eginning in the Eighteenth Century, Mali was a colony of France. In 1905, Mali became part of the French Sudan. After the dissolution of the French Sudan, Mali and Senegal came together to from the Mali Federation in 1960. The Mali Federation was short lived because Senegal left the federation just two months after its inception.
The French Sudan flag consisted of of three vertical stripes. The far left stripe was blue; the middle stripe was white; and the right stripe was red. This is identical to the flag of France. However, there was one difference. In the center of the white stripe was a black kanaga.
The Mali Federation flag drew inspiration from the French flag. It consists of three vertical stripes. However, instead of red, white, and blue like France’s flag, the flag drew its colors from the colors of Pan-Africa – red, gold, and green. In the center of the gold stripe, was a kanaga, or a stick figure that bore resemblance to a person. The Mali Federation was kept for two years until the year 1961.
The current flag was adopted on March 1, 1961. The only difference between the Mali Federation flag and the flag of Mali is that they dropped the kanaga from the middle of the gold strip. The kanaga was dropped because of protests from the Muslim citizens because it was against their religious beliefs. The flag is almost identical to to the flag of Guinea. The only difference is the colors of the stripes are mirror imaged.
On the Mali flag, the green stripe sits at the left of the flag. Green symbolizes the hope and fertility of the people. It is also representative of the green fields and the richness of the soil, as well as hope for the development of the agriculture. The gold stripe in the middle represents the mineral wealth that the Mali people knew they had in the land. It also represented purity. The red stripe on the right side of the flag is representative of the blood that was spilled during Africa’s fight for independence and also the strength that the people showed.