Ethiopia's mainly ethnic Somali region is now officially named the Somali State and a new flag introduced as a new President Mustafa Omer took over office in the administrative capital Jigjiga.
A projection of the flag of the Republic of Somalia replaces the image of a camel that was introduced in the 1990s.
The new leader has pledged freedom of expression in a region that had been marred by human rights abuses under the ten year reign of Abdi Iley.
Omer has asked for forgiveness but pledged respect for human rights.
A meeting by the executive and council members of Ethiopian Somali People's Democratic Party and clan elders in Addis Ababa on Wednesday unanimously nominated Mr. Mustafa Muhumed Omer as the acting President of the Somali State.
Mr. Omer will head the region in acting capacity until the May 2020 elections.
The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Abdi Iley following a standoff with the federa government that led to the Ethiopian national army taking over the security of the Somali region.