The flag is an adaptation of the winning entry from Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi in a competition held in 1959. Akinkunmi was a 23-year-old student at the time he designed the flag. He was studying at Norwood Technical College in London, England, when he saw an advertisement in a newspaper that submissions were being accepted for the design of a new national flag of Nigeria. The original submission had a red radiating sun badge in the central white vertical band with a green vertical band on each side. After the badge was removed by the judges, the flag has remained unchanged. It was first officially used on 1 October 1960, the day Nigeria was granted independence from the United Kingdom.
A number of sources have described the symbolic intent of the flag, although official sources have yet to make comment on the validity of any of the aforementioned sources. A common interpretation is that the upper orange band represents the northern regions of the Sahara Desert (though this is sometimes said to be the Sahel), the center white band represents purity (though this is sometimes said to be the Niger River) and also represents the French-descended small white minority, and the lower green band represents both hope and the fertile regions of southern Niger. The orange circle in the center band is said to represent the sun or independence.
The chairman explained the symbolism of the flag’s colors as follows:
Red – represents Namibia’s most important resource, its people. It refers to their heroism and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all.
White – represents peace and unity.
Green – symbolises vegetation and agricultural resources.
Blue – represents the clear Namibian sky and the Atlantic Ocean, the country’s precious water resources and rain.
Golden-yellow sun – life and energy
The flag of Mozambique was adopted on 1 May 1983. It includes the image of an AK-47 with a bayonet attached to the barrel crossed by a hoe, superimposed on an open book. It is one of four national flags among UN member states that feature a firearm, along with those of Guatemala, Haiti and Bolivia, but is the only one of the four to feature a modern firearm instead of cannons or muskets.
Green stands for the riches of the land, the white fimbriations signify peace, black represents the African continent, yellow symbolises the country’s minerals, and red represents the struggle for independence. The rifle stands for defence and vigilance, the open book symbolises the importance of education, the hoe represents the country’s agriculture, and the star symbolises Marxism and internationalism.
The flag is based on the flag of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO), the leading political party in Mozambique. The FRELIMO flag, used for a brief period after the country gained its independence from Portugal, looks like the current flag but lacking the emblem, with green, black, and yellow horizontal stripes separated by white fimbriations and a red triangle in the hoist.
Red has considerable historic significance in Morocco, proclaiming the descent from royal Alaouite dynasty. This ruling house was associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad via Fatimah, the wife of Ali, the fourth Muslim Caliph. Red is also the color that was used by the sharifs of Mecca and the imams of Yemen. From the 17th century on, when Morocco was ruled by the Alaouite dynasty, the flags of the country were plain red.
The flag of Mauritius consists of red, blue, yellow and green bands which stands for:
The national flag of Mauritius, also known as the Four Bands and Les Quatre Bandes (French for “the four bands”), was adopted upon independence, March 12, 1968. It consists of four horizontal bands of equal width, colored (from top to bottom) red, blue, yellow, and green. The flag was recorded at the College of Arms in London on 9 January 1968.
The flag was designed by Gurudutt Moher who was a primary school teacher at that time. He died of a heart attack on October 7, 2017 at the age of 93.
Red: Red represents the struggle for freedom and independence.
Blue: Blue represents the Indian Ocean, in the middle of which Mauritius is situated.
Yellow: Yellow represents the new light of independence.
Green: Green represents the agriculture of Mauritius and its color throughout the 12 months of the year.
The flag of Mauritania is a green field containing a gold star and crescent, with a red stripe at the top and bottom of the field. The original national flag was introduced under the instructions of President Moktar Ould Daddah and the constitution of 22 March 1959 and was adopted on 1 April 1959.
On 5 August 2017, a referendum was held by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to change the national flag, abolish the senate, and other constitutional amendments. The referendum was successful, and the new flag, including two red stripes, which represent “the efforts and sacrifices that the people of Mauritania will keep consenting, to the price of their blood, to defend their territory”, was adopted in for its first raising on 28 November 2017, the 57th anniversary of Mauritania’s independence.
The national flag of Mali is a tricolour with three equal vertical stripes. From the hoist the colours are green, gold, and red, the pan-African colours. The flag of Mali is almost identical to the flag of Guinea, with the exception that the colours are in reverse order.
The green stands for fertility of the land, gold stands for purity and mineral wealth, and the red symbolizes the blood shed for independence from the French.
The current flag was adopted on March 1, 1961. The original flag was adopted on April 4, 1959, when Mali joined the Mali Federation. This flag was the same, except the golden stripe had a human stick figure, a kanaga, in black, with arms raised to the sky. The figure was removed due to the opposition, in a country whose population is 90% Muslim.
The first flag of independent Malawi was adopted on 6 July 1964. A rising sun against a black field is also present in the coat of arms of Malawi and in the flag it officially represents the dawn of hope and freedom for the continent of Africa (when the flag was created, more countries in Africa were gaining independence from European rule). The 31 rays of the sun represent the fact that Malawi was the 31st African nation at the time of its independence. The black represents the indigenous people of the continent, the red symbolizes the blood of their struggle, and the green represents nature. The flag resembles the Pan-African flag designed by Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, with the red and black bands reversed and a red sun in the top.
The colors of the flag represent Madagascar’s history and traditional peasant classes. Red and white were the colors of the Merina kingdom, which succumbed to France in 1896. They were used in the flag of the last Merina monarch, Queen Ranavalona III. They may indicate the ethnic origins of the Malagasy people in Southeast Asia, and are shared by the flag of Indonesia. Green was the color of the Hova, the largest class of peasant commoners, who played a significant role in anti-French agitation and the independence movement.