Upper Volta

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Flag of Upper Volta Coat of arms of Upper Volta
(In detail)

Upper Volta (French: Haute-Volta) was the name of the African country now called Burkina Faso.

The name change occurred on August 4, 1984 by Thomas Sankara, the leader of the country at that time. The old name indicates that the country contains the upper part of the river Volta. The river is divided into three parts, called the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta. The colors of the national flag correspond to the parts of the river.

The French colony of Upper Volta was established on March 1, 1919 with its current boundaries from what had been administered as part of Côte d'Ivoire colony. However, on September 5, 1932, Upper Volta was broken apart, with parts being administered by the colonies of Côte d’Ivoire, French Sudan (present day Mali), and Niger. The colony was revived with the previous boundaries on September 4, 1947. On December 11, 1958, it achieved self-government; it became a republic and member of the Franco-African Community (La Communauté Franco-Africaine). Full independence was attained on August 5, 1960.

See also: History of Burkina Faso

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