Djibouti is a relatively new name for a land with a much older history. It was the last African region to gain independence from French ownership but it is the first to have connections in the Islamic world. Somalis are a people of pride, culture, and creativity. They fly a flag that means something to them.
When Djibouti was still Somaliland, a territory owned by France, it had quite a different flag. It portrayed three rectangles standing upright next to each other. The one nearest the hoist was blue, followed by white then red. It was the French flag. To the people of Djibouti it held no meaning other than that they were not their own people.
The territory of Somaliland officially gained independence from France on June 27th, 1977, through a voting process. They picked the name Djibouti because it was the name of their largest city.
They chose their flag because of its significance in their fight for freedom. The national flag was adopted from the one used by the Lique Populaire Africaine pour L’Independence, a political party that campaigned for the territory’s independence.
The flag was raised for the first time by Djibouti head of police Yacine Yabeh Galab, on their very first day of independence.
The national flag, first used by LPAI, was designed by political activist and artist Mahamoud Hard. It is split in half horizontally to create a light blue rectangle on top and a pastel green one on the bottom. The hoist side has a white isosceles triangle with a red, five pointed star centered in it.
The light blue represents both the sky and the clan of Issa Somalis located in northwestern Djibouti. The green represents the Afar clan. It also symbolizes the Earth.
The red star represents each of the territories the Somali inhabit in Greater Somalia. The color itself it characteristic of unity, which is why the artist chose to add it. The fact that it is on a white triangle, a color that symbolizes peace, solidifies the country’s intentions to be one culture united by one independent country.
Djibouti’s military flag has the same colors but depicts them as concentric circles. The five pointed red star rests on the white circle.
The Somali’s new flags tell the story of their freedom.