The flag of Sudan is composed of three colors of equal size: the red, white and black stripes embraced by a green-colored isosceles triangle at the far left portion. Previously, before the military revolution led by Gaafar Nimeiry in 1969, a tri-color of blue, yellow and green was used. The present make-up of the Sudanese flag has strong bond with other Arab nations. It bears a striking similarity to that of the Flag of the Arab Revolt.
The colors imprinted on the Sudanese flag such as the red, white, black and green are mostly adaptations from the Pan-African colors. These colors, which stand for union and independence, had long been linked historically to the peoples of Sudan and the Islamic faith. The red band represents the struggle of Sudanese people for freedom and the blood of its past heroes and forefathers.
White stands for optimism, peace, and light. It is also believed to represent a nationalist group called the White Flag League, a potent force that was instrumental in overthrowing foreign domination in 1924; and the black stripe signifies Sudan itself. Sudan is the Arabic word for “black.” Black has a strong connection with the nationalists’ black flag that struggled during the Mahdist Revolution against the imperial power in the later part of the 19th century. As always, green symbolizes prosperity and agriculture.
The Sudanese flag was first lifted up to the skies on May 20, 1970, almost 16 years after Sudan obtained freedom from Great Britain and Egypt on January 1, 1956. The change in the colors took place after a military coup d’état in 1969.
The current flag of Sudan was the product of a national competition for flag design and has a remarkable influence from the Arab Liberation Flag of Egypt.