The flag of Madagascar was first hoisted in October 14, 1958 prior to the declaration of its independence in June 26, 1960. It was first flown alongside its preparation for a referendum which tackled its membership with the French community. The flag is composed of three colors white, red and green. The red and green are placed together (red on top, green below) to form two horizontal stripes while the white color is placed perpendicular to the two horizontal stripes.
The colors impressed on the flags represent the struggles of its people for independence from French tyranny. The history of Madagascar will tell that the colors green and red were once used by Queen Ranavalona III as the flag of Merina kingdom which yielded to France’s domination in 1896. Queen Ranavalona III was the last reigning Merina monarch before the kingdom succumbed to French rule.
There is also another widely accepted theory which suggests that the colors signify the Southeast Asian origins of the Malagasy people who came to Madagascar centuries before. As you can see, the red color is also a dominant color of the Indonesian flag. Further, the color green represented Hova, the famous commoners of Madagascar, who led various independence uprisings and the revolution against France which caused the overthrow of the French regime. Under contemporary Madagascar, the colors took on different interpretations. They now believe that the red color symbolizes sovereignty, green for hope and white for purity.
What is most interesting and unique about the flag of Madagascar is that the flag remained the same as it was when it was first adopted, and despite the change of Madagascar’s constitution – setting it apart from all other country flags. This just shows how the people of Madagascar value the fruit of their struggles and blood of their heroes after years of tyrannical rule and search for independence.