Meaning of the Flag
The nation of Tanzania has one of the most unique and colorful national flags in the world. The modern flag that is used today was first adopted back in 1964. This occurred because the individual flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar were merged into one following the merger of the two states in the same year. Elements from both of the original individual flags can be found in Tanzania’s flag that is in use today.
There is great symbolism behind the current flag. The colors of the flag are used to represent the people, land features such as rivers and lakes, and the country’s “rich” land redeposits. These meanings will be broken down further in the discussion about the colors of the flag.
Colors of the Flag
The flag of Tanzania features four different colors: green, blue, yellow and black. The upper left triangle is green, while the bottom right is blue. The triangles are divided by a diagonal black band that is trimmed in yellow. As with other flags around the world, the colors of Tanzania’s national flag hold great significance.
The color green represents the vegetation and agricultural resources of the land. The color black symbolizes the Swahili natives of the country. The color blue is representative of the Indian Ocean, as well as the country’s rivers and lakes. The thin stripes of the flag symbolize the deposits of the land.
History of the Flag
During the early 20th century, the British were in charge of administering the Tanganyika Territory. Following World War II, the region was turned into a UN Trust Territory. During the 1950s, the area became the Tanganyika African National Union. During this time, the region adopted a flag of horizontal black, yellow and green bands. Tanganyika gained its independence in 1961, and after gaining independence, yellow stripes were added to the flag.
Meanwhile the Sultanate of Zanzibar’s flag history goes back to when a red flag was originally used. However, the sultan was overthrown in 1964 during the Zanzibar Revolution and a new national flag was adopted. This tricolor flag features horizontal stripes of blue, green and black. It was during the same year when the state of Tanganyika and Zanzibar decided to unite to form one country. After the countries were merged, elements of each region’s flag were used to create a new national flag, which was first adopted in June of 1964.
The modern flag of today was first adopted in 1964 after Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form one country. The design has remained unchanged since that time.
Some sources cite one of the flag’s colors as yellow, while other sources state that it is gold.
There are cultural, political and regional significance in the colors and design of the Tanzanian flag.