"An event that for the most part only happens once in a nation's lifetime": this is how the Kabyle Provisional Government in Exile (Anavad) is defining the approval of the flag of Kabylia (see picture), which was announced yesterday following a two-year participatory process. The new flag features the gold colour found in traditional Kabyle flags, and -in red- the widely recognized symbol of the Amazigh people: the letter Z written in Tifinagh alphabet.
The Anavad has for two years received dozens of proposals for a Kabyle flag. In recent years, the Kabyles have used the general Amazigh flag as their own. But the Anavad believes Kabylia needed its own flag. By promoting a new flag, the Anavad says it "is not giving up the federal flag of the Amazigh people," but says Kabylia needs its own flag "to take its place in the concert of nations."
The final choice was made last December. According to Anavad data, several thousand people voted their favourite designs in physical ballots in Kabylia, Europe and North America, and through internet too. The retained proposal received 31.70% of the votes, followed by a flag similar to the general Amazigh one, which got 17.16% of the votes.
A committee of experts has slightly modified the winning proposal in order to adapt it to vexillology standards.
The flag will be officially hoisted by the Anavad on April 4th in Paris, where the exiled government is headquartered.
An own state, within or outside Algeria
Ferhat Mehenni-led Anavad was declared in Paris in 2010 by the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia -now the Movement for Self-determination of Kabylia, MAK. The Algerian government denied any legitimacy to this government-in-exile. The Anavad has not been joined by other Kabyle-based Algerian parties.
MAK advocates the right to self-determination for Kabylia and proposes the establishment of a Kabyle state whose form should be "freely and sovereignly" defined via referendum by the Kabyle people. MAK considers the Kabyle state should be created in two ways: as an autonomous state within Algeria, or as a fully independent country.
According to the Anavad, the new flag should be ratified in the Kabylia's future constituent process, or a new one should rather be chosen.