Sierra Leone is a West African nation with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest. The country has been inhabited continuously for more than 2,500 years. Europeans started arriving in Sierra Leone in the 15th century. According to some accounts, the Spanish who visited the country gave the country its name of Sierra Leone. By 1495, the Portuguese had established a trading post on the Atlantic Coast of Sierra Leone. Soon, other European powers like the French and the Dutch also set up similar posts. Here, trade in slaves flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries. Later, following the abolition of slavery, the British re-settled many of the freed slaves in Sierra Leone with Freetown becoming one of the colonies of these former slaves. Freetown soon became British West Africa’s capital. The British determined the borders of Sierra Leone in 1895 and declared it as a British Protectorate. For several decades, the British continued to wield power in the region. It was only in 1961 that Sierra Leone became an independent nation. Since then, the country has faced a lot of troubles including autocratic governments and civil wars.
History Of The Flag Of Sierra Leone
During the British colonial rule in Sierra Leone, the Blue Ensign of the UK was used in the territory. It was defaced with the coat of arms of the territory. In 1914, Sierra Leone was allowed to have its own coat of arms. The Blue Ensign used here was now modified to incorporate the new emblem. Prior to independence from colonial rule, a new flag and coat of arms were designed and the flag was first hoisted at midnight of April 27, 1961. It was the independence day for the country.
Design Of The National Flag Of Sierra Leone
The flag of Sierra Leone is a tricolor. It has three horizontal bands of three colors - green, white, and blue from top to bottom. This design of the flag is highly similar to the official flag of Ecuador’s Galápagos Province. The only difference between the two flags is the shade of the blue and the green colors. Both the colors are lighter than that of the flag of the Galápagos Province.
Meaning Of The Colors Of Sierra Leone’s Flag
Each of the three colors used in Sierra Leone’s flag is associated with a meaning. The green color of the flag represents the natural resources of Sierra Leone. It specifically relates to agricultural lands and the mountains of the country. The white color of the flag is a symbol of justice and unity. The blue color of the flag epitomizes the country’s capital city, Freetown which is a natural harbor.