The colorful flag of the island nation of Mauritius displays four vibrant stripes. Each color holds important symbolic meaning, and reflects the geography and history of this beautiful part of the world.
Mauritius sits in the far southern Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar. Its racially and ethnically diverse population enjoy a lovely tropical climate, sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery. The current flag celebrates the history and beauty of this island state. Mauritius adopted a national flag for the first time on March 12, 1968, and has not modified it since that time.
The flag of the Republic of Mauritius contains four equal horizontal stripes. From the top to the bottom, they include red, blue, yellow and green. These rainbow colors reflect the natural abundance of Mauritius and the diversity and uniqueness of its population. The red symbolizes the energy, industriousness and independence of the population, the blue denotes the surrounding maritime environment, yellow signifies the bright promise of the future of Mauritius and green pays tribute to the island’s incredible natural wonders.
Mauritius transcended a violent past to enjoy a peaceful transition into national sovereignty and independence. Today, it maintains one of the most successful economies in Africa. The industry of the people of Mauritius enabled them to recover from past economic hardship. The brilliant colors of the Mauritius flag signify this history.
For centuries, Mauritius remained isolated. Portuguese sailors visited the island during the 1500s and European mariners included it on sea charts thereafter. In 1598, the Dutch government attempted unsuccessfully to colonize Mauritius. Between 1638 and 1658 and again between 1664 and 1710 the Dutch attempted to launch trading outposts and settlements there. However, these efforts ultimately failed. Pirates began frequenting the island and using it as a base to attack ships traveling around the horn of Africa. Finally, in 1767, the French government seized the island and established a colonial government. Some residents developed sugar cane plantations there and Mauritius became a sugar trading center. In 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars, Britain captured Mauritius from France and assumed administration in 1814.
Mauritius remained a British colony for over a hundred years. During this period the island faced a severe depression, when demand for its sugar declined following the opening of the Suez Canal. However, Mauritians implemented political and economic reforms. Mauritius gained full independence peacefully in 1968 and became a Republic in 1992.