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Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Mauritania

The official flag of Mauritania is made up of three colors. A red stripe runs across the top and bottom of the flag, leaving a green field in the middle. In the midst of the green field is a gold star on top of a horizontal crescent whose tips face upwards. These colors, red, green and gold are considered to be Pan-African colors although they have other meanings. The flag was adopted on August 15, 2017. 

The green color in this flag symbolizes Islam, which is the main religion of Mauritania, the gold color symbolizes the sands of Sahara Desert, and the red stripes represent the efforts and sacrifices of Mauritanians to defend their territory, to the price of their blood.

The star and the crescent also symbolize Islam. Since there are two symbols for the country’s state religion, there have been speculations by some writers that the green field in the flag stands for a bright future and growth. The flag measures 2:3 although there lacks a construction sheet or any specification which can give exact relative measurements of the crescent and star. The crescent and a star are common in most countries like Comoros, Turkey, and Tunisia.

History of the Flag

Mauritania’s original flag was introduced on March 22, 1959, under the instructions of the then President Moktar Ould Daddah. It had only the green field with the golden crescent and the star. It was adopted on August 1, 1959. The flag is used as Mauritania’s national flag. Besides, it is used as a military aircraft national insignia in circular form.

The red stripes were added to the flag in 2017. This was after the referendum carried out on August 5, 2017, by President Mohamud Ould Abdel Aziz that sought to abolish the Senate, alter the national flag, and change some aspects of the constitution. The vote was successful, and changes were made before being adopted on August 15, 2017. The red stripes were the only addition to the flag, a gesture of honor to the martyrs who shed their blood 57 years earlier when fighting for their country’s sovereignty from the French.

Historical flags of Mauritania

Flag of Mauritania

Green flag with gold crescent and 5-pointed star
Green flag with gold crescent and 5-pointed star

Symbols of Mauritania

National Coat of Arms of Mauritania

The current national seal of Mauritania was adopted on August 15, 2017, to replace the green and gold seal adopted in 1959. The seal is an adaptation of the national flag and contains the gold, green, and red emblems. It is made up of two circles with gold edges. The inner circle is separated from the outer circle by a red field bearing the country's name: "Islamic Republic of Mauritania" in French (below) and Arabic (above). The inner circle contain cresent, star, palm tree, and millet branch. 

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: Bilada-l ubati-l hudati-l kiram" (Country of the Proud, Guiding Noblemen)
  • Music composer: Rageh Daoud
  • Lyricist: Unknown
  • Date of Adoption: November 16, 2017

The national anthem of Mauritania, sometimes referred to as "Bilada-l ubati-l hudati-l kiram" (Country of the Proud, Guiding Noblemen), was adopted on November 16, 2017, to replace Nashid Wataniin Muritaniin ('"National Chant [of] Mauritania). The previous anthem was considered too complex to sing by the majority of the citizens. The new anthem was composed by Rageh Daoud in 2017. It comprises six verses and a chorus, repeated after every verse

Bilada-l ubati-l hudati-l kiram

Bilāda l-ubāti l-hudāti l-kirām

Wa-ḥisna l-kitābi l-ladhī lā yudām

Ayā Mūrītāni rabī'i al-wi'ām

Wa-rukna s-samāḥati thaġra s-salām


Sanaḥmī ḥimāki wa-naḥnu fidāki

Wa-naksū rubāki bilauni l-amal

Wa-'einda nidāki nulabbī ajal

Budūru samāiki lam taḥjabi

Wa-shamsu jabīniki lam taġrubi

Namāki l-amājidu min ya'rubi

Li'ifrīqīa l-manba'e l-'adhabi

Ra-ḍha'anā libāna n-nadā wā-l-ibā

Sajāyā ḥamalna janān ṭayibā

Wa-mar 'an ḥaṣībān, wa-in ajdabā

Samaunā, fakāna l-anā ar-ḥabā

Saqainā 'aduaki ṣābān wa-murān

Famā nala nuzulān wa-lā mustaqarā

Nuqāuimuhu ḥaithu jāsa wa-murrān

Nurattilu in-na ma‘a l-‘usri yusrā

Qafaunā ar-rasūl bi-nahjin samā

Ila sidrati l-majd fauqa as-samā

Ḥajaznā ath-thurayyā lanā sullamā

Rasamnā hunalika ḥadda l-ḥimā

Aḥadhnāki 'ahdā hamalnāki wa-'adān

Wa-nhudīki sa'adān lijilin aṭal

Final Chorus

Sanaḥmī ḥimāki wa-naḥnu fidāki

Wa-naksū rubāki bilauni l-amal

Sanaḥmī ḥimāki wa-naḥnu fidāki

Wa-'einda nidāki nulabbī ajal

Country of the Proud, Guiding Noblemen

Land of the proud, the guided and the noble

The fortress of the Book that can't be bound

O Mauritania, the spring of harmony

The corner of tolerance, the haven of peace


We will protect you with our lives

and paint your hills with the color of hope

When you call, "yes!" is our answer

The crescent moons in your sky won't wane

and the sun on your forehead won't set

The noble Arabs enriched you

and the purest source is Africa's

We drank the milk of dew and pride

A nature that brought a good harvest

and a fertile pasture, even when it's barren

welcoming us as we ascend

We made your enemy drink a bitter downpour

so he couldn't settle or rest

We resist him wherever he goes

Praying "Surely with hardship comes ease"

We followed the prophet along the path of the heavens

to the tree of glory above the sky

occupying The Pleiades as our stairway

drawing our border there

We took you as a vow and carried you as a promise

we happily give you up to the future generation

Final Chorus

We will protect you with our lives

and paint your hills with the color of hope

We will protect you with our lives

and paint your hills with the color of hope

The Currency of Mauritania is the Mauritania Ouguiya

The Mauritania Ouguiya is the official currency of Mauritania. It is denoted by MRO and divided into 5 khoums (the Arabic word for one fifth) presented by the symbol UM. Ouguiya was adopted as the Mauritania’s official currency in 1973 replacing the CFA Franc, which was the currency used in all the twelve French colonies in Africa. It replaced the French Franc at the rate of 5 to 1. The Khoum and 1 ouguiya are hardly used in Mauritania due to their low value. The Ouguiya is one of the two currencies circulating in the world that is not divided into decimals, the other being Malagasy Ariary.


Ouguiya coins were introduced in 1973 in various denominations ranging from 1 to 20. The introduction of the coins came a year after the khoums were minted. Khoum was only minted in 1972 because the 1 ouguiya was worth 5 francs, and a khoum was equal to the franc which could not be subdivided further. The latest coins to be minted are the 2003 and 2004 coins which includes 1 ouguiya minted by the Kremnica Mint of Slovakia. In 2009, the coinage slightly changed with the reduction of the 1 ouguiya plated composition and an issue of the bi-metallic 20 ouguiya and a subsequent issue of 50-bi-metallic ouguiya in 2010. These are the only coins in use in Mauritania with the 1 ouguiya having reduced in value thus no longer circulating.


The issuance of banknotes commenced in 1973 with the printing of notes done by the Central Bank of Mauritania in three denominations including 100, 200, and 1000 ouguiya. In 1974, the second printing was done by the Giesecke & Devrient in Munich. In 1979, the 500 note was introduced and the highest denomination, the 5000 note, was introduced in 2009. In 2011, the 2000 note was introduced and circulated. In 2004, new banknotes were printed in different fonts. The vignettes on the back of the notes have been remodeled to accommodate the reduced size of the banknotes. All the notes except for 100 and 200 have Arabic numbers in a holographic patch at right front. The serial numbers have two-character prefix, a seven digit serial number, and one character suffix all appearing on one surface.

Mauritania ouguiya Banknote

Mauritania 100 ouguiya Banknote
Mauritania 100 ouguiya Banknote

Mauritania ouguiya Coin

Mauritania 20 ouguiya Coin
Mauritania 20 ouguiya Coin

Historical Currencies of Mauritania

The current ouguiya replaced the old ouguiya at the rate of 1UM = 10 old ouguiyas. However before ouguiya was adopted as Mauritanian official currency, the country's legal tender was the CFA Franc. The CFA franc is currently the official currency of eight West African countries. The French introduced the Franc in its colonies, including Mauritania, in 1945 to replace the French West African franc. Mauritania continued to use CFA franc even after independence in 1960. However, in 1973, the country abandoned CFA franc for old ouguiya, exchanging 5 franc for 1 ouguiya

CFA franc Banknote

CFA 1000 franc Banknote
CFA 1000 franc Banknote

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