Zimbabwe is a sovereign state located in Southern part of Africa with an estimated population of 16 million inhabitants and an area of 150,872 square miles. English is one of the 16 languages spoken in the country which is a former British colony. Like any other nation in the world, Zimbabwe has a national flag, which is made of seven horizontals stripes colored green, gold, red, and black. There is a red five-pointed star that has the Zimbabwe bird emblem at the center.
History of the Flag of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe was under the British rule from 1895 to 1980, during this period it was called Southern Rhodesia. As soon as the country gained its independence, it changed its name to Zimbabwe and adopted a new flag to signify a new beginning as an independent democratic nation. The country has had different flags before the current one that was designed by the British settlers who incorporated most of the British flag colors. The first official flag was made in 1923 for the then Southern Rhodesia which was blue and the union jack at the canton side of the flag. It also had the Southern Rhodesia coat of arms emblem. The flag was used until 1968 when a new flag was adopted which consisted of green-white-green vertical bands with the coat of arms in the middle. This flag again changed in 1979 with the unveiling of a new flag that used the colors red, yellow, black, and green together for the first time. This flag lasted for only two months before it was replaced with the current Zimbabwean flag after the attaining of independence.
Meaning and Symbolism of the Flag of Zimbabwe
The green color in the flag represents the agricultural and rural areas of the nation that provide sustenance for Zimbabweans, and the country has a rich green cover and fertile lands which makes agriculture one of their most important economic activity. The Yellow color stands for the wealth of minerals found in the country, gold is predominant as well as copper, nickel, chromium, and other precious metals. The red color signifies the blood that people of Zimbabwe shed while fighting for their freedom from the British colonialists. The two Chimurenga wars led to the deaths of many Africans and finally culminated to the independence. The black color symbolizes the black heritage of the African people who form the majority of the Zimbabwean population. The white triangle represents the peace that was attained after independence and the return of the power to the people. The golden bird which is called the Great Zimbabwe Bird signifies the strong bonds between nature, animals, and humans. The bird is found in Zimbabwe and has been a symbol of national unity as far back as 1923.
Display and Use of the Flag of Zimbabwe
The people of Zimbabwe are allowed to use the flag in any way that is deemed fit. But some guidelines must be followed in the display of the flag. At no time is the flag allowed to come in contact with the ground. If the flag becomes torn and unappealing to the eye, it should be destroyed in a ‘dignified way’ and replaced with a new one. The Zimbabwean police force has the flag emblems on the sleeves of their uniform.