2 weeks out from the country’s first election in 20 years, Burma's military junta changed the country's flag, official name and national anthem. It is believed astrology may have something to do with the sudden makeover.
The changes, announced on Thursday, were outlined in a new constitution published in 2008 but the government didn’t announce a date for their introduction.
The country's new name is the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, instead of the Union of Myanmar.
The military, which has ruled since a 1962 coup, changed the country's name in English from Burma to Myanmar in 1989. It was a year after widespread protests against military rule were crushed, and a year before the last election.
That election was won by the party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi but the military ignored the result. Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention.
Although the flags are for sale on the street, residents don't seem to be buying them.
[Win Tin, Member, National League for Democracy]:
"It could be because of the astrology, it could be because the timing is right. There might be other reasons why they do this. Whatever the case, what is clear is that they have broken their own laws to establish this flag, and history will remember this."
Burma's secretive military rulers are widely believed to consult astrologers.[/p]