The flag of Sierra Leone consists of three, equally sized, horizontal bands of green, white, and blue (top to bottom). This flag was adopted as the official national banner on 27 April 1961, the same day the country gained independence from the United Kingdom. The flag was last officially confirmed by state law in the 1991 amendments to the national constitution.

The green is symbolic of the lush hills and agricultural areas of the country that have provided life and sustenance for generations of citizens. The white stripe is representative of unity and justice and when combined with the blue, is also a symbol of the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. The shades of green and blue have been described as leaf green and cobalt blue by vexillologists (those who study flags and symbols) and are lighter shades than are usually used in national flags.

The flag of Sierra Leone is said to have derived from the national coat of arms that was created in 1960 in the lead up to independence. The College of Arms organization were the designers of this coat of arms and their work inspired the flag which was adopted around one year later. Chapter 1, Article 3 of the Sierra Leone Constitution states the design specifications in legal terms with guidelines as to how it can be displayed.

Previous flags of Sierra Leone include two similar banners that were used while the country was considered a protectorate of the United Kingdom. The first was used from 1889-1914 and consists of a Union Jack in the top left-hand corner and the arms of the region. This flag was identical to the flags of the Gold Coast, Gambia, and Lagos colonies besides the initials used in the bottom of the coat of arms. From 1914-1961, a flag with a Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner and a crown colony coat of arms was used.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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