The Flag of Guinea: History, Meaning, and Symbolism

flag of Guinea
© Design_Bank/Shutterstock.com

Written by Drew Wood

Updated: August 4, 2023

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Guinea is a country located in West Africa, bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Guinea achieved independence from France on October 2, 1958. It was the first French colony in Africa to become independent. Independence brought a lot of changes, including a change of the flag from the French tricolor to the new flag of Guinea. Discover with us what the flag looks like and what it means.

Guinea

Guinea is a country located in West

Africa

, bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

©Wead/Shutterstock.com

What Does the Name Guinea Mean?

“Guinea” is a name that was used by European colonial powers for the West African coast starting in the 18th century. Different European countries carved out their own “Guinea” colonies: Guinea, Spanish Guinea, and Portuguese Guinea. Because the area was rich in gold, “guinea” also became a term used for a British gold coin. Guinea’s neighbor to the north, Portuguese Guinea, became independent in 1973. To keep the names from getting confused, Portuguese Guinea added the name of its capital to its country name. So today it is called “Guinea-Bissau.”

Earlier Designs for the Flag of Guinea

Before getting its freedom, Guinea was a colony of France and flew the French tricolor, with three vertical bands of blue, white, and red. As different groups and political parties advocated for self-government, independent movements in Guinea started developing their own flags.

The Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) which was led by Ahmed Sékou Touré, used a red-black-green flag with a yellow star in the center. The red color represented the blood of the people who died fighting for independence. The black was for the African continent. Green represented hope and the yellow star was a symbol of the unity of the people. The African Democratic Rally (RDA), the main political party in French West Africa, used a flag with pan-African colors. The flag was similar to the current national flag of Guinea, with the same colors but arranged differently.

flag of Guinea

The flag of Guinea features three equal vertical bands of red, yellow, and green.

©Design_Bank/Shutterstock.com

Symbolism of the Flag of Guinea

The flag of Guinea consists of three equal vertical bands of red, yellow, and green – a similar design as the French flag, but with different colors. The red band represents the people’s blood sacrificed for the country’s independence. The yellow band represents the sun, as well as Guinea’s minerals and other natural resources. The green band represents the country’s green vegetation and agriculture.

The colors of the flag also reflect the Pan-African colors, shared by the flags of many nations on the continent to symbolize their unity. The colors of the flag were also chosen to reflect the colors of the two main political parties in the independence struggle: the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) and the African Democratic Rally (RDA).


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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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