Usually, the colors red, yellow, and green are often regarded as symbolic of Pan-Africanism with all its struggles and victories.
Although most flags with this trio of colors are African ones, they’re not limited to African countries only.
So, what countries have red, yellow, and green on their flags, and what does the color scheme represent to these countries?
The red and yellow in the Cameroonian flag stand for togetherness. However, yellow could also represent the sunlight since it’s found in the star in the middle of the flag.
Meanwhile, the green parts stand for the Southern rainforests.
As it happens, Cameroon was a bit late to adopt these three colors compared to other African countries.
Related Article: 6 Countries with Blue, Yellow, and Red in Their Flags
2. Burkina Faso
In the center of the flag, there’s a yellow star that stands for the light of hope sparked by the revolution.
That’s because the flag came after a long fight with the French invasion that started as early as the 1890s. Almost a hundred years later, the country was able to rid itself of French colonization thanks to its solid unions and relentless people.
At last, the nation adopted these colors in 1984 after implementing improvements to its infrastructure and agriculture.
This struggle is what the red color reflects in general. Meanwhile, the vehement agribusiness is represented in the green color.
Related Article: Green, Yellow and Orange Flags: The Rarest Color Combination?
In the Bissau-Guinean flag, the top yellow layer stands for the sunlight, while the red bottom stands as a commemoration of the slaughters that happened due to Portuguese colonialism.
On a positive note, the green vertical line stands for optimism, while the black star stands for solidarity.
Related Article: 8 Red and Yellow Flags from Around the World
The Beninese flag looks a lot like the Bissau-Guinean but with slight tweaks. Vertical green stands for the Northern grasslands and the Southern palm plantations.
Moreover, the red at the bottom stands for the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers while battling for the country. After all, the flag came to replace the French tricolor.
For some people, the green color of the Senegalese flag reflects the Holy man. This refers to Amadou Bamba, the religious leader that the French exiled in 1895.
He encouraged the Senegalese people to fight against the French colonizers, and that’s why he’s revered as a symbol of resistance.
The country adopted this flag in 1960, whose colors also happened to reflect the Senegalese parties that made up the progressive union at the time.
Although the flag was adopted in 1958, you can still see how it reflects the Congo in terms of history and geography.
For one, yellow stands for dignity and benevolence, while green could be seen as a symbol of the woods and the country’s crops.
Finally, the red represents the blood of the people who fought for independence against the French, much like the red in many African flags.
The tricolor Guinea flag came to light in 1958.
By now, you can guess that the red stands for the liberation struggles, and the yellow reflects hope as a symbol of the sun.
Much like its sibling flags, the green for the land’s riches and vegetation, too.
The Mali flag, as we know it today, traces all the way back to 1959. It looks a lot like the Guinean flag, but with the red and green swapped around.
It’s such a minor distinction, but it makes all the difference!
If you take a look at the country’s history, you can note that the red portion stands for the long struggles that liberated the Malian peoples from the French colonization.
Ethiopia is often seen as a pioneering country in fighting against colonists. After all, the country was able to defeat the Italian annexation in the 1890s.
However, a new flag was adopted in 1996, with a yellow star inside a blue circle to stand for heterogeneity. There are also light beams around the star to symbolize success.
The red could reflect authority, while the yellow stands for mineral wealth, harmony, and faith. Finally, green stands for the farmland and the good it promises.
In 1957, Ghana was the first country to follow Ethiopia’s lead in adopting the Pan-African colors on its flag to declare a new era of independence after defeating colonialism. However, it’s worth mentioning that the flag was flown briefly before it got reinstated.
As for the black star in the middle, it signifies freedom!
The man behind the Togolese flag is the artist Paul Ahyi, who created the design back in 1960. Later on, he got quite the recognition from the UNESCO for his humanitarian efforts.
The main highlight of the design is that it reflects the five districts and the country’s resources.
12. Sao Tome and Príncipe
When you consider that the country is composed of two primary islands, suddenly, the two black stars on the flag make a lot of sense.
Aside from the geographical representation, some might find that the country’s struggle for freedom against Portugal is reflected in the red triangle.
In 1918, Lithuania adopted its flag, with the yellow representing the country’s farmlands and wheat fields, the red representing the people’s pride and patriotism, and the green representing the rainforests.
Not to mention, the colors also stand for the people’s confidence and bravery throughout history against Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.
Although Bolivia is a South American country, its flag also follows a Pan-African theme.
Aside from reflecting bravery and economic potential, the yellow in the flag could be seen as a symbol of the country’s mineral resources.
The trio of have red, yellow, and green can be seen on flags from a whole lot of countries that wanted to reflect the movement of Pan-Africanism, but other countries like Bolivia also sport these colors.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.