World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Swaziland Mean?

The national flag of Swaziland was adopted on October 6, 1968.

Swaziland is a sovereign state located in Southern Africa. It borders South Africa and Mozambique and is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Swaziland's capital cities are Mbabane (executive arm of government) and Lobamba (the Legislative arm of government). The country's most significant city, however, is Mbabane. Swaziland is governed as a unitary parliamentary, and its two official languages are Swazi and English. The country has a population of approximately 1,138,000 people. The predominant religion is Christianity, namely African Zionism and Roman Catholicism. Swaziland is a country rich in culture and is known for showcasing its traditional culture especially through dances.

History of the Flag

The national flag of Swaziland was adopted on October 6, 1968, after the country gained independence from Britain on September 6, 1968. The design of the Swazi flag is inspired by the military flag that was given to the Swazi Pioneer Corps by King Sobhuza II in 1941. The Swazi National Council eventually came to terms with the flag and decided to embrace it as the country's new national flag. The flag was first hoisted on April 25, and then formally registered on October 30, 1967 in London, England by the College of Arms.

Meaning of the Flag's Colors and Symbols

The flag of Swaziland is rectangular in shape and has a length to height ratio of 3:2. The design of the flag features five horizontal bars of unequal thickness, which have the following proportions: 3:1:8:1:3. The top and bottom bars are blue, the middle bar is red, while two thin yellow bars separate the blue from the red on top and bottom of the flag. The key colors of the flag are red, blue and yellow. All the three colors stand for different meanings. Red stands for the country's past wars, blue stands for peace and firmness of the land, while yellow represents the country's natural resources. An ox-hide shield, from the traditional Swazi Emasotosha, is featured in the middle of the flag, and is decorated and reinforced by feathers of a widowbird. The central portion of the flag has two spears and a Nguni shield, which signify protection from foreign adversaries. The shield is black and white in color, indicating that blacks and whites live in harmony in Swaziland. The national flag serves as both a civil and war flag.

In addition to the national flag, Swaziland has a coat of arms, which features an elephant representing the queen mother and a lion representing the king. The center has a shield of Nguni origin. Local weapons are also features on the shield. The shield acts as a symbol of national unity and brings together the people of Swaziland. The word Siyinqaba, meaning “We are a tower of strength," is written at the bottom of the coat of arms.

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