The flag of Tanzania was officially adopted on June 30, 1964. It is made up of 4 colors and consists of 2 triangles and 3 diagonal stripes. A black stripe runs diagonally through the center of the flag, from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. It is lined by 2 narrower, golden yellow stripes on either side. This diagonal band leaves a triangle shape in the top left corner, which is green in color, and a triangle shape in the bottom right corner, which is blue in color. This flag has a width to length proportion of 2 to 3.
The four colors of the flag of Tanzania each has a special symbolic meaning. The black color is said to represent the people of Tanzania, specifically the Swahili indigenous group. The golden yellow color stands for the mineral deposits that can be found throughout the country, while the green color stands for the abundance of plant life that thrives in the environment here. The blue color represents the water sources available in Tanzania, from its lakes and rivers to the Indian Ocean.
The mainland area of Tanzania was once its own independent country known as Tanganyika. In April of 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (an island in the Indian Ocean) joined as one independent country. Details from each these two flags were combined to create the current flag of Tanzania. The flag of Zanzibar was a blue, black, and green tricolor. The flag of Tanganyika was green with a black band bordered by golden yellow stripes. The center band of Tanganyika was kept and put at a diagonal angle over the blue and green colors of Zanzibar.
Between 1891 and 1919, the mainland of Tanzania was ruled by German forces. During this time the flag was white with a black cross separating it into 4 squares. The upper left square was red with 5 white stars. From 1919 to 1961, the country was colonized by the UK. Its flag was red with a small UK flag in the top left corner. A white circle with a giraffe head was located on the red background. In 1961, Tanganyika gained its independence and created the green, black, and golden yellow flag that became half of the prototype for the current flag of Tanzania.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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