The flag of Somalia is a very unique flag in Africa, where flags tend to go for the tricolor stripe design.
Design of the flag of Somalia
The Somali flag’s design is simple yet very efficient. It consists of a white five-pointed star on a light blue background. It was designed by a scholar of Somalia named Awale Liban. The white star is called the Star of United, as its five points represent areas of Africa where Somali are found. Those areas are: Djibouti (previously known as French Somaliland), Somaliland (previously British Somaliland), Somalia proper (which was Italian Somaliland), the Ogaden region of Ethiopia and finally, the North Eastern province of Kenya.
Meaning of the flag of Somalia
As seen in the meaning of the five-pointed star, the Somali flag was first an ethnic flag rather than a national flag. It was seen as the flag under which Somalis of all origins could rally. For a while, as the country was united, it served as the flag of Greater Somalia but this was short-lived as Somaliland independence parted with that.
History of the flag of Somalia
The Somali flag has known many iterations due to its post-world war II history. As the country, then known as Somaliland, had to be handed over by Italy to the British victors and occupiers for a while, the British flag succeed the flag of the Italian colony as the official flag of the region. When the region where Mogadishu is located was handed back to Italy as a United Nation Trust Territory, that region used a flag inspired by the Italian flag, while the British protectorate of Somaliland (which would become the unrecognized country of Somaliland) designed its own British-inspired flag. It is upon independence that Somalia started using the flag it is using today. This flag, as mentioned previously, was the flag for all of Greater Somalia, and it is when they broke away that other regions designed their own flag. Nowadays, Somaliland has its own, separate and unique, flag.
The flag of Somalia is not the only flag flown there as the country is dealing with a powerful jihadist group, Al-shabaab. Al-Shabaab has formed its own alternative government and Somalia is its strongest foothold. Where it rules, Al-shabaab flies a Jihadist flag very similar to the flag of ISIS.