Malawi: Nation No. 35

With dozens of former African colonies and territories declaring their independence since World War II, the ceremony has become more or less ritualized. And so it was last week in Malawi, formerly the British central African protectorate of Nyasaland, now African nation No. 35. At the stroke of midnight, as fireworks lit the sky over Blan-tyre's Central Stadium, the Union Jack was hauled down in the presence of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In its place rose the black, red and green banner of the newly sovereign nation of Malawi.

The new nation's credentials for sovereignty are typically African. Landlocked Malawi...

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