Flag of Senegal
|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||August 20, 1960|
|Design||A vertical tricolour of green, yellow and red with a green star charged at the centre.|
The Flag of Senegal (French: le drapeau du Sénégal) is a tricolour consisting of three vertical green, yellow and red bands charged with a five-pointed green star at the centre. Adopted in 1960 to replace the flag of the Mali Federation, it has been the flag of the Republic of Senegal since the country gained independence that year. The present and previous flags were inspired by French Tricolour, which flew over Senegal until 1960.
Under French colonial rule over Senegal, the authorities forbade the colony from using its own distinctive colonial flag because they were worried that this could increase nationalistic sentiment and lead to calls for independence. However, with the rise of the decolonization movement in Africa, the French were obliged to grant limited autonomy to Senegal as a self-governing republic within the French Community. Senegal was combined with French Soudan on April 4, 1959, to form the Mali Federation. That day, a new flag was adopted: a vertical green, yellow and red tricolour with a stylized depiction of a human being (referred to as a kanaga) on the centre band. The federation attained independence from France on June 20, 1960.
The federation between the two former colonies did not last long and ended two months after independence. On August 20, Senegal separated from the federation and became an independent country. The new nation's flag kept the colours and stripes of the federation's flag, with the only change being the replacement of the kanaga with a green star.
The colours and star on the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. Nationally, the green epitomizes hope and Senegal's main religious groups (specifically Islam, which is adhered to by 94% of Senegal's population). Yellow symbolizes the country's abundance in wealth and natural resources, while red represents the sacrifices made during the fight for independence. The green star alludes to the Islamic faith practised by the majority of Senegalese. Green, yellow and red are the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement. That pattern was replicated on Senegal's flag as a sign of unity among African countries.
The Pan-Africanist colours of Senegal's flag is shared by several other countries in the region, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea and Mali and Ethiopia. Guinea's flag has the colour scheme reversed without the green star, while Mali's flag is identical without the star.
|1958–1959||Flag of French Senegal||A green field charged with a yellow star at the centre.|
|1959–1960||Flag of the Mali Federation within the French Community||A vertical tricolour of green, yellow and red charged with a green star at the centre.|
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