Flag of Lesotho
|Adopted||October 4, 2006|
|Design||A horizontal triband of blue, white and green; charged with a black Mokorotlo (a Basotho hat) centred on the white band.|
The current national flag of Lesotho, adopted on October 4, 2006, features a horizontal blue, white, and green tricolour with a black mokorotlo (a Basotho hat) in the centre. The design, introduced to honour the 40th anniversary of independence, is intended to reflect a peaceful orientation for the country.
The first flag of Lesotho was introduced on October 4, 1966, the day of Lesotho's full independence from the United Kingdom. It featured a prominent white mokorotlo. The blue stood for sky and rain, the white for peace, the green for land, and the red for faith.
A new flag, designed by Sergeant Retšelisitsoe Matete, was adopted on January 20, 1987, following a military coup which ousted the Basotho National Party after 20 years in power. A light brown traditional Basotho shield along with an assegai (lance) and knobkierrie (club) replaced the Basotho hat as the primary emblem. The colour scheme and pattern changed as well, with a triangular white field standing for peace. The bottom diagonal contained a blue strip for rain and a green triangle for prosperity.
In 2006, a new flag was chosen from four proposed designs; all of these designs included a brown Basotho hat instead of the shield. This was subsequently changed to a black Basotho hat in order to represent Lesotho as a black nation. The bill changing the flag was approved by the National Assembly on September 18, 2006, with 84 members of parliament voting in favour of it, 18 against it, and two abstaining. It was subsequently approved by the Senate as well.
Unofficial colonial flag of Basutoland, c. 1884