Just as the country of Zimbabwe has a deep and storied history, their national flag has adapted and evolved along with it. The colorful and rich flag accurately represents all that Zimbabwe encompasses, with an interesting story to go along with it. The intricate design, the evolution, and the origin all make the Zimbabwe national flag special and rooted in history.
The first flag was created when Zimbabwe was originally known as British ruled colony South Rhodesia in 1923. The backdrop of the flag was deep royal blue adorned with the United Kingdom flag in the upper left hand corner. The Southern Rhodesia coat of arms shield comprised the entire right hand side of the Zimbabwe flag. The shield itself was quite ornate and deserving of its own recognition. The shield starred a red lion punctuated by two purple thistles at the top field of the shield on a white background. The lion was in striking position, leg outstretched with claws exposed. This portion of the shield was taken from the family crest of Cecil Rhodes, whose name inspired the colony name. The body of the shield depicted the mining industry within Rhodesia with a golden pick on a green background.
This flag represented Southern Rhodesia from 1923-1964 until a slight change. The entirety of the flag remained the same, with one small detail of the main background. Changing from royal blue to light blue, it marked the change of the country from Southern Rhodesia to simply Rhodesia. The change in color marked the first time a British colony deviated from royal to light blue.
Four years later, Rhodesia marked major political change that had taken place. After declaring independence from Britain, all homage to Britain was removed from the flag. Instead, a green and white vertical striped background was adopted, complete with the national coat of arms front and center. Two kudus encompassed the shield which is topped by a statuette of the Zimbabwe bird in gold.
Undergoing change once again in 1980, a new flag marked the official creation of the nation under Zimbabwe name. Seven horizontal stripes adorn the flag from top to bottom in green, gold, and red. A statuette of the Zimbabwe bird in gold marks the lefthand side of the flag on a white triangle overtop of a red star. The red star represents the country’s struggle for peace through a history of wars.