The history of the flag of Ghana

The flag of Ghana has gone through a series of changes since the arrival of the whites, Gold Coast to Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah’s regime and the overthrow of Nkrumah till present day.

Ghana national flag
Our flag, of which we are so proud

Significance: The Colours Of The Ghana Flag

The flag which uses Pan-African colours was designed by a Ghanaian lady by name Mrs. Theodosia Salame Okoh when Ghana gained independence from the British on 6th March 1957.

The flag of Ghana consists of Red, Gold and Green horizontal strips with a five pointed black star in the centre of the gold stripe.

The color red represents the blood of those who died in the country’s struggle for independence: gold stands for the minerals wealth, while green symbolizes the rich forest and vegetation. The star represents the lone star of African freedom.

History of the Ghana Flag

The national flag of Ghana was designed and adopted in 1957 and was flown until 1962, and reinstated in 1966.Before independence, the Ghana national flag was just the same as the present day Union flag used by the British. This flag was removed in 1875 and replaced with a blue background, but this time the union flag is at the top left corner and a circled elephant with a vegetation background close to the midsection.

This was also discontinued when Ghana attained independence and was replaced with the current Ghana national flag in 6th March 1957.

This National Flag, after flying at high mast for approximately seven years was changed slightly by Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana.

The Ghana national flag was designed by Mrs. Theodora Salome Okoh, a Ghanaian, to replace the national flag of the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland upon the attainment of independence in 1957. According to her, there was an advert in the local newspaper calling for a design for National Flag of Ghana.

The advertisement read, “… the Flag should be original and must have motifs that many nationals can identify with.” She therefore decided on three colors; red, gold & green to reflect the geography of the country.
The colours are in horizontal stripes with a five-point black star in the center of Golden Stripe.

RED represents the blood of those who died in the country’s struggle for independence.

GOLD represents the mineral wealth of country

GREEN symbolizes the country’s rich forest

THE BLACK STAR stands for the lode star of African freedom. The black star was adopted from the flag of the Black Star Line, a shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey that operated from 1919 to 1922. It is where Ghana National football team drew their nickname, the black Stars, from.

When Kwame Nkrumah organized the Convention People’s Party in 1949 to work toward more self-government for the native African peoples of the British Gold Coast, a flag was developed for the movement. A simple horizontal tricolour of red-white-green, it became well known throughout the Gold Coast as a symbol of modernization and self-reliance. Self-government was introduced in 1952, and independence was granted on March 6, 1957.

On that day a national flag, based on the Convention People’s Party flag, was hoisted throughout the land. The country also acquired a new name, based on the empire of Ghana, which had been a powerful and rich state from the 7th to the 13th century. Ghana, as the first of the sub-Saharan African states to achieve independence, took a leading role in the movement toward African liberation and unity. Its new flag retained the red and green stripes of the old, but it changed the white to yellow and added a black five-pointed star, referred to as the “lodestar of African freedom.”  President Nkrumah imposed single-party rule in 1964 but was overthrown in 1966. During those two years the red-white-green party flag (with a black star) was in use, although the end of Nkrumah’s rule led to a reversion to the flag of independence with its yellow stripe, hoisted again on February 28, 1966.

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