The continent of Africa has over 50 independent countries and some of the most beautiful flags to go along; but the flags of African nations each carry a symbolic meaning within.
The flag of each country perfectly captures the history of the people, traditions, culture, and the hopes that they all seem to have for a brighter tomorrow. Let's find out more!
Did you know that: The most frequently used colors on African flags are green, yellow red and black?
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Beautiful African flags examined
Here is a list of some of the most beautiful flags on the African continent:
Flag of Mozambique
The flag of Mozambique is designed with three stripes of equal width. The top horizontal stripe is green; the second stripe is black and bordered above and below by a thin white stripe and the third stripe is yellow.
On the left side of the flag, is a red isosceles triangle that is drawn horizontally so that it points to the center of the flag. Drawn in the center of the triangle is a five-point start with part of the country’s coat of arm on it. Another interesting detail is a Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK-47) and a hoe crossed over an opening book.
The red on the flag represents the nation’s struggle for independence. The yellow symbolizes the country’s rich mineral deposits and the green represents the lushness of the land. Black represents the African continent and the white is a symbol for peace.
The five-pointed star is a symbol for Socialism and Internationalism. The open book symbolizes the importance of education to the growth and development of the nation.
The Kalashnikov assault rifle shows that the people of Mozambique are vigilant and will defend their rights and freedom. Lastly, the hoe encapsulates the country’s peasantry and agriculture.
Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo
The flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo is sky blue with a red stripe that cuts it diagonally. The red stripe is bordered on both sides by thin yellow stripes; a yellow five-pointed star appears in the upper hoist corner.
The blue on the flag stands for peace and hope. The red represents the blood of those who died in the country’s fight for freedom. The yellow is a symbol of the country’s wealth and prosperity. The star is a symbol of unity and the hope of the people for a brilliant future.
Flag of Burundi
The Burundi flag consists of two white stripes that run diagonally across the flag dividing it into four sections. At the center of the flag is a disk with three six-pointed stars that are outlined in the green.
The sections to the left and right of the disk are green and the sections that are above and below the disk are red. The red on the flag stands for the blood that was shed in the struggle for independence.
The green represents the people’s hope for a better future and the white stands for peace. The three stars at the center of the flag represent Burundi’s motto, “Unitè, Travail, Progrès” which when translated to English means “Unity, Work, and Progress.”
The three stars also symbolize the three indigenous ethnic groups of Burundi, the Hutu, Tutsi, and the Twa.
Flag of Liberia
The flag of Liberia is designed with 11 stripes in alternating red and white. In the upper right corner of the flag is a blue square with a white five-pointed star in the center.
The flag bears a close resemblance to that of the flag of the United States of America as Liberia was established by freed African-American and ex-Caribbean slaves.
The eleven white stripes represent the eleven (11) men who signed Liberia’s Declaration of Independence. The blue rectangle represents the continent of Africa and star, the shining light of Liberia.
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Flag of Uganda
The flag of Uganda was accepted on October 9th, 1962. This is the same date that the country won it's independence from the British Empire. The flag consist of six (equal) bands: black, yellow, and red. In the center of the flag is a white disc which draws the eye to what's inside: the national symbol.
The grey crowned crane which stands proudly on one leg in the center of the flag, faces the hoist side. The symbolism behind the three colors used. Black represents the black people of Africa. The yellow for Africa's unmatched sunshine, and the red for African brotherhood.
The red is the color of blood that connects and unites all African people. The crane used as a symbol is legendary for it's gentle nature, and also served as the military badge for Ugandan soldiers under British rule.
It's raised leg means the crane is moving forward, which is symbolism for the Ugandan nation making strides into the future.
Flag of Rwanda
The Rwandan flag consists of three unequal horizontal stripes in the colors of blue, yellow and green with a yellow sun in the upper left-hand corner. Blue symbolizes happiness and peace.
Yellow stands for wealth and economic development. The green is a symbol of the people’s hope for prosperity and the sun represents an enlightened nation.
Flag of Cape Verde
The design of the Cape Verde flag is a blue field with stripes in the colors white and red with 10 five-pointed stars arranged in a circle.
The blue on the flag represents the azure sea and the white and red stripes symbolize the country’s development and its road to progress.
The ten stars stand for the ten islands of the Cape Verde archipelago and the circle is a representation of the nation’s unity
Flag of South Africa
The South African flag is geometrically designed with the colors of red, blue, black, yellow, green and white. When the flag was designed, it had been the only flag in the world with six colors.
The colors black, green and yellow are said to have been found in three African-based movements that had been around at that time, the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party thus they represent the percentage of the population that was black.
The red, white and blue are found on the Dutch-British flag and so represent the remaining population that was white. The green Y-shaped section represents the unity of all ethnic groups found in South Africa and the move forward into a united South Africa.
Flag of Kenya
The flag of Kenya is designed with three horizontal stripes in the colors black, red and green.
The red stripe is bordered by two white stripes and a red, white and black maasai shield is superimposed on the center with two white spears behind it. The black stands for the people of Kenya.
The red represents the blood that was shed in the people’s fight for independence and the green stands for the lush vegetation of Kenya. The white that was added at a later date represents peace and honesty.
The white spears and the black, red and white Maasai shield sends the message that the people of Kenya will always fight for their freedom and in defense of their lands.
Flag of Swaziland
The flag of Swaziland consists of horizontal stripes in the colors blue (top and bottom) and red. The red stripe is bordered by yellow stripes. In the center of the flag is a large black and white Nguni shield. It covers two spears and a staff decorated with injobo (feather tassels).
The red stands for the lives lost and the blood shed in Swaziland’s past battles. The blue represents peace and stability. The yellow stands for the wealth of the mineral resources of Swaziland.
The Nguni shield, two spears and staff are symbols that represent protection from the country’s enemies. The black and white of the shield relate that the people of Swaziland, both black and white, live in perfect harmony.
Final say on African flags
As you've learned in this article, Africa is a continent whose nations have a long and often turbulent history.
Whether it be prior or post-colonialism, the traditions, culture, symbols, and the essence of the people of each country in general all come together in the making of a country flag.
The final product, forged in such context, is nothing but breathtaking and awe inspiring, as these ten of the most beautiful African flags above exemplify.
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