World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Madagascar Mean?

Madagascar's flag was adopted on 14 October 1958.

The island country of Madagascar comprises the main island of the same name and several smaller surrounding islands. The country is a biodiversity hotspot with wildlife exhibiting an incredible level of endemism. The earliest evidence of the existence of humans in the islands of Madagascar dates back to 2000 BC. Between 350 BC and 550 AD, the first human settlements grew up here. The Austronesian peoples arriving from Southeast Asia were the first settlers in Madagascar. Later, the Bantu people from mainland Africa and groups started arriving in the islands of Madagascar. Each of these cultures contributed to the rich cultural diversity of Madagascar. The largest ethnic group in the country are the Merina people of the central highlands. Prior to the 19th century, Madagascar was mostly divided into several small sociopolitical zones ruled by different rulers or groups. In the 19th century, however, most of the island was under the rule of the Kingdom of Madagascar. In 1897, the French defeated the Merina rulers of Madagascar and established a French colony in the region. In 1960, the colonial rule ended and Madagascar emerged as a free nation.

History Of The Flag Of Madagascar

The national flag of the country was adopted on October 14, 1958, prior to the country’s independence in 1960. Prior to the present-day flag of Madagascar, the French tricolor flag was used in the nation from 1896 to 1958. It was a vertical tricolor of blue, white, and red.

Design Of Madagascar’s Flag

The flag of Madagascar is a tricolor. It has two horizontal bands and a vertical band. The latter is white in color and located on the hoist side of the flag. The horizontal bands are of red and green colors.

Meaning Of The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Madagascar

The colors used in the flag represent the tradition, history, and culture of the country. The Merina Kingdom of Madagascar that ruled over the region prior to colonization by France used red and white as the traditional colors. These two colors were used in the flag of Queen Ranavalona III, one of the monarchs of the Merina kingdom. Thus, the use of these colors in the present-day flag of the country represents the nation’s history and the ethnic origin of the Malagasy people who arrived from southeast Asia. The colors are thus shared with the flag of Indonesia. The green color used in the flag represents the Hova people of the country who are the biggest class of peasant commoners. The Hova community is well-known for its important role in the independence movement of Madagascar.

About the Author

Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.


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