The Philosophy Behind Zambia's Flag

HUMANISM is the national philosophy of Zambia. It is the basis of all the policies and programs of the Party and Government. All the development effort in Zambia is based on Humanism It is a way which emphasizes the importance of MAN as the center of all activity.

Zambian Humanism provides the moral basis for all human activity in the country whether it be political, economical or social. The philosophy is the SOCIAL CEMENT that holds together and inspires the young and varied nation that is Zambia. Zambian Humanism is not like that shirt or that dress or that dress that we wear for special occasions. NO. Humanism is our dress for all occasions. It is like the skin we wear on our bodies. It is our way of life for all time.

To understand what Humanism is about, we must first understand the political background against which it was declared as Zambia's national philosophy. The forces which brought the people of Zambia together to fight independence were a direct result of years of colonial oppression--a system of government which denied Zambians all rights and privileges of MAN.

To change this unbearable situation the people of Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia, formed the United National Independence Party--ZANC-- and later the United National Independence Party--UNIP--to spearhead our fight for freedom. We wanted to be free to guide and control our own affairs in our own land.

It is important to note that during the struggle for independence, even while the battle against colonial oppression was at its most bitter point, UNIP consistently made it clear that the struggle was not racially or economically motivated, but by the desire for justice and for human dignity.

As a result of our struggle through UNIP, Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia on 24th October, 1964. The data of Zambia's independence is also United Nations Day. It was chosen by UNIP because the Party strongly supported the philosophy behind the United Nations and in particular the declaration of Human Rights which is now part of the constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Hence Zambian Humanism is a State philosophy. It is truly Zambian in character. Zambian humanism is a living philosophy which undoubtedly has a far deeper affection and concern for mankind than other philosophies and ideologies in the world today.

Zambian Humanism rests on the social values of the Zambian traditional society as it was before it was distorted by the capitalist influences of western industrialism and colonialism. Traditionally MAN--whatever his station in life-- had a place in society. Everyone regarded himself as subordinate to his community and not above it.

These are the qualities upon which we are building a new social order--one in favor of the common man. Although this social order is new, Humanism is not new to Zambia or to UNIP. It is merely a codifying of the people's ideas which were there long before the Party came to power. But it is also the force that inspires, guides and helps us to build the new Zambia today and for the future.

So, over fourteen years ago we succeeded as a people in removing a colonist and oppressive government and replaced it with a people's government-- a Humanist government.

In the words of the President, our revolution is a Humanist revolution. We have decided to wage a struggle against imperialism, neo-colonialism, fascism, and racism on one hand; and hunger, poverty, ignorance, disease, crime, and exploitation of man by man on the other. This is what our revolution is all about.

Remember that the most important thing to this nation is MAN. MAN you, MAN me and MAN the other fellow. Everything we say and do evolves around MAN. Without him there can be no Zambia, there can be no nation. That is why we believe in Humanism. That is why we say MAN is the center of all activities.

Principles of Humanism

1. Man at the center

"...This MAN is not defined according to his color, nation, religion, creed, political leanings, material contribution or any matter..."

2. The dignity of Man

"Humanism teaches us to be considerate to our fellow men in all we say and do..."

3. Non-exploitation of Man by Man

"Humanism abhors every form of exploitation of MAN by man."

4. Equal opportunities for all

"Humanism seeks to create an egalitarian society--that is, society in which there is equal opportunity for self-development for all..."

5. Hard work and Self-reliance

"Humanism declares that a willingness to work hard is of prime importance without it nothing can be done anywhere..."

6. Working together

"The National productivity drive must involve a communal approach to all development programs. This calls for a community and team spirit..."

7. The extended family

"...under extended family system; no old person is thrown to the dogs or to the institutions like old people's homes..."

8. Loyalty and Patriotism

"...It is only in dedication and loyalty can unity subsist."