Flag of Malawi

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Republic of Malawi
Flag of Malawi.svg
Use National flag, civil and state ensign
Adopted6 July 1964 (re-adopted in 28 May 2012)
DesignA horizontal triband of black, red, and green; charged with a red rising sun with 31 rays centred on the black stripe
President Peter Mutharika with flag His Excellency Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi (14830671006).jpg
President Peter Mutharika with flag

The flag of Malawi (Chichewa: mbendera ya Malaŵi) was officially adopted on 6 July 1964 when the colony of Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi.



The first flag of independent Malawi was adopted on 6 July 1964. A rising sun against a black field is also present in the coat of arms of Malawi and in the flag it officially represents the dawn of hope and freedom for the continent of Africa (when the flag was created, more countries in Africa were gaining independence from European rule). The 31 rays of the sun represent the fact that Malawi was the 31st African nation at the time of its independence. The black represents the indigenous people of the continent, the red symbolizes the blood of their struggle, and the green represents nature. The flag resembles the Pan-African flag designed by Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, with the red and black bands reversed and a red sun at the top.

It also resembles the flag of the now-defunct Republic of Biafra and the national flag of Afghanistan used from 1973 to 1992.


A new flag of Malawi was adopted on 29 July 2010, as proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party–led government. The stripes were altered from the previous flag to match the original Pan-African Flag layout, with the red stripe at the top, the black stripe in middle, and the green stripe at the bottom. The rising sun at the flag's top was replaced with a full, centred white sun with 45 rays representing the "economic progress" Malawi has made since becoming independent (it was actually one of the most unsuccessful in the world after 1990). [1] The opposition United Democratic Front announced that it would challenge the legitimacy of flag change in court. [2] The flag was endorsed by the President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, who approved the flag change on 29 July 2010. [3] There was much public outcry about whether there was a need to change the flag, but the process continued despite being unwelcome to much of the public. [4] The flag was pejoratively nicknamed "Bingu's flag" by the majority of the nation who saw it as an illegitimate flag. [5] Many objected to the new flag, perceiving its adoption as undemocratic. [6]

On 28 May 2012, under new president Joyce Banda, Parliament voted to revert to the independence flag. [7] [8]

Flag colours

The colours of the flag are defined using British Standard colours; these are the same colours as used on the Kenyan flag: [9]

British Standard Colours0-0000-0050-010

Related Research Articles

Malawi Country in Southeastern Africa

Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique to the east, south and southwest. Malawi spans over 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 19,431,566. Malawi's capital is Lilongwe. Its second-largest is Blantyre, its third-largest is Mzuzu and its fourth-largest is its former capital, Zomba. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name for the Chewa people who inhabit the area. The country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of its people.

The History of Malawi covers the area of present-day Malawi. The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.

Nyasaland British protectorate from 1907 to 1964

Nyasaland was a British protectorate located in Africa that was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Between 1953 and 1963, Nyasaland was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. After the Federation was dissolved, Nyasaland became independent from Britain on 6 July 1964 and was renamed Malawi.

Flag of Zimbabwe National flag

The national flag of Zimbabwe consists of seven even horizontal stripes of green, gold, red and black with a white triangle containing a red 5-pointed star with a Zimbabwe Bird. The present design was adopted on 18 April 1980. The soapstone bird featured on the flag represents a statuette of a bird found at the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. The bird symbolises the history of Zimbabwe; the red star beneath it officially stands for the nation's aspirations but is commonly thought to symbolise socialism, and the revolutionary struggle for freedom and peace. The design is based on the flag of Zimbabwe's ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front.

Flag of Zambia National flag

The flag of Zambia is the national flag of Zambia. It was adopted upon independence on 24 October 1964, by the first Republican President Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda. Before that, Zambia was the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and used a defaced Blue Ensign as its flag.

Flag of Rhodesia Flag

The flag of Rhodesia changed with political developments in the country. At independence in 1965 the recently adopted flag of Southern Rhodesia was used, until a new flag was adopted in 1968. The 1968 flag remained the flag when the republic was declared in 1970.

Kanyama Chiume

Kanyama Chiume, born Murray William Kanyama Chiume, was a leading nationalist in the struggle for Malawi's independence in the 1950s and 1960s. He was also one of the leaders of the Nyasaland African Congress and served as the Minister of Education and the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the 1960s before fleeing the country after the 1964 Cabinet Crisis.

Joyce Banda President of Malawi from 2012 to 2014

Joyce Hilda Banda is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014. Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She is the founder and leader of the People's Party, created in 2011. An educator and grassroots women's rights activist, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012. She had served in various roles as a member of Parliament and as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare before she became the President of the Republic of Malawi.

The Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) was an organisation that evolved into a political party in Nyasaland during the colonial period. The NAC was suppressed in 1959, but was succeeded in 1960 by the Malawi Congress Party, which went to on decisively win the first universal suffrage elections in 1961, and to lead the country to independence as Malawi in 1964.

Dunduzu Kaluli Chisiza (8 August 1930 – 2 September 1962), also known as Gladstone Chisiza, was an African nationalist who was active in the independence movements in Rhodesia and Nyasaland, respectively present-day Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Sir Henry Ellis Isidore Phillips CMG MBE was a British army officer, a Far East prisoner of war and a colonial administrator in Nyasaland, later Malawi.

Coat of arms of Malawi

The coat of arms of Malawi is based on the earlier heraldic arms of Nyasaland. It is supported by a lion and a leopard, above a scroll reading "Unity and Freedom". A rising sun in a black field, like in the lower field in the shield, is also present in the flag of Malawi.

Henry Masauko Blasius Chipembere was a Malawian nationalist politician who played a significant role in bringing independence from colonial rule to his native country, formerly known as Nyasaland. From an early age Chipembere was a strong believer in natural justice and, on his return in 1954 from university in South Africa, he joined his country's independence struggle as a nationalist strategist and spokesman. In 1957, considering that the independence movement need such a strong leader similar to Kwame Nkrumah, and considering himself too young for this task, he joined with other young nationalists in inviting Hastings Kamuzu Banda to return to Nyasaland as the movement's leader.

Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones, was a British colonial administrator in Southern Africa. He was the last governor of Nyasaland from 1961 until it achieved independence in 1964. He served as the only governor-general of Malawi from 1964 until it became a republic in 1966. In 1964, he was appointed a GCMG.

James Frederick Sangala Nyasaland politician

James Frederick Sangala was a founding member of the Nyasaland African Congress during the period of British colonial rule. Sangala was given the nickname "Pyagusi", which means "one who perseveres".

Thamar Dillon Thomas Banda ("TDT") was a politician in Nyasaland in the years prior to independence. He was President-General of the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) from 1957 to 1958, and founded the Congress Liberation Party in 1959.

Charles Jameson Matinga was a politician in Nyasaland before the colony obtained independence from the British.

Rose Chibambo

Rose Lomathinda Chibambo was a prominent politician in the British Protectorate of Nyasaland in the years leading up to independence as the state of Malawi in 1964, and immediately after.

Monckton Commission

The Monckton Commission, officially the Advisory Commission for the Review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was set up by the British government under the chairmanship of Walter Monckton, 1st Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, in 1960. Its purpose was to investigate and make proposals for the future of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, made up of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—respectively equivalent to today's Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

History of the Jews in Malawi

The history of the Jews in Malawi formerly known as Nyasaland, and part of the former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.


  1. The proposed new Malawi national flag Archived 19 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine , Nyasa Times
  2. Flag change to be challenged in court Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine , Nyasa Times
  3. Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. [ dead link ]
  5. "MALAWI DITCHES BINGU'S FLAG". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  6. "Dear President Banda: A piece of advice". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  7. "Malawi Parliament approves to revert to original flag". Nyasa Times. 28 May 2012. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  8. "Malawi reverts to old flag". The Sunday Times. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  9. Malawi at Flags of the World. Accessed 17 February 2006.