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Proponents of the "Sunflower": Protests against the new flag in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek

Photo: Igor Yegorov / IMAGO / SNA

A new national flag for more economic recovery: this is the reasoning of the Kyrgyz parliament. Because the previous symbol on a red background was too reminiscent of a sunflower, the parliament in the capital Bishkek has approved a change in the flag design. 59 MPs voted in favour and only five against, saying that the rays around the sun should be "clearly reminiscent of the sun's rays" in the future – and thus, according to their ideas, indirectly ensure more economic growth.

The previous national flag of the Central Asian republic shows a yellow sun with 40 short rays on a red background. A red ring in the sun with intersecting red lines represents the traditional Kyrgyz nomadic yurt.

Previous design criticized as ambiguous

The design is "ambiguous," said Parliament Speaker Nurlanbek Shakiyev, one of the initiators of the new law. Many inhabitants of the former Soviet republic, which was struggling with economic difficulties, mistook the stylized sun for a sunflower. In the new version, among other things, the curved beams should be straight.

The new version of the flag frees the country from its "lack of independence," said President Sadyr Japarov. Until now, many people believed that a sunflower adorned our flag, and that's why the country couldn't get back on its feet," he said at the end of October. But in the future, "the sun will shine for us", and that should give everyone hope for an "autonomous and developed country".

However, not all Kyrgyz liked the idea: at the beginning of December, dozens of people protested in the capital Bishkek against a change in their flag.