Flag of Zimbabwe

The flag of Zimbabwe was adopted on April 18, 1980, when Zimbabwe’s status as an independent nation was officially recognized.  The flag is a rectangular shape with seven horizontal stripes of green, yellow, red, and black.  From the stripes are in mirror image order and are arranged in the following order from top to bottom: green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, green.  On the left side of the flag is a white triangle with a black border.  Inside the white triangle is a soapstone bird behind a red star.

The colors of the flag of Zimbabwe have symbolic meaning similar to many African countries that use the pan-African colors.  The green stripes symbolize the products of the agricultural and farming areas of Zimbabwe.  The yellow stripes symbolize Zimbabwe’s mineral resources.  The red stripes toward the center of the flag symbolize the blood of the many Zimbabweans that fought in the First and Second Chimurenga wars.  Chimurenga means “revolutionary struggle” in Shona, a Bantu language.  The First Chimurenga was fought between 1896 and 1897 against the British colonial rule and the second was fought between 1966 and 1980 against the Rodesians, a white minority regime in Zimbabwe.  Finally, the black stripe on the flag symbolizes the Zimbabweans’ native African heritage and ethnicity.

The triangle and images inside it also have symbolic meaning.  The white triangle symbolizes peace.  The red star represents the Zimbabweans’ hope and optimism for the future, but it also stands for the country’s socialist ideals.  The Zimbabwean bird in front of the red star is a depiction of a soapstone bird and is the national emblem of Zimbabwe.  The bird was carved on the walls of the ancient Great Zimbabwe in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries.  The walls on which the bird is carved formed the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe.  The bird is a bateleur eagle and can be found on the Zimbabwean flag and coat of arms.

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