The flag of the Republic of Congo is a tricolor flag with typical Pan-African colors of green, gold and red. The flag is designed diagonally, with a gold diagonal band splitting the flag into two triangles. The triangle in the upper left is green, while the triangle in the lower right is red. The flag was adopted on September 15, 1959 and replaced the French tricolour. The flag was used until 1970 when the People’s Republic of the Congo came into being. That flag was a red field with the socialist coat of arms in the left upper corner of the flag. The coat of arms was similar to other socialist emblems of the time, with a gold five-pointed star and two crossed tools at the bottom.
The socialist regime collapsed in 1991 and the first flag of the Republic of Congo was promptly restored. Previous flags for the area included the French Congo flag and the Kingdom of Kongo flag. The Kingdom of Kongo was a simple white background marked with a red X. The French Congo flag depicted a smaller version of the French tricolour in the upper left corner. The remainder of the flag was a horizontal band of green on the top and a horizontal band of gold on the bottom.
The symbolism of the Republic of Congo flag includes the Pan-African colors and it is the only flag with these colors to have a diagonal design. The green is said to symbolize the land and agriculture, while the yellow symbolizes friendship and nobility. The red does not have a specific meaning, but could stand for sacrifice as red often does in flags.
The Republic of Congo flag bears the most resemblance to flags of Ethiopia and Ghana, which were the countries on the forefront of the Pan-African movement. It should not be confused with the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is a separate country and does not use the same colors at all. The flag of Ethiopia uses the same green-yellow-red order, but is constructed of horizontal bands. It also has the emblem of Ethiopia emblazoned on the center of the flag.