Following the establishment of the Fifth Republic in France, the people of Niger decided that they wanted to become an independent nation. Until this point, there had been little interest in political parties in the region. The territory had been largely ignored internationally because of its thinly populated areas. At this point the French red, white, and blue flag still flew in Niger.
The Niger flag was adopted first by the Territorial Assembly of the Niger Colony in 1959. At this point, it was still a colony of the French government. The flag was first designed the previous year, in 1958. When the colony received its independence from the French government the flag was declared to be the national flag. The proportions of the flag (6:7) make the flag almost a perfect square.
The flag consists of three horizontal stripes (orange, white, and green) and an orange circle in the middle of the flag. It is similar in design to those counties’ that lie to its Western borders. The top stripe is orange. The color was chosen to honor the Northern and Eastern regions of the country which is largely covered by desert sand of the Sahara. As well as, the people who bravely live and cultivate this area. Representing the purity and innocence of the country, the second stripe is white. The white also represents the country’s yearning for freedom from France. Finally, at the bottom of the flag sits a green stripe. The green stripe is representative of the hope the people had in the country’s agriculture. Unlike the land in the North and the East, the land in that lies in the Southwest along the Niger River is fertile and perfect for agricultural development.
In the center of the white strip, representing the sun is an orange circle. In addition, it stands for the readiness of the people to fight to defend their freedom. It is thought that another reason that the circle sits in the center of the white stripe is to differentiate the Niger flag from the flag of Ireland, which also has three stripes of orange, white, and green.