The first flag of independent Malawi was adopted on 6 July 1964. The rising sun represents the dawn of hope and freedom for the continent of Africa (when the flag was created, more countries in Africa were gaining independence from European rule). The black represents the indigenous people of the continent, the red symbolizes the blood of their struggle, and the green represents nature. The flag resembles the Pan-African flag designed by Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, with the red and black bands reversed and a red sun in the top. It also resembles the flag of the now-defunct Republic of Biafra.
A new flag of Malawi was adopted on 29 July 2010, as proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party-led government. The stripes were altered from the previous flag to match the original Pan-African Flag layout, with the red stripe at the top, the black stripe in middle, and the green stripe at the bottom. The rising sun at the flag's top was replaced with a full, centered white sun representing the economic progressMalawi has made since becoming independent. The opposition United Democratic Front is challenging the legitimacy of flag change in court. The flag was endorsed by the President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, who approved the flag change on 29 July 2010. There was much public outcry about whether there was a need to change the flag, but the process continued despite being unwelcome to much of the public. The flag was pejoratively nicknamed "Bingu's flag" by the majority of the nation who saw it as an illegitimate flag. Many objected to the new flag, perceiving its adoption as undemocratic.