Prior to its independence, Uganda flew the British colonial flag. The banner consisted of a British Blue Ensign superimposed with a disc containing the image of a grey-crowned crane, a national symbol of the country. Although one of the kingdoms in Uganda had its own flag, the British designed a banner featuring the crane instead of the totems, symbols or emblems used by any particular region or group. When Uganda gained its independence, the colonial standard was replaced with a flag that featured a wide vertical blue stripe in the center flanked by a thin yellow and a wide green stripe on each side. Adorning the center of the flag was a yellow stylized version of a grey-crowned crane, the national bird of Uganda. The flag was approved by the Democratic Party. It flew over the country from March until to October 9, 1962 when the newly elected Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) replaced it with the current standard. The national flag was one of two designs proposed by Grace Ibingira, the Ugandan Minister of Justice and is based on the tricolor emblem of the UPC. Despite the country’s tumultuous history, the flag has remained intact, with no alterations, since its adoption.
The Uganda National Flag depicts the essential characteristics of the nation. It has six equal horizontal stripes. From the top, the colors are black, yellow, red, black, yellow and red. A white disc containing a colorful image of the grey-crowned crane facing the flag pole is superimposed over the center of the flag. Black represents the country’s connection to the people of Africa. Yellow evokes images of the equatorial sun and the country’s natural beauty. The red stripes symbolize the blood that links all African nations and the goodwill Uganda shares with the rest of Africa. Native to Uganda, the grey-crowned crane is known for its gentle spirit and tender characteristics that reflect the peaceful nature of the people of Uganda. The crane’s raised leg symbolizes the forward movement and future of the nation. Ugandan soldiers wore a badge depicting the crane during British colonial rule. The flag has a length-to-width ratio of 3:2. Although it is similar to the Angolan, Belgian and German flags, the Uganda flag is the only one in the world that uses five colors.