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Myanmar Political Parties

Last modified: 2006-11-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: myanmar | burma | star (white) | peacock | nld | free burma coalition |
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Communist Party of Burma

[Communist Party of Burma] image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 October 2006

[Communist Party of Burma] image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 October 2006

The Catalan version of Wikipedia shows two flags of the Communist Party of Burma.
Valentin Poposki, 8 October 2006

The Communist Party of Burma was founded on 5 August 1939 by Thakin Aung San and Thakin Soe. The party split in February 1946 into two factions named after the main colour of their flag:
- Red Flag, ruled by Thakin Soe, pro-Soviet Union, kept the original party flag, red with a red star outlined in red in canton and three smaller yellow stars placed 1 and 2 in lower fly;
- White Flag, ruled by Thakin Than Tun, used a white flag with a red star outlined in yellow and three smaller yellow stars placed 2 and 1.

After the coup by Ne Win in 1962, the two factions carried on the fight. Red Flag abandoned the armed struggle in 1970 and morphed into the Unity and Development Party. White Flag, supported by China, carried on the fight until the late 1980s, when they signed an agreement with the government of Myanmar.
The primary source for the two flags is unknown.
Ivan Sache, 10 October 2006


Free Burma Coalition / National League for Democracy (NLD)

[National League for Democracy] by Jorge Candeias

This flag in known as the "Fighting Peacock" flag.

From: http://: From: http://www.freeburmacoalition.org/old/images.html:

The Free Burma Coalition (FBC) is an umbrella group of campuses and organizations around the world working for freedom and democracy in Burma. Our mission is to build a grassroots movement inspired by and modeled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Our movement stands 100% behind the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD), whom the people have recognized as the sole legitimate leaders of Burma.
The peacock has been an emblem of Burma since the days of the Burmese Kings. Usually, the tradition has been to show the peacock in its "display" mode, with the tail spread in a circular fan. During the colonial rule by the British, the student activitists, to signify protests again the British, adopted the "fighting" stance of the peacock. The fighting peacock without the star, was the flag of the student union until 1962, when the military banned the institution.
Anonymous

At the celebration of the 6th anniversary of the elections in Myanmar (Burma) such flags were carried around, also the heads of NLD were wearing stickers with (apparently) the party's flag.

In the News those flags were shown only very briefly, and I cannot describe it completely. So this may serve as a first approximation:
The flag is plain red with a white (or yellow) five-pointed star near the upper hoist corner. In the center there is a yellow symbol which looked to me like a peacock (which is indeed an old national symbol of Myanmar) looking towards the hoist, its tail not spread. There is more in this central symbol (something circular, outlined in yellow).

Harald MŘller, 28 April 1996

One of our ferrets [Dov Gutterman] spotted the website of the National League for Democracy. Part of the Free Burma Coalition, this flag is known as the "Fighting Peacock" flag. Taken from http://www.freeburmacoalition.org/old/images.html . The flag was a 2:3 (dark) red flag with a huge white star in the canton and a golden yellow stylized peacock in the lower fly.

Later on, another ferret [Thanh-Tam Le] pointed to a scan of an American magazine article that had a picture of Burmese oppositionists [members of the National League for Democracy] under another flag very similar to the one above. The article states "Gyow is a political refugee from Myanmar, who's lived in Ithaca [New York] since 1993. He is a member of the National League for Democracy, who is fighting the Myanmar militaristic regime. The flag, which features a fighting peacock, is the symbol for the Burmese students who demonstrate against the military regime."

This flag is a 1:2 red flag, with a white star in the canton (a *lot* smaller) and a yellow peacock centered, even more stylized than the first image and with the body within a yellow ring.

This is probably a variant of the NLD flag (possibly the main variant), but the caption of the photo may be interpreted as meaning that this is the flag used by a juvenile organization.

Jorge Candeias, 13 December 1999

[National League for Democracy]

Another version of National League for Democracy flag has a smaller star and the letters NLD. Maybe the letters are because the flag is in a demonstration to be reported by Western press.
Francisco Santos, 7 June 2003

See also:

Kuki Students Democratic Front (KSDF)

[Kuki Students Democratic Front] image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 September 2006

The Kuki Students Democratic Front (KSDF) came into existence on 12 December 1993. The organisation was formed at Moreh, in Manipur state of India by dedicated Kuki Students. These students had fled Burma in 1988, following the students uprising against the dictatorial rule of the Military junta. More about KSDF and about Kuki nation of Myanmar, including the flag of KSDF, here: http://www.ksdf.org.
Valentin Poposki, 11 September 2006


Party of the Burmese Socialist Program

[Burmese Path of Socialism] contributed by Ivan Sache

Burmese Path of Socialism, red field with two partially superimposed white stars placed horizontally in canton.

From Encyclopaedia Universalis CD-ROM (1998)

"On 30 April 1962, a document entitled 'The Burmese Path towards Socialism' defined the orientation of the new regime: the problems of the country must be resolved by the creation of a socialist society. the task was given to a 'Party of the Burmese Socialist Program', which status was adopted on 4 July: initially a party of white collars (in fact, those of the Army), they should have transformed progressively into a 'Party of the Whole Nation'. It became unique party only after the law of 28 March 1964, which dissolved all other parties."

Ivan Sache, 6 August 1999


Union Solidarity and Development Association

The Union Solidarity and Development Association was formed on 15 September 1993, and up to 31 July 1999, there have been 16 state and division associations, 63 district-level associations, 320 township-level associations and 14,865 village-tract associations with the total membership of 11,806,009.

The pledge of the Union Solidarity and Development Association is to strengthen the Union of Myanmar, to promote love and understanding among indigenous peoples, to strengthen State sovereignty, to safeguard territorial integrity and to develop the country and to build a peaceful and modern State.

The five objectives of the association are non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity, perpetuation of sovereignty, promotion and vitalization of national honour, and emergence of a peaceful, prosperous and modern Union.
Jaume OllÚ, 17 March 2003

The flag of this organization was seen in the New York Times, 12 March 2003, where a photo of a billboard in Myanmar/Burma was shown in which a figure is
holding a flag (it is to the viewer's left of the national flag). The flag is blue [or possibly green], with a red canton which bears a white star.
Al Kirsch, 12 March 2003

The flag is green with a red canton.
Dean McGee, 12 March 2003