The current flag of Suriname was officially adopted on November 25, 1975. The white represents freedom and justice. Red and green were the colors of the political parties during independence. The gold star symbolizes unity and hope.
Description of the Flag
According to the Constitution of Suriname, the national flag has a horizontal rectangle design with a length-width ratio of 2:3. The flag is made up of a horizontal tri-band comprised of three colors which are green, white, and red. There are two green stripes, one lying on the top and the other on the bottom. A double-width red band lies in the middle and is bordered by two large white stripes. A large yellow star with five points is located at the center of the flag and sits on the red band.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Suriname
Different theories attempt to explain the meaning of the colors and symbols seen on the flag of Suriname. One theory comes with a political perspective, where the three colors on the flag are seen as representing the major political parties in Suriname during its independence. White represented the People’s Party, red representing the Hindu Vatan Hitkari, while green represented the National Party. The five edges of the star were said to represent the five major ethnic groups in Suriname; the Asian Indians, Europeans, Creoles, Chinese, and American Indians. However, the widely accepted meaning of the colors and symbols on the flag of Suriname is based on the cultural heritage and natural wealth of the country. In this regard, green represents the fertility of the land and the wealth of mineral deposits in the country. Green is also said to represent hope in the future for the people of Suriname. White is seen as representing the freedom, peace, and justice present in the country. Red represents the virtues of sacrifice, struggles, and resilience seen in the Surinamese people. The yellow star is seen as representing the country’s bright and golden future, achievable through the hard work of Surinamese people.
Controversial Previous FlagBefore the current flag was adopted in Suriname, the country had a controversial flag that it used as its official flag. The flag, which had been adopted in 1959, was white with five stars of yellow, red, black, white, and brown stars. The five stars were an object of contention as they represented the five major ethnic groups in Suriname, with the ellipse interconnecting them representing the harmony among the ethnic groups. This flag was therefore seen to be emphasizing more on ethnicity than national unity. The flag would later be replaced by the current flag in November 1975.