Ethiopia Flag Colors, Meaning & History

Ethiopia flag
Color Palette
Green#0789307, 137, 4895, 0, 65, 46
Yellow#FCDD09252, 221, 90, 12, 96, 1
Red#DA121A218, 18, 260, 92, 88, 15
Blue#0F47AF15, 71, 17591, 59, 0, 31

The Ethiopian flag is made of three horizontal stripes colored green, yellow, and red from top to bottom. In the center of the flag, there is a blue disc with a yellow pentagram.

Meaning of the Ethiopian Flag

The blue color in the Ethiopian flag represents peace, and the yellow symbolizes hope, justice, and equality. The red color represents sacrifice for freedom and equality, while green signifies labor, development, and fertility. The star represents the unity of all Ethiopian nationalities, its rays reflect the bright prospects for their future.

History of the Ethiopian Flag

The first flag that represented Ethiopia as a unified nation was introduced during the reign of Emperor Tewodros II in the mid-19th century. It featured a simple design of three horizontal stripes: green at the top, yellow in the middle, and red at the bottom. During the rule of Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913), the green-yellow-red tricolor remained, but a symbol known as the “Lion of Judah” was added to the center of the flag. This design continued to be used during subsequent imperial reigns, including that of Emperor Haile Selassie, who ruled from 1930 until 1974. Following the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, Ethiopia entered a period of Marxist-Leninist rule under the Derg regime. During this time a new flag was adopted. The new flag featured a plain red field with a yellow emblem in the canton, consisting of a blue circle with a yellow-outlined star and rays emanating from it. The current Ethiopian flag was adopted in 1996 following the overthrow of the Derg regime and the establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The flag retains the green-yellow-red tricolor design, but a blue circle was added to the center of the yellow stripe, with a yellow-outlined star and rays emanating from it.