Pan-African colours is a term that may refer to two different sets of colours:

  • Green, yellow and red, the colours of the flag of Ethiopia, have come to represent the pan-Africanist ideology due to the country's history of having avoided being taken over by a colonial power. Numerous African countries have adopted the colours into their national flags, and they are similarly used as a symbol by many Pan-African organisations and the Rastafari movement.
  • Red, black, and green, first introduced by Marcus Garvey in 1920, have also come to represent Pan-Africanism, and are shown on the pan-African flag. These colours have also been incorporated on national flags, and they have sometimes been used to represent black nationalism rather than Pan-Africanism.[1]
The traditional flag of Ethiopia, the colours of which have been adopted by numerous pan-African groups.
Unofficial pan-African or UNIA flag

Green-yellow-red edit

Green, yellow, and red are now found on the national flags of many African nations. The colour combination was borrowed from the flag of Ethiopia.[2] The Ethiopian flag has influenced the flags of many Pan-African organizations and polities. Except for relatively brief periods of influence and occupation by the Kingdom of Italy, Ethiopia remained outside European control during the colonial era by defeating the Italian army at the battle of Adwa in 1896, ending the Italian protectorate. As a result, the country drew the admiration of many newly independent states in Africa. The adoption of the Ethiopian national colours by many Pan-African entities is a consequence of this. The first African state to adopt a gold, red and green flag upon independence was Ghana in 1957, designed by Theodosia Okoh.[3][4]

Red-black-green edit

The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) founded by Marcus Garvey has a constitution that defines red, black, and green as the Pan-African colours: "red representing the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, the colour black for the people, green for the rich land of Africa."[citation needed] The UNIA flag was designated the official colours of Black Africans by the UNIA at its convention in Madison Square Garden on August 13, 1920, in New York City, United States.

Current country flags with the Pan-African symbolism edit

The following are countries and territories that use one or both sets of Pan-African colours in their official flags:

Non-national flags edit

Former flags with pan-African colours edit

Non pan-African flags with pan-African colours edit

Although the following flags contain a pan-African colour scheme, they were not officially designed to symbolise pan-Africanism. The designs may or may not be influenced by pan-African colours.

Rastafari colours also originate from the Ethiopian flag, but though Rastafari thought harbours pan-African sympathies, its use of the Ethiopian flag is historically rooted in the veneration of former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Shelby, Tommie (October 2003). "Two Conceptions of Black Nationalism". Political Theory. 31 (5): 664–692. doi:10.1177/0090591703252826. ISSN 0090-5917. S2CID 145600053.
  2. ^ "Why Most African Flags Use the Red, Yellow, and Green Colors?". February 22, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "Mrs Theodosia Okoh: The Woman Who Designed The Ghanaian Flag", African Celebs.
  4. ^ Mrs. Theodosia Salome Okoh Profile at GhanaWeb.
  5. ^ "flag of Benin". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  6. ^ "flag of Burkina Faso". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  7. ^ "flag of Cameroon". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  8. ^ "flag of the Central African Republic". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  9. ^ "flag of Chad". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  10. ^ "flag of the Republic of the Congo". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  11. ^ a b "flag of Guinea". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  12. ^ "flag of Guinea-Bissau". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  13. ^ "flag of Mali". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  14. ^ "flag of Senegal". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  15. ^ "flag of Sao Tome and Principe". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  16. ^ "flag of Togo". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • Znamierowski, Alfred (2001). The World Encyclopedia of Flags: The Definitive Guide to International Flags, Banners, Standards and Ensigns. London: Anness Publishing.