The flag of Guinea-Bissau is recognized by three stripes of horizontal and vertical stripes. The vertical stripe which is red in color is on the hoist side while the horizontal stripes are yellow and green. The red vertical stripe carries a black five-pointed star. The flag has a width-to-length ratio of 1:2. Guinea-Bissau adopted the flag in 1973 following the country’s independence from the Portuguese.

The flag features the traditional Pan-African colors of red, yellow, and green, and closely resembles the flag of Ghana. The flag colors are typical of several African nations, representing their mutual solidarity. In fact, the colors of the Ghanaian flag and the Guinea-Bissau flag have almost similar meaning, especially the red color. The red color represents the blood lost in the country’s struggle for independence. Yellow represents the sharp African sun while the green color represents the fertile soil. The black star on the red field represents the continent of Africa.

The flag of Guinea-Bissau is based on the flag of the African Party for Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde which was established in 1956 to peacefully agitate for the independence from the Portuguese. The PAIGC adopted its flag in 1960, which was similar to the flags of the independent neighboring countries like Ghana. The adoption of the flag by the PAIGC may have also been influenced by the talks on a future formation of a federation of West African states. To the Pan-African colors of red, yellow, and green, the liberation movement added the black star to symbolize the PAIG leadership.

Prior to the formation of the PAIGC, Guinea-Bissau did not have a flag. Instead, the flag of Portuguese Guinea was hoisted in the country from 1474 to 1974. The flag hoisted was basically the current flag of Portugal which is a vertical bicolor of green on the hoist side and red on the fly side with a coat of arm centered over the color boundary. The flag was replaced by the current red-yellow-green flag following the country’s independence.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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