The current flag of Swaziland became the national flag on October 6, 1968, one month after this country had achieved independence from British rule. The flag of Swaziland consists of 5 horizontal stripes of 3 different colors. The top and the bottom stripe are blue and the center stripe is a dark reddish color. These 3 wide bands are separated by 2 narrower stripes of a golden yellow color. At the center of the red stripe is a black and white war shield, traditionally used by Swazi warriors. This shield is situated in front of 2 spears and a stick with blue feathers on either end.
Each of the colors on the flag of Swaziland has a specific meaning, as does the emblem at its center. The yellow color is said to represent the rich natural resources that this country possesses, while the red color stands for the fight for independence. The blue bands are meant to stand for peace as the country moves forward and its intention of achieving a stable society. The center symbol represents the traditional Swazi war shield, which consists of a piece of black and white leather pulled tight over a stick frame. Some accounts suggest that the black and white colors represent the ability of black and white people to live in peace.
The current design of the flag of Swaziland is based on two previous flag designs. The center symbol dates back to the late 1800’s, when Swaziland was administered by British colonialists and the Boer-led South African Republic. The overall design is believed to have originated in 1941, when King Sobhuza II gave a military flag to the Swazi Pioneer Corp prior to its invasion of Italy. The gesture was intended to remind the group of the historical and cultural importance of war. The Swazi National Council first displayed this flag in April of 1967 and it remained unchanged, with a few minor exceptions.
Throughout its history, Swaziland has used a number of flags. During a significant period of time, this country was represented by the UK flag, referred to as the Union Jack. From 1894 to 1902, however, Swaziland flew a flag with 11 vertical stripes, alternating between dark blue and light blue. At its center was the same black and white war shield, but positioned vertically and without the accompanying spears.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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