The current configuration of the flag of Malawi is not a new one. Under the current president, who took office in 2012, the Malawi flag has reverted back to the one they have had since 1964 through 2010 when parliament agreed to the change on May 28, 2012. The flag that flew previous to 2012 was adapted on July 29, 2010, as proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party which ruled the government of Malawi at that time. Under the present set-up, the flag returns to three colors – red, black, and green.
The black, red and green colors are side by side with each other forming horizontal stripes with the black stripe on top, followed by red in the middle and green at the bottom part. The main features of the flag has not changed. The original flag has three colors, but the placing of colors was entirely different. The original design has the black color on top, followed by red at the center and then green just below it. A rising sun perches on the black stripe area. The original flag was approved on July 6, 1964.
The flag that flew prior to the current one had almost the same configuration of red, black and green colors were placed side by side with each other forming horizontal stripes with the red color on the top portion, followed by black in the middle and green at the bottom part. At the center of the flag was a white-colored full sun with rays. It is said that the full-centered sun symbolizes the economic development that Malawi has underwent after attaining complete independence.
The rich history of Malawi provides a deep explanation about the design of its old flag. The black stood for the African peoples, green symbolizes the color of nature while the red denotes the color of the blood spilt during its struggle for independence. The previous flag has a lot in common with the pan-African flag of Marcus Garvey’s design. The old flag has also great similarities with the flag of the Republic of Biafra which is now non-existent.
The adoption of a new flag in 2010 received diverse criticisms from all sectors of the population. One opposition party took the flag’s legitimacy question to the court. But despite the widespread condemnation of the change, the new flag was eventually hoisted.
And now, Malawi has returned and not forgotten their history and flies its old flag anew.