Mauritius is a sovereign nation located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2,000 km away from Africa’s southeast coast. The nation's territory includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, as well as several other islands.
Brief History of Mauritius
Prior to exploration by Arab sailors in the Middle Ages, Mauritius was believed to be uninhabited. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit Mauritius, arriving on the island and establishing a settlement in 1507. Although the Portuguese never settled on the island permanently, the Dutch colonized Mauritius and ruled from 1638 to 1710. Later, Mauritius became a French colony from 1715 to 1810. The British came to power in 1810 and ruled until 1968, when Mauritius gained independence after centuries of colonial rule.
History of Mauritius's Flag
Mauritius’s national flag is often referred to as the Les Quatre Bandes, which is French for "the four bands." However, various colonial flags were used prior to the country's independence. Dutch and the French colonial flags were used, as well as multiple different British flags. The British Union Jack was used between 1810 and 1869, and was then replaced by a colonial flag designed specifically for Mauritius. Several versions of this flag were used with slight alterations in design. After independence, a new flag was adopted to represent the nation. This flag was officially used for the first time on March 12, 1968, and was designed by a Mauritian primary school teacher named Gurudutt Moher.
Design of the Flag of Mauritius
The flag of Mauritius features four horizontal bands of different colors, listed from top to bottom: red, blue, yellow, and green. While many national flags feature three bands or stripes, the four bands of Mauritius's flag is relatively unique.
Mean of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag
Each of the colors on the national flag of Mauritius has a specific meaning. The red color symbolizes the people’s struggle for independence. Since Mauritius is an island surrounded on all sides by the Indian Ocean, the blue color represents the ocean. The yellow color is symbolic of the new light of freedom achieved upon independence. The green color symbolizes the agriculture of Mauritius, as well as the nation’s natural wealth.
Other Flags Used in Mauritius
The civil ensign and state ensign used in Mauritius are similar in design. The former has a red field while the latter has a blue field. However, both feature the national flag of Mauritius on the canton. The country’s coat of arms is featured on the fly side.