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Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)

(Capital city)

Last modified: 2022-10-22 by bruce berry
Keywords: congo | kinshasa | leopoldville |
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image by Tomislav Šipek, 14 Apr 2017
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Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) located on the Congo River.  It is the third largest urban area in Africa (after Cairo and Lagos) with a population exceeding 11 million. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the Congo River, making them the two closest capital cities in the world after Rome and the Vatican City.

The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881 and was named Léopoldville in honour of King Leopold II of Belgium who owned what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The city was reamed Kinshasa in 1966.
 Zeljko Heimer, 22 Jul 1997

Flag of Kinshasa (2011-  )

The current municipal flag of Kinshasa is white with the city emblem in the centre.
Tomislav Šipek, 14 Apr 2017

Flag of Kinshasa (1967-2011)

Flag of Kinshasa image by Robert Lloyd Wheelock, 18 Feb 2001

This is a “reconstructed” image based on description in The Complete Guide William Cramption (1990) [cra90b] which describes the flag of Kinshasa as being "Blue with a white wavy stripe surmounted by the letter K and two stars, all yellow".
Zeljko Heimer, 22 Jul 1997

Variant flag

Flag of Kinshasa image by Robert Lloyd Wheelock, 18 Feb 2001

I've seen the flag for Kinshasa in two variants:
(1) with the stars on sides of an initial K, and
(2) with the initial K positioned near hoist, with the stars arranged vertically to its right [which was the way I saw it years ago in a late 1960s flag book at a library in Wiscasset, ME USA].

Robert Lloyd Wheelock
, 18 Feb 2001

Flag of Léopoldville (1960-1967)

Flag of Kinshasa 1960-1967 image by Zeljko Heimer, 01 Jun 1999

The flag Léopoldville was the same as the initial version of the flag of Kinshasa, but with an "L" instead of a "K".
Jaume Ollé, 27 Jul 1997

Flag of Léopoldville (1925-1960)

An earlier version of the municipal flag but with a royal crown above the "L".
Jaume Ollé, 27 Jul 1997