Unfurling History: The Story Behind Senegal's Flag

Unfurling History: The Story Behind Senegal's Flag

A flag is more than just a piece of cloth; it's a powerful symbol that represents a nation's history, values, and aspirations. The flag of Senegal, with its bold colors and meaningful design, tells a story that spans centuries of struggle, unity, and resilience.

Before Senegal achieved its independence, it was part of French West Africa. During this period, the flag of French Senegal was green with a yellow star in the middle.

On April 4, 1959, Senegal was merged with French Sudan to form the Mali Federation. On that day, a new flag was adopted: a vertical tricolor of green, yellow, and red with a stylized depiction of a human figure (referred to as a Kanaga) on the central band.


The federation gained independence from France on June 20, 1960, but didn't stay together for long. The two former colonies went their separate ways just two months after gaining independence.


Senegal emerged as an independent nation. With this newfound sovereignty came the opportunity to design a flag that would encapsulate the nation's identity. The result was the flag we recognize today—a vibrant tricolor of green, yellow, and red, adorned with a five-pointed green star at its center.


Check out our flag-emblazoned merch! 

Check out our flag-emblazoned merch! 



Let's decode the meaning of our flag:

Green: The green band, spanning the top third of the flag, symbolizes the lushness of Senegal's landscapes, its agricultural heritage, and hope for the future.

Yellow: The central yellow band represents the nation's wealth, both in terms of its people and its abundant resources.

Red: The red band at the bottom embodies the sacrifices made for independence and freedom, as well as the determination to overcome challenges.

Green Star: The green star is a nod to Pan-Africanism, unity, and the shared aspirations of African nations. It also signifies Senegal’s openness to the 5 continents of the world.

One of my fondest memories is being selected to raise the flag while my schoolmates sang the national anthem, standing in neat rows. It was nerve-wracking. There was always the risk of raising it too fast or too slow! You wanted to time it just right, so the flag completed its ascent precisely when your classmates finished singing the national anthem.

In the spirit of our flag, "Pincez tous vos koras!"

Back to blog

Leave a comment