The 54 independent sovereign countries in Africa as well as the international organization called African Union or AU within the African continent has a specific flag. Though the national flags of independent countries of Africa differ in design but share some common features. For example- Almost each flag is striped except the flat rectangular flags of Tunisia, Morocco, Eritrea, Mauritania, Somalia. The frequently used colors in the flags of African Nations are yellow, green, black and red. One of the most recognized flag symbols of Africa is the Flag of South Africa comprising of horizontal Y shaped green stripes onto it. Africa is the second largest continent of the world, and it is the homeland to number of nations that share unique identities and culture. Those nations are quite different from each other, but their common heritage signifies that there are few elements that share common values across their cultures. The flags of African countries are just as diverse as the countries there, but simultaneously these show some similarities that result in their shared heritage. There is no specific flag of Africa as a continent as these do not have any specific flag.
The Flags of Africa are symbol or emblem of the African countries the are the symbolism of each individual country. Each Flag of Africa has its own unique combination of shapes, colors and symbols but conventionally almost all the Flags of Africa i.e. flags of African countries as well as the flag of the African Union is rectangular in shape. Flags of Africa comprises of the flags of each independent sovereign nations of Africa with the exception of Reunion, the island that is the overseas departments of France. Western Sahara which is a disputed territory lying North Africa and is administered by Morocco.
The Pan-African Flag Colors
Most of the African Flags here are inclusive of the Pan-African colors that emerged from the colors of the flag of Pan-African movement in the year 1920. Gradually the flag became the symbol of African pride and this is the reason that majority of the African national flags use those colors in order to honor their solidarity with various other African nations. The Pan-African Flag constituted of three different bars i.e. black, red and green. Some of the country flags of Africa make use of the gold color and not black along with the three colors of Pan-African Flag. The origin of gold color is associated with the traditional flags of Ethiopia that has also become a symbol of African people at the time of colonial period. It is not at all unusual for the flags of African countries to feature any two or just one of the colors from Pan-African flag to honor the movement. The national flags apart from these use a color that symbolizes the unique aspect of nation’s history and culture.
The Colonial Legacy in the Flags of AfricaMajority of the African countries are quite young i.e. they have been the part of the European colonies for a longer duration and this history has left its imprints on the country flags of these African countries. After gaining independence post second world war some parts of the African countries chose to retain few symbols from its colonial flags. Apart from this few countries in the African continent use flags that maintains a clear link with the European countries and to showcase this the countries use flags that establish their association with them.
Symbols of Islam on African Flags
Islam is one of the most commonly practiced religion in African countries however, its representation on the country flags of Africa is comparatively lower. Some nations found in the north of Sahara desert are inclusive of such images on its flags. One may find the impressions of Islamic symbols on i.e. crescent moon and star may be seen on some flags of Africa. For Example: Flags of Tunisia and Algeria.
The African continent together comprises of several flags as it constitutes of the flags of each 54 sovereign independent country in the continent. But apart from these African Union also has its own flag that represents the organization and its member countries. Thus, when we say Flags of Africa, it is inclusive of the national flags of African countries and the Flag of African Union. The national flags of the independent countries in this part of the world.