Malawi is an African nation encompassing an area of 118,000 square km in the southeastern part of the continent. Lilongwe serves as Malawi’s capital. The area that is today part of Malawi was initially inhabited by the Bantu peoples around the 10th century. The British colonized the region in 1891. Malawi was then known as Nyasaland. After several decades of colonization by the British, Nyasaland became a protectorate of a semi-independent federation in 1953. A decade later in 1963, the Federation was dissolved and a year later, Nyasaland became a free nation. However, Queen Elizabeth II became the head of state of the nation. Nyasaland was now renamed Malawi.
History of the Flag of Malawi
The flag currently used in Malawi was initially adopted in 1964 when the nation achieved its independence. The flag remained in use till 1910 when a new flag was adopted on July 29, 2010. This flag was proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party that had formed the government at that time. The red and the black colors of the stripes were interchanged to match the layout of the original Pan-African Flag where the red stripe is at the top and the green at the bottom. The rising red sun seen in the previous flag was replaced by a new full white sun centered on the middle black stripe. The sun represented the nation’s economic progress since freedom. The flag’s new design was, however, not widely accepted in Malawi. A large section of the population opposed the adoption and use of this new flag. Finally, the former flag was re-adopted in 1912 and is in use event today.
Design of Malawi’s Flag
The national flag of Malawi is a tricolor. It has three horizontal stripes of black, red, and green from the upper side to the lower side of the flag. The black stripe features a rising sun at the center. The sun and its rays are red in color. The flag closely resembles the Pan-African flag that was designed by Marcus Garvey. However, the black and the red bands have been arranged in a reverse manner in Malawi’s flag and the sun has been added.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Malawi
Each of the colors used in Malawi’s flag has its own meaning. The black color represents Africa’s indigenous population. The red color is a symbol of the people’s struggle to achieve independence from treacherous slavery and oppressive colonial rule. Green represents nature that is one of Africa’s biggest treasure. The sun on the black stripe symbolizes the dawn of freedom and hope in the continent of Africa.