On April 1, 1959, Moktar Ould Daddah instructed that the Mauritania flag be introduced. It is rumored that he may have even designed the flag himself. At the time of its introduction and adoption, Mauritania was not yet a free country. It was still a colony of France, who had acquired most of the Western Africa territories. Mauritania declared independence of France and further declared that it was an Islamic Republic. Independence was obtained from France on November 28, 1960, at which time the flag was formally adopted as the national flag.
The flag is representative not only of the location of Mauritania in Africa, but also of the strong Islamic belief that the people hold. Since Islam is the religion that most of its citizens adhere to it is quite fitting that their flag is such a tribute to the religious beliefs of its people. Unlike other flags, it does not consist of any of the traditional flag colors. While most flags consist of one of the three colors, red, white, or blue, the Mauritania flag consists of only green and gold. It shares this distinction with only one other country, Jamaica.
The green and gold in the Mauritania flag is representative of the Pan-African colors. The flag is solid green with an upward pointing crescent moon and a five-point star above the crescent. The green color represents the color of Islam. The Islamic religion is highly regarded by the people of Mauritania and it was important to for the flag to show this. The color gold was chosen in honor of the sands of the Sahara, which covers all but ten percent of the country and continues to grow.
In the Islamic religion, the star and crescent are two very important symbols, which is why is why they were chosen to adorn the national flag. In the Islamic Religion the crescent represents the beginning of the Islamic month and is also reminiscent of the prophet Mohammed, who left his home to spread the religion and its principle of virtue. The star represents the hope of the people. The star is the people’s belief in God and their country.