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Civic Heraldry of Congo
(former Zaire)

LEOPOLDIAN SUDAN (BAHR-EL-GAZAL, then LADO'S ENCLAVE) (1894-1903)

Although of short-lived existence, a territory situated in Sudan was the object of an attempt of colonisation led by Belgian troops acting on the orders of King Leopold II: it concerns the « leopoldian Sudan », more known under the naming " Lado's enclave ", that was supposed to become an integral part of Congo.

When in 1881, the revolt of Mahdists entails the loss of the control of Egypt over the Upper - Nile, Leopold II sees an opportunity there to spread his territory to the Nile by trying to occupy the lost territories. He thus organised several expeditions in this purpose from 1890 starting from the Belgian territory. They ended in the construction of a post on the Nile, in Ganda.
By the signature of two successive agreements (in May 12, then in August 14, 1894), the British Government declare, in the name of Egypt, to let King Leopold II have a territory called " Lado's enclave", taken from the Bahr el Gazal's Sudanese province (the " River of Gazelles "), and being bounded by the latitudes 5°30 ' N. and 30 ° W.
Following the Fachoda incident, which set British troops against French at the edge of the Nile, the sovereign power of Egypt on Sudan was however restored and obliged Leopold II to give up Lado's enclave in 1903, with the exception of Mahagi.

The Colonel Colmant imagined for these territories a flag and a coat of arms being inspired by the Congolese flag.
The coat of arms is the copy of the flag augmented with the personal coat of arms of Leopold II. The blue colour and the yellow stars are directly inspired by the Congolese flag, so reminding the link with the Independent State of Congo. They are combined with St Andrew's cross, or cross of Burgundy, in memory of the Company of Oostende which financed the first Belgian colonial expeditions.

It is to notice that neither this coat of arms, nor the flag, were officially recognized.

Literature : Pierloz Patrick : « L'héraldique civique du Congo belge (1908 - 1960) » (" Civic Heraldry of Belgian Congo (on 1908 - 1960 ) , in " Kisugulu ", N 75, in March, 2001. Images and information provided by Patrick Pierloz, Belgium.



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