A dozen anti-Qaddafi activists tried to symbolically lower his flag at the Libyan Embassy in Washington today by replacing it with the tricolored flag that represents an independent Libya but were rebuffed by security guards.
The newly resigned Libyan ambassador to the U.S., Ali Aujali, one of a growing number of the country's diplomats who have quit to protest Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s crackdown, didn’t show up either. The State Department says that he no longer has official standing and that there would be a chargé d’affaires at the embassy authorized by Libya’s government “to represent its interest.”
So the “pre-Qaddafi”-era flag with red, black, and green horizontal stripes will not be replacing Qaddafi’s all-green flag at the Libyan Embassy, where the locks have apparently been changed and the lights are out. Nobody answered the door.
After they were told they could not enter private property, the activists draped the flags around themselves.
In 1977, Qaddafi changed the Libyan flag to solid green—the symbolic color of Islam and Qaddafi’s “green revolution”—making it the only flag in the world to have a single color and no design. Green is a significant color for Qaddafi, who has long touted his “green book,” which details his political philosophy, as a best-seller in Libya.
Besides Aujali, the entire Libyan Mission to the United Nations in Geneva also resigned in the past week as official envoys of Tripoli.
Video by Chet Susslin contributed to this article.