The Tanzanian Flag: History, Appearance and Curiosity

Tanzania flag

The Flag of Tanzania, formally known as the United Republic of Tanzania, is composed of typical African colours, and was adopted on 30 June 1964 as a replacement of the individual flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, following their union. The design of Tanzania’s flag incorporates some of the characteristics found in the two previous ones.

The flag consists of a black diagonal line with finer yellow edges that divide it in half. The upper left part is completely green, while the lower right is blue.

Meaning of the colours

The flag has four different colours, each of which was selected to represent a characteristic of Tanzania.

  • The colour black represents the Swahili culture – the culture of the population living on the shores of Tanzania, and the bantu – the ethno-linguistic group of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The yellow/gold represents the country’s mineral wealth and abundant deposits.
  • The blue represents the region of the Great Lakes: Lake Tanganyika, Vittoria, Alberto, Eduardo, Kivu and Malawai, and the Indian Ocean overlooking its coast, where the islands of Pemba, Mafia and, of course, the Zanzibar Archipelago are plunged.
  • Finally, the green represents the enormous botanical and naturalistic richness of the country, making it one of the most popular safari destinations, thanks to its extraordinary flora and fauna.

A Timeline of the Flag

From 1891 to 1919 Tanzania, and consequently its flag, was that of the German East African Company.

From 1919 to 1961 the flag of Tanzania was the flag of the Tanganyika Territories, bearing the emblem of Great Britain under which it was ruled.

Tanzania was represented by the Tanganyika flag from 1961 to 1964, a flag that is heavily echoed in its current version.

bandiera del tanganica

From 1896 to 1963 Tanzania was represented by the Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, an English protectorate.

bandiera del sultanato di zanzibar

From 1963 to 1964 Tanzania was represented by a new Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, no longer a protectorate.

From January to April 1964, before the creation of the present flag, Tanzania was represented by the flag of the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba.

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