The island country of Capo Verde, also known as Cape Verde, is located in the central Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Western Africa. After declaring its independence from Portugal in July, 1975, the nation was closely associated with the West African nation of Guinea-Bisseau. Even their national flags were similar, with the nations displaying red, green and yellow as their colors. This was done because a liberation movement, which had succeeded in assisting both Capo Verde and Guinea-Bisseau in gaining their independence, had assumed that the two nations would eventually merge into one. This was not to be.
Capo Verde’s government decided to cut ties with Guinea-Bisseau in 1992. In September of that year, a new national Capo Verde flag was adopted. This time, the flag consisted of a dark blue background and off-centered white horizontal stripes separated by a red horizontal stripe. The blue color represents the wide expanse of the ocean and sky. The white stripes symbolize peace while the red stripe is a symbol of the effort put into making Capo Verde the vital nation that it has become.
An overlay circle made up of ten gold stars, each representing one of islands that make up Capo Verde, sits just to the left of the vertical center and surrounds a segment of the three stripes. This circle of stars also signifies the unity of the nation and its people.
In order to select a new Capo Verde flag, a competition was held to choose the person who would be responsible for its design. Pedro Gregorio Lopes was selected for the task. When his design was presented, he was immediately criticized for shunning the traditional African colors of red, green and black and intending to show a connection to the European Union’s flag which consists of 12 yellow stars also laid out in a circular shape. However, Lopes disputed this assertion,saying that Capo Verde is a nation which welcomes people from all over, and that no place of origin has greater importance than another. That was the reason for the non-ending circle formation in his design. The use of horizontal stripes represented the efforts of the people of Capo Verde to develop this proud nation in peace.