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Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Mali

The Mali flag was officially adopted on March 1, 1961. The national flag of Mali has a simple design and is modeled after the French Tricolore. It is a tricolor featuring equal vertical bands of green(left/hoist side), gold (middle), and red (right). These colors are the Pan-African colors. Mali’s flag is nearly identical to Guinea’s flag, however the colors are arranged in the reverse order. The national flag of Mali has a height to length proportion of 2:3.

The green color in the flag of Mali symbolizes the fertility of land. The gold color represents the country's mineral wealth, as well as purity. The red color is a reminder of the blood that was shed to gain independence from the French rule, gold represents the country's mineral wealth and purity, while green stands for its forests and fertility of the land. .

History of Mali's Flag

The current national flag of Mali was adopted on March 1, 1961. However, Mali's first flag was adopted in 1959, when Mali joined the Mali Federation. The original flag was similar to the current flag but featured a human stick figure on the middle stripe. The figure was black in color and had its arms raised towards the sky. Following opposition by Muslim fundamentalists, the figure was removed from the flag.

Historical and Other Flags of Mali

Colonial flag

French Tricolor
French Tricolor

Flag of Mali Federation

Vertical bands of green, yellow, and red with black human figure centered on yellow
Vertical bands of green, yellow, and red with black human figure centered on yellow

Symbols of Mali

National Coat of Arms of Mali

The first seal for Mali was designed soon after the dissolution of the Mali Federation in 1960. It almost resembled current arms save for the color scheme. The current seal was adopted on October 20, 1973. It consists of a light blue circle with a vulture flying above the mosque of Djenne. Below the mosque is a rising sun and on each side of the sun are bows bent by their arrow. The vulture, mosque, and rising sun are allin gold colors while the arrows and bows are in white. The name of the country: REPUBLIQUE DU MALI (REPUBLIC OF MALI)  is displayed at the top, and the national motto:  Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi ("One People, One Goal, One Faith") at the bottom.

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: Le Mali ("The Mali")
  • Music composer: Banzumana Sissoko
  • Lyricist: Seydou Badian Kouyaté
  • Date of Adoption: 1962

Le Mali (The Mali), commonly known as "Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali" ("For Africa and for you, Mali"), is the national anthem of Mali, adopted on August 9, 1962. Seydou Badian Kouyaté wrote the anthem's lyrics and Banzumana Sissoko set the lyrics to music. Like most African national anthems, Le Mali is themed around African unity and patriotism. It highlights Malian's willingness to sacrifice their lives for their nation and liberty. 

Le Mali

A ton appel Mali

Pour ta prospérité

Fidèle à ton destin

Nous serons tous unis

Un peuple un but une foi

Pour une Afrique Unie

Si l'ennemi découvre son front

Au dedans ou au dehors

Debout sur les remparts

Nous sommes résolus de mourir


Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali,

Notre drapeau sera liberté.

Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali,

Notre combat sera unité.

O Mali d'aujourd'hui

O Mali de demain

Les champs fleurissent d'espérance

Les cœurs vibrent de confiance

Debout villes et campagnes

Debout femmes, jeunes et vieux

Pour la patrie en marche

Vers l'avenir radieux

Pour notre dignité

Renforçons bien nos rangs

Pour le salut public

Forgeons le bien commun

Ensemble au coude à coude

Faisons le sentier du bonheur


La voie est dure très dure

Qui mène au bonheur commun

Courage et dévouement

Vigilance à tout moment

Vérité des temps anciens

Vérité de tous les jours

Le bonheur par le labeur

Fera le Mali de demain


L'Afrique se lève enfin

Saluons ce jour nouveau

Saluons la liberté

Marchons vers l'unité

Dignité retrouvée

Soutient notre combat

Fidèle à notre serment

De faire l'Afrique unie

Ensemble debout mes frères

Tous au rendez-vous de l'honneur


The Mali

At your call, Mali

For your prosperity

Loyal towards your destiny

We will be all united,

One people, one goal, one faith,

For a united Africa

If the enemy should show himself

Inside or outside,

Standing on the ramparts,

We are ready to die.


For Africa and for you, Mali,

Our banner shall be liberty.

For Africa and for you, Mali,

Our fight shall be for unity.

Oh, Mali of today,

Oh, Mali of tomorrow,

The fields are flowering with hope

Hearts are thrilling with confidence.

Standing town and country

Standing women, young and old

For the country moving

Towards a bright future

For our dignity

Let us strengthen our ranks well

For the public salvation

Let us forge the common good

Together shoulder to shoulder

Let us make the path of happiness


The path is hard very hard

Which leads to common happiness

Courage and dedication

Vigilance at all times

Truth of ancient times

Truth everyday

Happiness through labour

Will make the Mali of tomorrow


Africa finally rises

Let us welcome this new day

Let us welcome liberty

Let us march towards unity

New found dignity

Support our fight

True to our oath

Of making Africa united

My brothers standing together

All at the appointment of honour


The Currency of Mali is the West African CFA franc

The currency of Mali is the West African CFA franc, which is denoted by the symbol CFAF, and has an ISO code of XOF. The West African CFA franc broken into 100 subdivisions known as centimes. Mali previously had an independent currency known as Malian franc, that was in use between 1962 and 1984, before readopting the CFA franc as the official currency. Although the CFA franc is subdivided into 100 centimes, the subdivisions are not in circulation in the country.

CFA franc is a name given to the two currencies issued in West and Central Africa. The two currencies assume permanent parity and are effectively interchangeable. The CFA franc coins and notes are issued in Mali by the Central Bank of West Africa. The currency is issued in 14 West and Central African states. The CFA franc was developed in 1945 as a result of the weakness of the French franc after the World War II. It was created in French colonies to cushion the colonies from the strong devaluation of the French franc and thereby enhance export to France.

Banknotes and Coins

In 1961, aluminum coins dated 1961 were issued in different denominations including 5, 10, and 25 francs. The second series of coins made of aluminum and bronze were issued between 1975 and 1977 in additional denominations of 50 and 100 francs. In 1962, banknotes in the denomination of 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 francs were issued by the Bank of the Republic of Mali. A second series of banknotes were issued in 1967 in the same denominations as the notes issued in 1962. In 1971, the Central Bank of Mali began issuing notes, producing the third series of banknotes in denominations ranging from 100 to 10,000 francs.

West African CFA franc Banknote

West African CFA 1000 franc Banknote
West African CFA 1000 franc Banknote

Historical Currencies of Mali

The West African CFA franc was used as Mali's currency until 1962 when it was replaced by the Malian franc. The Malian franc was at par with the CFA franc and subdivided into 100 centimes, though the subdivisions were not issued. However, in 1967 the Malian franc significantly declined in value relative to CFA franc, with Mali suffering a trade deficit lasting until the 1970s. Mali readopted the CFA franc at an exchange rate of 2 Malian francs for 1 CFA franc in 1984.

Malian franc Coin

Malian 5 francs Coin
Malian 5 francs Coin

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