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Vexillopedia

Flag of Senegal

Senegal
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1960
Design A vertical tricolour of green, yellow and red; charged with a green five-pointed star at the centre. [0]
Colors
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#E31B23

History

Adopted in 1960 to replace the flag of the Mali Federation, it has been the flag of the Republic of Senegal since the country gained independence that year. The present and previous flags were inspired by French Tricolour, which flew over Senegal until 1960. [0]

Meaning

Much symbolism and many connotations are beholden to the stripes and singular star of the Senegalese flag. From a national perspective, green is highly symbolic within all of the country's primary religions. In Islam, the country's majority religion at 94% percent of the population, the green of both the first stripe and the star represent the colour of the Prophet, Christians see the presence of green as a portent of hope, and Animists view green as representative of fecundity.

The Senegalese government offers exegesis for the presence of yellow and red as well, yellow being "the symbol of wealth; it represents the product of work, for a nation whose main priority is the progress of economy, which will allow the increase of the cultural level, the second national priority." Additionally, yellow is denoted as "the colour of arts, literature, and intellect", primarily because literature teachers in Senegal are known to wear yellow blouses. Red "recalls the colour of blood, therefore colour of life and the sacrifice accepted by the nation, and also of the strong determination to fight against underdevelopment.".

Historically, the three colours represent the three political parties which merged to form Union Progressiste Sénégalaisé (Senegalese Progressist Union, now Socialist Party of Senegal, Leopold Senghor's party): green for Bloc Démocratique Sénégalais (Senegalese Democratic Bloc), yellow for Mouvement Populaire Sénégalais (Senegalese Popular Movement) and red for Parti Sénégalais d'Action Sociale (Senegalese Party of Socialist Action).

Green, yellow and red are the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement. That pattern was replicated on Senegal's flag as a sign of unity among African countries. The quinary points of the star are said to "recall the human ideogram which was displayed in the middle of the flag of the former Mali Federation". [0]