Niger is a Western African nation that has been named after the River Niger. The landlocked country is bordered by Libya, Chad, Benin, Algeria, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali. More than 80% of Niger’s area of 1,270,000 square km is part of the Sahara Desert.
Brief History of Niger
Numerous archeological remains found in the country provide evidence of ancient human settlements in the region. Later, the region became part of the trans-Saharan trade route that allowed the exchange of goods and culture. The flourishing trade facilitated the development of many kingdoms and empires in the area. Europeans arrived in the area in the 19th century and Niger became a colony of France in 1922. Soon, the struggle for independence started in Niger and complete independence from French rule was achieved on August 3, 1960.
History of the National Flag of Niger
The flag of the country was designed a few years prior to it becoming a fully independent nation. The flag was designed in 1958 and first adopted on November 23, 1959, by the Territorial Assembly of the Niger Colony. Less than a month later, Niger was declared to be Republic within the French Community. The design of the original flag remained unchanged when it was formally declared as the national flag of the country on October 1, 1960.
Design of Niger’s National Flag
The national flag of Niger is a tricolor of three horizontal bands. From top to bottom, the colors are orange, white, and green. The center of the white band features an orange circle. The flag is similar in to the flag of India that is also a horizontal tricolor of saffron, white, and green charged with a blue wheel with 24 spokes in the center.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Niger
Several sources have described the meaning of the colors and symbols used in Niger’s flag. However, no official description of such meanings exist. According to most sources, the upper orange stripe of the flag represents the Sahara Desert’s northern parts while according to others it represents the Sahel region. The middle white color is believed to symbolize purity or the River Niger. The green color of the flag is a symbol of the fertile land found in the southern part of the country. It could also stand for hope. The orange circle in the center symbolizes independence or the sun.