The flag of Tanzania was adopted on June 30, 1964. Prior to 1964, Tanzania was actually two separate countries Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Both Tanganyika and Zanzibar had previously been under the domain of the United Kingdom. It was not until 1961 that these areas declared themselves independent and they became Republics in their own standing one year later in 1962. They stood independently for two years. They then joined together and formed one Republic in the Eastern portion of Africa in April of 1964. Like the names of the countries were combined to make the new country’s name, the former flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar were combined to form the official flag. The flag has a ratio of 2:3.
Previously the flag of Zanzibar consisted of three horizontal lines. The top stripe was blue, the middle stripe was black, and the bottom stripe was green. The flag of Tanganyika consisted of four stripes. Both the top and bottom stripes were green. There was an equal width black stripe in the middle. On each side of the black stripe sits a narrower yellow stripe.
These two flags were combined and the resulting flag equally represented both countries that had now merged into one. It has a black stripe that sits diagonally across the flag that is bordered on each side by yellow. The upper portion of the flag, above the diagonal, is solid green. The lower portion is solid blue.
The solid green is representative of the fertile land and the vegetation that grows in the region. The solid blue represents not only the Indian Ocean, which forms one of the country’s borders, but also represents the various bodies of water that are in Tanzania. The two yellow lines that border the black stand for the mineral deposits that are so plentiful in the country. The thick black diagonal stripe that separates the two halves of the flag is a symbol of the people of the country.
The black line cuts the flag in half as a reminder that Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged and each formed an equal part of the newly founded country. Each country brought their unique aspects to the newly formed country.