Last modified: 2013-12-02 by bruce berry
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Malawi historical flags
- Flag used between 2010 and 2012
- British Central Africa Protectorate
The Nyasa Times of 18 May 2012 reported that "President Joyce Banda will
bring to Parliament a bill for debate and decision on whether the independence
national flag could be reinstated to replace [the flag adopted in
Officially opening the 2012/2013, President Banda of the Malawi People's Party told a jam-packed New Parliament Building in the Capital City that this decision has been arrived at upon observing that the process to change to the present flag did not involve adequate national consultation and participation by Malawians. "In the opinion of the Cabinet, there was no compelling reason for changing the independence flag. The Minister of Justice will present the bill to this august House during the meeting of Parliament" said President Banda amid deafening handclapping and applause".
Ivan Sache, 23 May 2012
Malawi's parliament has approved a bill to revert to the old flag adopted at the
time of independence in 1964, two years after the late president Bingu wa
Mutharika altered it, it was reported today. The Malawi Minister of Justice and
Attorney General, Mr Ralph Kasambara, presented the Protected Flags, Emblems and
Names Amendment Bill to parliament. During the official opening of Parliament,
President Joyce Banda said the decision to revert to the old flag was arrived at
upon observing that the process to change the flag did not involve adequate
national consultation and participation by Malawians. "In the opinion of
Cabinet, there was no compelling reason for changing the independence flag" she
said. Parliament Speaker Henry Phoya said the independence flag of black, red
and green stripes with a red rising sun were a "sacred symbol" of Malawi's
nationhood. The move had been widely expected as the new flag had not been
Bruce Berry, 29 May 2012
It is true that the Malawian flag of 2010 has been replaced by the original
independence flag. President Bingu wa Mutharika died on April 2012. The
flag change in 2010 was entirely his idea and was never really accepted by the
people of the country. This was shown at an international football match between
a Malawi team and another African country, soon after the change was made. Some
Malawi fans were arrested for trying to enter the stadium, wearing t-shirts with
the 1964 flag. They told the policeman that they would accept arrest, provided
he also arrested the whole of the Malawi football team, because they were still
wearing the former flag on their shirts.
The new President, Mrs Joyce Banda, at once announced that the "new" flag would be abolished and that the original independence flag could be used. As far as I know, the legislation has not yet passed through the Malawi Parliament, but the use of the original flag at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony was entirely correct.
Michael Faul, 28 July 2012
The flag was formally re-adopted following the signing into law of the Protected
Flags, Emblems and Names Amendment Act on 28 May 2012.
Confirmed by "Arrorro" and Jonathan Dixon, 5-7 Aug 2012
The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics
(Flags and Anthems Manual, London, 2012 [bib-lna.html])
provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each National Olympic
Committee was sent an image of their flag, including the PMS shades, by the
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for their approval.
Once this was obtained, the LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for
further approval. So, while these specifications may not be the official,
government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the National Olympic
Committee believed their flag to be.
For Malawi : PMS 186 red, 356 green and black. The vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner, 10 Oct 2012
According to an article (from Africa News Network), the red and green colours of the Malawi flag
adopted at the time of independence in July 1961 represents the martyrs of Africa and Africa's green vegetation, respectively,
while black means Africa is black. Panafrican News Agency (PANA) mentions
(30 December 1998), that the red in the current flag stands for blood Malawians
shed during their struggle for independence, the black for black race and the
green represents the country's landscape.
Mark Sensen, 04 Jan 1999
The Malawi national flag adopted at independence on 06 July 1964 is described and illustrated in the Protected Flag, Emblems and Names Act (1964) - First Schedule Part I:
Description: From the top of the Flag to the bottom thereof, three equal horizontal stripes of black, red and green with a red rising sun superimposed in the centre of the black stripe.
Ratio Length to breadth: Three to two
Significance: Black represents the people of the Continent of Africa.
The Rising Sun represents the dawn of hope and freedom for the whole Continent of Africa.
Red represents the blood of the martyrs of African freedom.
Green represents the ever green nature of Malawi.
Specifications: Red - British Standard Shade Number 0 - 005
Green - British Standard Shade Number 0 - 010
Bruce Berry, 05 Jan 1999
I've been perusing some of the flags for African countries, and it looked to
me that the original flag of Malawi really doesn't capture the essence of the
sun's rays. According to all of my flag texts, the rays on the flag aren't
lines, but more "feathered" - with rounded ends narrowing to a point.
Peter Krembs, 04 Feb 2001
National Flag. CSW/C-- 2:3
Black-red-green tricolor with red rising sun in the middle of the black stripe. The rays that I drew previously were not quite the same as in Album 2000 so I have improved them. I am not sure if there is an official specification for the sun emblem. [vdv00] uses specifications from the Flag Research Center which is slightly different.
Željko Heimer, 27 May 2002
The Malawi Coat of Arms were adopted at independence and are described and illustrated in the Protected Flag, Emblems and Names Act (1964) - First Schedule Part II:
For Arms, per fess barry wavy Azure and Argent and Sable on a fess Gules a lion passant and in base a sun rising Or: and for the Crest: On a wreath Or and Gules on water barry wavy Azure and Argent in front of a sun rising Or a fish eagle rising proper, and for Supporters: On the dexter side a lion and on the sinister side a leopard both guardant, upon a compartment representing the Mlanje mountain proper, together with the motto: Unity and Freedom.
Bruce Berry, 05 Jan 1999
The national crest has the rising sun at the top and bottom, representing
the dawn of freedom in Africa. The fish eagle and wavy bands on the shield
symbolise Lake Malawi while the lion and the leopard guard the crest as
a whole. The land at the base is the rugged Mlanje mountain. The crest
bears the motto 'Unity and Freedom'.
Jarig Bakker, 01 Jun 2002