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The flag of Cote d’Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, is a vertical tricolor flag with orange, white and green bands from left to right. Upon gaining independence, the Ivory Coast became a loose confederation of West African states. The flags used by these states were inspired by the Pan-African colors, which include two different sets of colors. The first set is green, gold and red and the second set is red, black and green. Ghana was the first country to use a combination of all these colors. The Ivory Coast chose its flag colors based on Niger, with which it had an alliance. However, Niger’s flag is a horizontal tricolor with a red circle in the middle. Niger’s orange also has a closer appearance to orange-red versus the orange in the Ivory Coast flag.
The colors in the Ivory Coast flag symbolize the savanna with orange, peace with white and hope with green. The green also represents the forests found in the south section of the country. The flag was put into official use on December 3, 1959, which was just prior to the country’s independence.
There are a number of similar flags to the Ivory Coast flag, but they have some distinctive differences. Ireland uses the same vertical tricolor, however it is longer and has green, white and orange bands from left to right. The flag of India uses a horizontal tricolor in the exact same color pattern as the Ivory Coast, but it has a blue Ashoka Chakra in the center.
The flag’s official adoption came after a heated debate about what should be used for the flag. Initially the proposal was for a flag that resembled both the French and American flags with stars on a red background. However, most in the Constituent Assembly did not want a flag resembling the French flag since the country had just become independent. The idea of an orange-white-green came from three men: Germain Coffi Gadeau, Arsène Usher Assouan and Bilamé and Amon Tanoh, who were brothers. A man named Augustin Loubao wanted to replace the orange section of the flag with red to represent blood shed in sacrifice. The assembly came to a vote and the orange-white-green flag was chosen.