The National Flag of Sao Tome and Principe was officially adopted on November 5, 1975.
The National Flag of Sao Tome and Principe features three horizontal bands of the Pan-African colors: green (top), yellow (double width), and green. The width ratio of the three bands is 2:3:2. Two black five-pointed stars are placed side by side in the center of the yellow band and a red isosceles triangle is based on the hoist side of the flag. The green color stands for the country's rich vegetation. Represented by the yellow color is the tropical sun that shines over the country all the year round and supports all life that is there. The yellow color also symbolizes cocoa which is one of the country's main agricultural products. The red triangle symbolizes that hard-fought struggle for independence. It also stands for equality. The two black stars represent the two main islands of the nation (Sao Tome and Principe). The flag has a width-to-length proportion ratio of 1:2.
The islands of the country were uninhabited before the arrival of the Europeans. Portuguese explorers first found their way to these islands in the 15th century. These people then established colonies in the region in the 16th century. During the Portuguese rule on the islands, the flag of Portugal was in use in the country. However, before independence, the MLSTP (Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe) - a political party that played an important role in the independence movement, was recognized by the Portuguese government as the only representative of the islands' people. The leader of this party, Manuel Pinto da Costa, designed the national flag of the to-be-independent nation. This flag was then officially adopted as the flag of the nation in 1975 to denote the end of colonial rule in the country.
The National Coat of Arms of Sao Tome and Principe was adopted in 1975. It displays a red-footed falcon on the left and a grey parrot on the right holding a shield. A blue star rests above the shield along with a band stating the name of the country. The national motto: Unidade, Disciplina, Trabalho ("Unity, Discipline, Work") is displayed on a ribbon below.
"Unidade, Disciplina, Trabalho" ("Unity, Discipline, Work")
Independência total is the national anthem of Sao Tome and Principe. The music of the anthem have been composed by Manuel dos Santos Barreto de Sousa e Almeida. The lyrics of the anthem have been authored by Alda Neves da Graca do Espirito Santo. The anthem was officially adopted in 1975.
Glorioso canto do povo,
Hino sagrado de combate.
Na luta nacional,
No país soberano de São Tomé e Príncipe.
Guerrilheiro da guerra sem armas na mão,
Chama viva na alma do povo,
Congregando os filhos das ilhas
Em redor da Pátria Imortal.
Independência total, total e completa,
Construindo, no progresso e na paz,
A nação mais ditosa da Terra,
Com os braços heroicos do povo.
Trabalhando, lutando, presente em vencendo,
Caminhamos a passos gigantes
Na cruzada dos povos africanos,
Hasteando a bandeira nacional.
Voz do povo, presente, presente em conjunto,
Vibra rijo no coro da esperança
Ser herói no hora do perigo,
Ser herói no ressurgir do País.
Na luta nacional,
No pais soberano de São Tomé e Príncipe.
Glorious song of the people,
Sacred hymn of combat.
In the national struggle,
To the sovereign country of Sao Tome and Principe.
Warriors in the war without weapons,
Live flame in the soul of the people,
Congregating the sons of the islands
Around the Immortal Fatherland.
Total independence, total and complete,
Building, in progress and peace,
The happiest nation on earth,
With the heroic arms of the people.
Working, struggling, struggling and conquering,
We go ahead with giant steps
In the crusade of the African peoples,
Raising the national flag.
Voice of the people, present, present and united,
Strong beat in the heart of hope
To be a hero in the hour of peril,
A hero of the Nation's resurgence.
In the national struggle,
To the sovereign country of São Tomé and Príncipe.
The current official currency of Sao Tome and Principe is the Sao Tome and Principe dobra (Db, STD). The dobra is made up of 100 subunits known as centimos with one dobra being equivalent to 100 centimos. However, increased inflation led to the centime becoming obsolete. The Banco Central de Sao Tome e Principe (the country’s central bank) is responsible for the issuance and regulation of the currency.
Currently, coins in denominations of 100, 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 dobra are in circulation.
Common banknotes of the currency are issued in 5,000, 10,000-, 20,000-, 50,000-, and 100,000-dobra denominations.
The real (reis in plural) was the official currency in the Portuguese colony of Sao Tome and Principe since the islands were first inhabited in the 16th century. The Portuguese real was equivalent to the Sao Tome and Principe real. The colony issued its distinct coinage which was minted in 10, 40, and 80 reis denominations. The Banco Nacional Ultramarino, a Portuguese bank opened a branch in Sao Tome and Principe in 1868 and it began to issue Sao Tome and Principe real banknotes in 1897 which were in 1,000, 2,000, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 real denominations. In 1903, the bank issued the 50,000-real banknote which is the currency's largest denomination. The real was replaced by the escudo in 1917.
In 1911, Portugal replaced its official currency from the Portuguese real to the Portuguese escudo as a result of the 1910 Republican Revolution where the monarch was deposed and the country was established as a republic. The change in currency was replicated in many Portuguese colonies all over the world including Sao Tome and Principe. The Portuguese colony replaced the real with the escudo in 1914 at the rate of 1 escudo being equivalent to 1,000 reals. The Sao Tome and Principe escudo was replaced by the dobra in 1977 at par.
The currency escudo was made up of 100 subunits known as centavos. The Sao Tome and Principe escudo was issued by the Banco Nacional Ultramarino which initially only issued escudo banknotes with the colony using Portuguese escudo coins. The banknotes issued were in 20-, 50-, 100-, 500-, and 1,000-escudo denominations. The Banco Nacional Ultramarino issued the first Sao Tome and Principe escudo coins in 1929 in 10-, 20-, and 50-centavo coins. The 5-, 10-, and 20-escudo coins were produced in cupro-nickel coins while the 10, 20, and 50 centavo coins were produced in bronze coins. In 1971, the bank issued the aluminum 10 centavo coins in its final issue of coinage.
Sao Tome and Principe introduced the dobra in 1977 and replaced the colonial escudo at par as the country gained independence from Portugal. In 2009, Sao Tome and Principe struck an agreement with Portugal which would enable the country to base its currency on the euro at the rate of 1 to 24,590.15 Db.