World Facts

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

The flag of Nigeria was adopted on 1 October 1960.

Nigeria is a West African country bordering Chad, Benin, Cameroon, and Niger. The country has a coastline on the Gulf of Guinea. For millennia, the country has hosted numerous tribal states and kingdoms. The unified state of Nigeria was born only after British colonial rule in the country that united the separate kingdoms and territories under colonial rule. The British started ruling over the country at the start of the 19th century. Under British rule, Nigeria was divided into the Northern and Southern Nigeria Protectorate but in 1914, these two protectorates were united. In 1960, Nigeria was declared an independent federation. For several years after independence, the country has faced severe turmoil including a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and alternating periods of dictatorships and democracy. A stable democracy was achieved only in 1999.

History Of The Flag Of Nigeria

A competition was held in 1959 to select a design for the national flag of Nigeria. A student named Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi studying at a college in London was an advertisement of the competition in a newspaper. He decided to submit an entry for the flag. His submission had a slightly different design than the present day Nigerian flag. It was a bicolor with green-white-green vertical bands. However, it also featured a red radiating sun in the center. The judges later removed the sun from the design and the rest remained unchanged. The flag was first formally adopted on October 1, 1960.

Design Of Nigeria’s Flag

Nigeria’s flag has a very simple design. It is a bicolor with three vertical bands of green, white, and again green. All three bands have equal width.

Meaning Of The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Nigeria

Both the colors used in the flag of Nigeria have symbolic interpretations. The green stripes on the flag represent the natural wealth of the nation. White symbolizes peace.

Other Flags Of National Importance

Some national organizations of Nigeria have their own flags. For example, the Nigerian Armed Forces is represented by a horizontal tricolor of red, deep blue, and a lighter blue color. The flag of the President of Nigeria is a vertical bicolor with the same colors as the national flag but it is charged with the Nigerian coat of arms at the center of the white band. The naval ensign of the country has a white field where the country’s national flag is featured in the canton. The Naval seal is present on the fly side of the flag. The air force ensign of Nigeria has a sky-blue field. It also has the national flag in the canton. The fly side of the flag bears the air force roundel.

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.


Your MLA Citation

Your APA Citation

Your Chicago Citation

Your Harvard Citation

Remember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.

More in World Facts