There are 54 African countries, each having different national symbols that speak volumes about its history, land, and people. Some of these national symbols include Flags, national anthems, coats of arm and so many other ones.
Basically, this post will be on some beautiful flags in Africa. Flags, as we know, are more than just pieces of clothing hoisted on poles. They carry the identity of a nation and its people. Some African contries flags have been changed from what they used to look like initially.
Did you know that a country’s flag is as powerful as the whole country itself? Therefore, they are respected and any insult on a country’s flag could lead to war. In the olden days, flags were referred to as banners and when a country went to war, the banner led the way. If the opposing country took the banner, it was as good as saying the country that lost its banner had lost the battle.
Now, let’s talk about the beautiful African flags and the history behind them.
1. South Africa
South Africa gained independence on April 27, 1994. This was the first time the flag was hoisted and adopted; the same day Nelson Mandela was sworn-in as president. It is symbolic of the hope and freedom of the people of the country after the long period of oppression. There is a Y-shape on the flag which stands for the unity in diversity of the South African people.
Michael Taiwo Akinwunmi, a 23-year-old Nigeria studying in faraway London, designed the green-white-green flag in 1959. The flag was adopted and hoisted for the first time on the day of Nigeria’s independence, October 1, 1960. The green color stands for the diverse natural and agricultural resources, while the white color signifies peace.
The Ghanaian flag is one of the first to adopt the Pan-African colors, which are red, green, and yellow. It was hoisted in 1957, the same day Ghana gained independence. The red-yellow-green colors are arranged parallel to each other and they stand for the lives lost in the struggle for independence, the mineral resources, and natural wealth respectively. The black star in the middle stands for the emancipation of Africa. The Black Star Shipping line owned by Marcus Garvey inspired it.
The current Rwandan flag was designed by Alphonse Kirimobenecyo. It is not the original flag as it was adopted in 2001 to rid the country of the memories of the 1994 genocide. The new flag has four colors: blue, two shades of yellow, and green. The blue signifies peace and joy, the yellow speaks of the country’s economic potential, the green tells of the prosperity of the land, and the yellow sun signifies enlightenment.
The Moroccan flag was adopted in 1955 even though the country gained independence in 1956. There is a predominantly red color which tells of the bravery of the people of the land. There is also the green pentagram (five-sided star) which is Solomon’s seal. The pentagram was incorporated into the flag in 1915 under the leadership of Mulay Yusuf.
This is the most modified flag in African history; it has been modified seven times. Each modification stands for a milestone in the nation’s history. They adopted the current flag in 1984 and it has three major colors: red, white, and black. At the middle of the flag is the country’s national emblem, the Eagle of Saladin. The red speaks of the struggle that brought revolution, the white signifies the non-violent revolution, while the black talks about the end to the reign of the Imperialist in Egypt.
This flag is one of the most colorful on the continent; it contains six colors: gold, green, yellow, black, red, and white. To the left side of the flag is a white triangle which stands for peace. Inside the triangle is a bird impressed on a red star.The bird is the national symbol of the country. On the other side of the triangle is a mix of colors arranged horizontally green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green. The green speaks of agriculture, yellow tells of mineral wealth, red depicts the lives lost to the struggle for independence, and black the African heritage.
The Zimbabwe flag was first hoisted on 18 April 1980, the same day the country gained independence from the United Kingdom.
The country gained independence on June 29, 1976, and since then it has had three modifications to its flag. The country adopted this current design in 1996. It has five colors arranged diagonally. These colors represent the country’s different political parties. They also represent the country’s prospects and dynamics from the struggle for independence into the future.
The Kenyan flag was adopted on December 12, 1963, and it has three major colors: red, green, and black. The red stands for the fight for independence, the green tells of natural wealth and beautiful landscape, and the black represents the people of Kenya. There is a white fimbriation which stands for peace and honesty. There is a traditional Maasai shield with spears at the middle of the flag which talks about defense.
The flag is made up of green, yellow, black, and blue colors. The green symbolizes natural wealth, the black tells of the native Swahili people, the blue describes the Indian Ocean and the other water bodies, and the yellow talks about the mineral wealth of Tanzania.
The flag is made of six horizontal bands of different colors; They include red, yellow, and black. In the middle is a white disc with a grey-crowned crane. The black speaks of African people, the yellow talks about the sun, the red depicts the brotherhood of the people (blood), and the crane used to be the colonial badge of the Ugandan military.
The ugandan flag has passed through several stages of evolution from the period of colonialism(1914) till the day of gaining independence in 1962.
This country is the second to adopt the Pan-African colors red, yellow, and green. This time, the red stands for unity, the yellow for the sun and savanna, green for natural wealth, and the star in the middle for unity too.
13. The Gambia
Gambia adopted this flag on February 18, 1965, and it has red, blue, and green colors arranged horizontally. These bands are separated by two thin white bands, one on each side of blue to signify peace and unity. Red stands for the sun and savanna as well as the country’s proximity to the equator. The green stands for natural wealth and vegetation, and the blue stands for River Gambia.
This is the simplest flag on the continent. It is a plain blue flag with a white star, known as the ‘Star of Unity,” in the middle. The flag was designed by Mohammed AwaleLiban and on October 12, 1954, the country adopted it. The UN flag inspired the blue color while the white stands for all the places where the Somali race can be found, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, as well as the former Italian and British colonies.
15. Cote d’Ivoire
The flag was adopted on December 3, 1959, even though it had been designed a year earlier. However, it was until the country gained full independence from France in 1960 that the flag went into full use. The French Tricolore inspired the flag. The orange color speaks of fertility and the savanna grasslands, green represents hope and the coastal forests, and white tells of peace as well as the countries water bodies.
We believe you must have gained some knowledge about the different African flags, their meanings, and a bit about their history from this article. Drop your comments in the comments section as we would like to know what you feel.