The Flag of Benin.
The flag of Benin has three bright colors which many believe features a look of a strong and durable nation.
The left or hoist side is a vertical band of green which is slightly smaller in width than the other two colors.
Extended from the green band are two equal-sized horizontal bands. The top color is a vivid yellow and red is the bottom horizontal stripe.
The green color represents the nation’s hope and revival.
The red represents the courage of the nation’s ancestors and ...
... the yellow band was meant to symbolize the preservation of the country’s wealth.
Benin’s national anthem references the colors of the flag of Benin and their meaning:
Formerly, at her call, our ancestors
Knew how to engage in mighty battles
With strength, courage, ardor, and full of joy,
but at the price of blood.
Builders of the present, you too, join forces each day
for the task stronger in unity.
Build without ceasing for prosperity.
Benin’s Flag Day is November 30 and is also a holiday called Anniversary of Country’s Name Change 1975.
History of the Benin Flag
In the late 1800’s King Behanzin’s flag was quite elaborate.
It had a light blue background, a yellow shield, a dark gray shark, white eggs and tusks, a green palm, light green snakes, and a white ribbon swirling around it.
French generals captured this and other flags in the Dohomey Palace in 1892.
This flag was carefully packed and sent to France. This same flag can still be seen at the Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens.
In 1894 France declared the Kingdom of Dohomey as a protected state meaning they were protected by France. To show their domination of the area, they renamed it The Kingdom of Aborney.
As a French protectorate, the King of Aborney needed a flag. Their old colorful flag was replaced with France’s tricolor flag of red, white, and blue banners.
The people of the Kingdom felt suppressed by the French but it was many years before they revolted.
The revolutionary army created their own flag to carry as they swarmed the streets in revolt. It had a red background and a green star. It was fashioned after the Marxist/Leninist flag.
Unfortunately, none of these revolutionary flags survived the years following the revolution.
There is an historic question about the location of the star on the flag. Some people are sure it was in the upper left corner, others are sure it was in the center of the flag.
Dahomey finally gained its independence from France in 1958.
With this independence Dohomey adopted the tricolor flag of green, yellow and red. This flag was the nation’s flag from 1958 until 1975.
It wasn’t until 1975 that the nation’s name was changed from Dohomey to People’s Republic of Benin.
With this new name, the nation also changed their flag to one that was very similar to their old revolutionary flag.
While the new flag of Benin was similar to the old flag, there was marked difference.
They had reversed the red and green colors. The new flag had a green background and a red star in the upper left corner.
There is no record that this flag of Benin which flew over Benin from 1975 until 1990 was ever officially adopted as the national flag.
As a result, there is no record of what the official construction or dimensions of this flag was or the exact size and position of the star.
In 1990, the politics throughout Benin changed.
1991 sees current Flag of Benin adopted
They abandoned their socialist policies and formed a multi-party democracy in 1991.
At the same time, they re-adopted their original green, yellow, and red tricolor flag, which is still their national flag of Benin.
They also kept the name Benin as their relationship to the past.
Benin was the name of an ancient African empire, which was centered in the same area.
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