The flag of Mauritania is probably the most recent flag of Africa. As we’ll see in more details below, its new shape has been adopted in 2017. It is a flag that symbolises the islamic culture of Mauritania.
Design of the flag of Mauritania
The flag of Mauritania consists of a golden crescent on a green background which is between two thin red stripes. Those colours, gold, green and red are seen on many other flag of Africa where they also carry similar meaning. In fact, those colours are often associated to pan-africanism.
Green is the colour of Islam, which is very important as the country is the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the country is under sharia law. Gold represents both the sand of Mauritania (if you’ve ever been to Mauritania, you’ll know how much sand there is there!) but also the mineral wealth of the country, known for its rich mines. Finally, as it is often the case in flags, red represents the blood of those who have made sacrifices to bring the republic to prosperity.
History of the flag of Mauritania
When it comes to the history of the Mauritanian flag, I’m afraid there isn’t much changes to report. The country adopted its first national flag in 1951. It is interesting to note that, contrary to some other countries, Mauritania already had its flag before it became independent. Indeed, while the flag was adopted in 1951, the country gained its independence in 1960. The flag hasn’t changed until 2017 when… the two red stripes were added. While these slight changes to the flag are not shocking at all and almost funny how minor they are, they came with significant changes to the anthem and senate of Mauritania which brought much more controversy.
It is still very common to see the old design of the Mauritanian flag flying across the country. We must say it is not so surprising, in a country where people have changed the value of their currency but still talk about it the old way.