While it might be an unrecognized country, Somaliland is a country all the same. It has its autonomous institutions, its currency and government which sets it apart from the country it has broke away from, Somalia. As such, the somalilander flag is different from the flag of Somalia.
The design of the flag of Somaliland
The official flag of Somaliland is made up of three parallel lines of the following colours: Green, White and Red.
The Somalilander flag has a religious meaning as the green line, the colour of Islam, has the shahada, or the testimony, of the Sunni inscribed on it, in white. The shahada is the declaration that there is but one god and that Muhammad is his ultimate prophet. Interestingly enough, on some versions of the flag which might get dirty, such as pieces of clothing or smaller paper flags, the Shahada is left out, in order to avoid sacrilegious displays. For the same reason, it is forbidden to fly the flag at half-mast as Allah must always be revered.
The white line has a star on it, which symbolises the revolution and also reminds of the origins of the country, as the Somali flag also sports a star. The star is black to symbolise the demise of the objective of a united Somalia.
Finally, the last line, the red line, symbolises the blood of the martyrs. On some designs of the flag, the green line is instead orange.
History of the flag of Somaliland
The current flag is actually the second version of this flag since the independence from Great Britain, at which time the region was called British Somaliland.
The first Somaliland flag consisted of a green disc, symbolising Islam, on a white background and surrounded by the shahada once again. This flag was rejected as its design was deigned too simple and linked to the party which founded Somaliland, rather than neutral. This previous flag was used from Somaliland’s independence until 1996
Before that, the flag of British Somaliland was similar to the flag of many British colonies such as Fiji or Australia. It sports the Union Jack in its upper-left corner and the emblem of Somaliland on the right.
If you wish to see Somaliland’s flag over and over, why not join us during the Independence Day of Somaliland, it is a true national flag galore!.