The Flag of the Central African Republic: History, Meaning, and Symbolism

Written by Drew Wood
Updated: November 1, 2023
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The Central African Republic (CAR) is a landlocked country located in Central Africa. It is bordered by several countries, including Chad to the north, Sudan to the northeast, and South Sudan to the east. The Democratic Republic of Congo lies to the south, with the Republic of Congo to the southwest. And Cameroon is to the west. This article explores the history, meaning, and symbolism of the flag of the CAR.

Origin and History of the Flag of the Central African Republic

The flag of the Central African Republic (CAR) was designed by Barthélemy Boganda. He later became the first president of the country after it gained independence. The flag was meant to represent a proposed larger country to be called The United States of Latin Africa. This was to be a federation of West-Central African nations, an idea that never materialized. The flag consists of four equal horizontal bands of blue, white, green, and yellow. Additionally, a vertical red stripe runs down the center. It has a yellow five-pointed star in the upper left corner.

Symbolism of the Flag of the Central African Republic

The colors of the flag of the Central African Republic combine the traditional colors of France (blue, white, and red) with those of Africa (green, yellow, and red). The shared vertical red stripe binds them all together in unity. It reminds the observer that Europeans and Africans should work together in mutual respect. The yellow star symbolized independence, African unity, progress, and tolerance.

Another interpretation of the colors states that the blue band represents liberty, glory, sky, and hope. The white band signifies purity, equality, and peace. The green band represents the forests and farmland of the country. Lastly, the yellow band represents the savannahs or the mineral resources of the country. The red stripe represents the blood shed in the struggle for independence or the common blood of all humankind.

Earlier Flags of the Central African Republic

Before independence, the Central African Republic (CAR) was a colony of France, known as French Equatorial Africa. As a colony, the country did not have its own flag and instead used the flag of France. The French flag, also known as the Tricolore, consists of three equal vertical bands of blue, white, and red.

The Animals of the Central African Republic

As mentioned above, the green band represents the country’s forests (and farmland), while the yellow band symbolizes its savannahs. Learn about the iconic African animals that call these habitats in the CAR home.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Atlaspix/


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About the Author

Drew Wood is a writer at A-Z Animals focusing on mammals, geography, and world cultures. Drew has worked in research and writing for over 20 years and holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs (1992) and a Doctorate in Religion (2009). A resident of Nebraska, Drew enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, movies, and being an emotional support human to four dogs.

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