The Ethiopian Flag
The flag of Ethiopia is made up of equal sized green, yellow and red bands arranged top to bottom. The color combination of the Ethiopian flag represents the country’s identity is one of the most recognised in the world. These colours had represented the country way before the first official flag was declared by Emperor Menelik II in 1897.
The green band represents Ethiopia’s fertile land and natural wealth; the yellow, hope, peace and harmony of its people; the red, its bravery and sacrifice paid to defend and preserve the country’s sovereignty.
Ethiopia’s early embrace of the African identity and Pan Africanism made it an inspiration to many African countries that were under colonialism.
As pan Africanism gained momentum and more African countries gained their independence, they adapted the green, yellow and red colours on their flags as they were inspired by the Ethiopia’s tri-color flag, the oldest flag in independent Africa.
Since the establishment of the official flag of Ethiopia, different monarchs and leaders had appended their own crests and emblems, but the tri-colors have remained the same for centuries.
The emblem on the current Ethiopia flag is a five-point yellow star on a blue badge intended to represent unity and diversity of Ethiopia’s nations and nationalities.
The Popular Flag
The most popular flag of Ethiopia is the plain green-yellow-red tricolour which is also used in Ethiopian Orthodox churches. It is used in most parts of the country sometimes more than the official flag with the blue emblem.
The Original Flag
The original flag was made up of a red, yellow and green colored pennants and dates back to as early as the 17th century. Although the proportion and shape of the colors may have varied, the Ethiopia flag remains to have all three colors. Each color had its own interpretation and meaning to the Ethiopian Solomonic dynasty.
The Empire Flag
On 6th October 1897, the original flag was changed, as the pennants were transformed to rectangles. At this point, the green representing the country’s fertile land, the yellow it’s natural wealth and Christianity and the red, the power and faith of the nation.
In early 19 century the colors were rearranged and the Lion of Judah bearing a cross, features on the central stripe was featured in the center of the flag.
The Imperial Flag
In 1949 a flag was introduced for His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie portraying the empire flag with encircled by the collar of the Order of Solomon’s Seal featuring a Shield of David or Star of David with a cross, at each corner and in the bottom middle of the flag.
The Colony Flag
The People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Flag
In 1987 the People’s Democratic Republic introduced a new flag with a blue shield and a stele of the ancient Kingdom of Aksum. The flag also attributed a cogwheel, a yellow star on red, yellow rays, and the country’s name at the top in Ge’ez characters.
The Tricolour Flag
In 1991 the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front changed flag to the Tricolour flag, which has always been widely used out of all the old Ethiopian flags.
The Official Flag
On February 1996 the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front introduced a new flag with a blue disk, symbolizing ”the bright prospect in sight for the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (of Ethiopia) united in their common will”. This is the current official flag of Ethiopia.