with the mainly Ovambo-speaking, SWAPO-aligned (South West Africa People's Organization) majority — these pundits are asserting that if they try, they can find themselves in this image of the new nation. The joke implies that Herero identity is not plainly represented in the flag, but that it is submerged there, that it must be sought after, and that it can be found. The imagination of Namibian identity, the struggle both to choose representations of the polity and to assign lasting meaning to them, has been developing since the Germans claimed colonial control over the territory of South West Africa in 1884. The public use of political acronyms and specific color associations, which blossomed in Namibia just before independence, was not a trivial undertaking, nor was it simply characteristic of the southern African idiom of nationalist political expression.
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