Tanzania Flag – History, Design, Symbolism and More
Table of Contents
Tanzania flag [ in Swahili: bendera ya Tanzania] is made up of a yellow-bordered black diagonal stripe with a greenish upper triangle as well as a sky blue lower triangle separated sideways from the bottom hoist-edge corner. It is the flag of the United Republic of Tanzania because the two republics merged in 1964 when it was adopted to replace the independent flags of Zanzibar and Tanganyika. The current Tanzania flag’s design contains features from the two previous flags. It is one of a few national flags that include a diagonal line, with the DR Congo, Trinidad & Tobago, Namibia, and Brunei being examples.
History of the Tanzania Flag
During the Eastern African Campaign in 1916, the United Kingdom, along with its colony South Africa and sister Allied power Belgium, controlled a large percentage of German East Africa. 3 years later, as part of a League of Nations authority, the British were charged with governing the Tanganyika Territory. When the League of Nations was disbanded in 1946, and the UN [United Nations] was founded, it was designated as a UN Trust Territory. Under the guidance of Oscar Kambona and Julius Nyerere, the TAA [Tanganyika African Association], which spoke against British government control, formed the TANU [Tanganyika African National Union] in 1954. The political party‘s goal was to achieve territorial independence, and its banner was a tricolour consisting of three horizontally black, green, and yellow stripes. Elections took place in Tanganyika shortly before the country’s independence in 1961. The British colonial authorities recommended the TANU to use the design of their current party banner as inspiration for a brand new national flag (the grandfather of the later Tanzania flag) when they won decisively. Yellow bands were added as a result, and Tanganyika gained independence on December 9th, 1961.
During its control over the island, the Sultan of Zanzibar, which was a British colony until 1963, flew a red flag. The last sultan was ousted in the Zanzibar Revolution on January 12th, 1964, and the African-Shirazi Party, the newly founded People’s Republic of Zanzibar’s leading political party, chose a national flag based on its own party flag the following month. The flag was a tricolour with three horizontal black, blue, and green lines.
Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged in April 1964 to establish the United Republic of Tanzania, a single country. As a result, the two states’ Tanzania flag designs were combined to create a brand new national flag. Tanganyika’s black and green colours, as well as the sky blue from Zanzibar’s flag, were maintained, with a diagonal design utilized “for distinctiveness.” On June 30th, 1964, this merged design was approved. It was showcased on the newly unified country’s first batch of stamps issued.
Design of the Tanzania Flag
Symbolism in the Tanzania Flag
The Tanzania flag’s symbols and colours contain political, cultural, and geographical significance. The green colour reflects Tanzania’s natural vegetation and “abundant agricultural resources,” while the black depicts the Swahili people[Tanzanian natives]. The Indian Ocean and the country’s numerous rivers and lakes are all represented by the blue colour. The thin stripes represent Tanzania’s mineral wealth, which is obtained from the country’s “rich resources.” While the fimbriations are described as yellow in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as well as Dorling Kindersley’s Comprehensive Flags of the World, some sources, such as The Global Factbook or Simon Clarke in the magazine Azania: Archaeological Study in Africa, believe that it’s gold.
Historical Flags That Led to the Current Tanzania Flag
|1893-1919||German East African flag||Horizontal black, white, and red fields also with the German Imperial Eagle [Reichsadler] at the centre in a white circle.|
||1919–1961||Tanganyika Territorial Flag||A British Red Flag with the Symbol of the British League of Nations mission [a British United Nations Trust Territory after 1946] at the centre of the flag’s outer half.|
|1961–1964||Flag of Tanganyika||A green background with a gold-bordered black horizontal stripe running through the centre.|
|1896–1963||Sultanate of Zanzibar flag [British protectorate])||A simple red field.|
|1963–1964||The Sultanate of Zanzibar’s flag||A red background with a green circle containing two yellow cloves in the centre.|
||January–April 1964||Zanzibar’s People‘s Republic Flag||A horizontal tricolour of black, blue, and green.|
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