If you have an interest in flags, you may have come across a light blue one with a single white star in the middle. Despite being a pretty recognizable design, not a lot of people know which country this flag actually represents. The flag in question is the official flag of Somalia, an African country. Read on to learn more.
The Design of the Somalian Flag
This particular flag of Somalia was adopted by the country in 1954 and consists of a completely light blue background with a single five-pointed white star in the center of it. The light blue shade of the background symbolizes the United Nations, which was in charge of managing Somalia as a country for quite some time.
As for the star, each of its five tips was representative of an area where Somali people live in the modern age. These five areas include Djibouti, southern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and northern and southern Somalia. The white color of the star is symbolic of both prosperity and peace, of great importance to a nation that has often been ravaged by conflict.
However, it’s important to note that the star only had this meaning when the flag was considered an ethnic flag representative of the Somali people, compared to its meaning as a national flag that is representative of the sovereign nation itself.
The official meaning of the star has changed now since Somali people live in far more places around the world today. Officially, the star is now symbolic of the sky, as well as several geographical locations near Somalia, including the Somali Sea, Guardafui Channel, and the Gulf of Aden.
The flag is quite reminiscent of the Vietnamese flag, which is a full red background with a single five-tipped yellow star in the center. However, these similarities are purely coincidental, and there is no particular connection between the Somalian flag and the Vietnamese flag. Many flags have coincidental similarities.
Somali Versus Somaliland
When Somalia was about to be granted independence in 1954, it needed a flag, which was designed by Somalian scholar Mohammed Awale Liban. The flag was used in the short-lived State of Somaliland, and later the Republic of Somaliland, which would later just be called Somaliland, which is now a de facto sovereign state.
Internationally, Somaliland is considered to be a part of Somalia, however, this de facto sovereign state claims to be an independent nation, the successor to British Somaliland, which was an independent state for about five days before becoming the Somali Republic later.
Despite international recognition of Somalia as one country, Somaliland does not identify with Somalia and flies a different flag completely. In fact, the Somalia flag that is a light blue background and centered white star is completely prohibited in Somaliland.
Whether or not a de facto sovereign state really qualifies to have its own flag to be internationally recognized is up for debate, but it’s worth noting that the Somaliland flag and Somalia flag are not the same.