The Ethiopian flag was adopted on February 6, 1996. The green, yellow and red colors are traditionally used since Emperor Menelik’s reign and were the combination of the design in a flag in 1895. Ethiopia’s flag today and ensign were adopted since the defeat of the Marxist Mengistu dynasty. They were in power from 1974 to 1991. The intent of the emblem was to signify both diversity and unity of the country. The color blue represents peace, the star represents unity and diversity and prosperity are what the sun’s rays symbolize.
The flag’s colors which stand for African unity can also be seen on one of the oldest African flags. The Ethiopian Empire in 1897 used these colors for the flag a year after Ethiopia decisively protected itself from colonialism against Italy at the Battle of Adwa. The tri-color scheme of Ethiopia’s flag has been used since the 19th century and was previously used as the official banner of the Solomonic dynasty, the Ethiopian empire.
The design of the flag is very unique because of it’s in depth design and symbolism. The Lion of Judah is the feat of the emblem in the royal flog. It is a crowned lion carrying a cross centered in the yellow mid-section of the banner. The flag is interpreted to be a link between the people and the nation that was united by the Ethiopian church.
The sacred cross carried by the lion was the symbol previously used by Ethiopia, and has been used since the early 17th century. While red is currently featured at the lower part of the tri-color, it was reversed until the end of the mid-19th century. The addition of the emblem was in 1996. The tri-color band, known as the Pan-African colors are also used and adopted by other African nations who gained independence from their colonial rulers.