The flag of Eritrea consists of a red isosceles triangle with its base on the mast side with two right triangles of green (upper part) and blue (lower portion) taking up the remaining space. The red field also contains the national emblem of a vertical olive branch encircles by an olive wreath in gold. This symbol was the national emblem of the country from 1952-1962. The national flag was given official status on December 5, 1995.

The colours used in this flag have significant symbolic meaning in Eritrea. The red colour is representative of the struggle for an independent nation and those that fell fighting for this cause. The green is a symbol of agriculture and livestock in the country, a source of economic prosperity. Finally, blue was used in this flag to honour the United Nations who provided protection and administrative support to the newly independent country. Blue is also representative of the Red Sea which borders parts of the country. The national emblem of an olive branch and wreath are internationally recognised symbols of peace. The 30 olive branch leaves in the emblem are symbolic of how many years the country was struggling for independence.

The original designer of the flag is unknown, although inspiration for this flag can be found in many previous designs. The Eritrean People's Liberation Front designed the first version of this flag during the 1970s, and the current flag in use borrows heavily from this design. The CIA factbook has interestingly observed that the red isosceles triangle resembles the shape of the country.

Previous flags include a pale blue field with the national emblem featured on the modern flag in green, used from 1952-1962. The flag of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front has been used as a source of inspiration for the current flag and was used from 1970-1991 by freedom fighters trying to achieve independence. Eritrea was also previously occupied by Italy and therefore flew the Italian flag from 1935-1941.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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