The flag of Burkina Faso consists of two equally sized horizontal fields, one red (top) and one green, with a five-pointed yellow star in the center. This flag was officially adopted by the country on 4 August 1984 after a coup in which Thomas Sankara gained power. At this point, the nation was also renamed Burkina Faso which replaced the name of the Republic of Upper Volta, a former French colony. The name Burkina Faso means land of the incorruptible or land of the honorable men in the indigenous Mossi language.
The red is symbolic of the blood of the revolutionary freedom fighters within the country, and the green is also a symbol of the natural resources in the country. The yellow, five-pointed star in the center of the flag is said to be a guiding light of the independence and revolution of Burkina Faso.
The original designer of the flag is unknown but has been widely recognised that the government of Sankara during the 1980s pushed this design to the forefront of the nation as a prominent symbol of independence. Sankara has been described as a Pan-African, Marxist revolutionary which gives a good indication as to why these particular colors were chosen for the flag. His government also highly encouraged flying the flag every year on 11 December, Burkina Faso's National Day.
Previously, the flag of Upper Volta was similar to the flag of Imperial Germany which was in use from 1871–1918. These three colors are representative of the three significant offshoots of the Volta River in Burkina Faso (Red Volta, White Volta, and Black Volta). While the country was a French colony from the period of the 1890s until 1960, the nation flew the flag of France.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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