Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland, is a sovereign state in southern Africa. The country is small in land mass, but its climate is diverse, from cool areas in the mountains, to a hot and dry climate in other areas. The people of Swaziland are the ethnic Swazis, who established the kingdom in the mid eighteenth century. The country was ruled by other nations over much of its history, but gained its independence from England in 1968. It adopted its national flag prior to independence, however, in 1967.
The flag of Swaziland is rectangular, and has a thick red band positioned horizontally across its middle. There is a blue stripe across the top and bottom edges of the flag, with a thin yellow stripe between the blue and the red. In the red center band is a large black and white shield of the Emasotsha Regimen, covering two spears and a staff, decorated with feather tassels, all centered horizontally. The spears point away from the flagpole. The design of the flag is based on a military flag given by King Sobhuza II to the Swazi Pioneer Corps in 1941.
The colors of the flag have significance too. The red in the flag stands for past battles of the Swazi nation, while the blue represents the peaceful state it currently enjoys. The yellow stands for all of Swaziland’s wealth of resources in minerals that can be found there. The white and black on the flag’s shields is said to symbolize the fact that white people and black people live together peacefully in Swaziland. The shield represents protection from any enemies.
Historically, the flag of Swaziland in the 18th century also featured a shield, though different from the current one. After the Anglo-Bohr War, Swaziland became a British Protectorate. Thus, from 1903 until 1967, the Union Jack flag was flown in Swaziland. The current flag, with only minor artistic changes, was officially adopted in 1967, on the occasion of the pledge of the oath of King Sobhuza II, as the Union Jack was taken down. Swaziland gained total independence in 1968.
Swaziland has gone through a number of significant changes throughout its long history, and has flown several flags as a result. The current flag has great meaning and many symbols that are important to the Swazi peoples. The people of Swaziland are proud of their rich heritage and their special flag.