8 julio, 2024

Flag of Sudan: history and meaning

The sudan flag It has a green triangular design on its left side, which is associated with Arab countries, mainly because it is related to the Muslim religion. It also has a red, a white and a black stripe.

Although Sudan managed to gain autonomy in 1960, its first official flag began to be flown in the mid-1950s. Its first national banner did not feature pan-Arab colours, and it was not until after the 1969 Revolution that Sudan adopted its current flag.

This flag is the national banner that represents the northern Sudanese territory, after the official separation of South Sudan in 2005. Like many other Arab flags, the national flag of Sudan displays the pan-Arab tricolor, with the upper red stripe, the central white, and the lower black.



Flag of the Sudan Madista (1881 – 1889)

Madist Sudan arose as a consequence of a military and religious movement in the area of ​​Sudan, which was under Egyptian control for most of the 19th century.

After four years of an armed struggle that had begun in 1881, the Sudanese rebels managed to shake off the rule of the Egyptians (who were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire). Thus, the new government was formed under the name of Sudan Mahdista, which was a state that lasted no more than a decade in Sudanese territory.

For the first four years of its existence, Madista Sudan struggled against internal Egyptian influence until self-government could finally be established. However, the state only lasted four years, then fell into the hands of Anglo-Egyptian troops in 1889, who ended the government of the country.

The flag that was used was mainly the red, blue and beige flag with the inscription of the Madista movement in its center.

Flags of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1889 – 1956)

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan lasted for more than 50 years during which all Sudanese territory came under British and Egyptian control. The agreement reached by both countries was that Sudan would be under the territorial domain of the United Kingdom, but Egypt would have local influence over the territory of the country.

Therefore, during the time that Sudan belonged to this organization (which included both world wars), the flag of the United Kingdom was used as the official flag of the nation. Additionally, a green flag with a crescent moon and three stars was used to denote the Muslim identity of the country.

First flag of the Republic of the Sudan (1956 – 1970)

Until 1955, the local Sudanese government had tried to unify the country with Egypt, but after the move failed, Sudan achieved its independence in 1956. The country was renamed the «Republic of the Sudan,» for the first time in more than a century. that the country was not subjugated by foreign forces and governed autonomously.

Sudan’s conservative political party sought unification with Egypt, but Parliament approved a declaration of independence and the country was subject to internal political conflicts during its first years of self-government. However, the country has remained independent to this day.

The flag that Sudan adopted was a blue, yellow and green tricolor, this being the only flag of the Republic that did not feature the pan-Arab tricolor in its design.

Current flag of Sudan and former flag of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan (since 1970)

In 1969, Colonel Jaafar an Nimeir and another group of junior officers staged a coup to overthrow the Sudanese government and seize power in the country. An Nimeir was left as president after the success of the coup, which was supported by Arab nationalists and Sudanese conservative parties.

The pan-Arab tricolor flag was adopted and the triangle was added to the left so as not to lose the green of the lower strip of the previous banner. This change demonstrates the new government’s support for the unification of the Arab nations.

In addition, it was during the period of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan when the country began to have internal conflicts with the southern regions of the nation. This later led to a civil war and the eventual separation of the southern territories from Sudan.

Flag of South Sudan (since 2005)

South Sudan is the country that has most recently declared autonomy and is recognized by most countries in the world. Following political differences and civil wars within Sudan, a peace agreement was signed in Kenya in 2005, between the leaders of the southern Sudanese territories and the northern Sudanese government.

Thus, in 2005, Sudan recognized the southern territory as an independent nation and the entire process was formalized in 2011, when most of the countries in the world recognized South Sudan as an autonomous region.


The main meaning of the colors of the Sudanese flag lies in the use of the pan-Arab tricolor, which is used by Arab countries to show their solidarity with each other. However, in addition to the emblematic meaning of the three colors, each one also represents a specific idea within the social beliefs of the Sudanese.

The red color of the Sudanese flag symbolizes the effort that the country’s martyrs have had to make to achieve independence, after many years of fighting against external forces. The white stripe in the center represents the peace and optimism that governs the Sudanese people.

The black color of the flag represents the entire country itself, as “Sudan” means “black” in the local Arabic language. The triangle located in the part near the mast symbolizes the Muslim religion, which is the official religion of the country.


Flag of the Sudan, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018. Taken from Britannica.com
What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Sudan Mean?, World Atlas Website, (nd). Taken from worldatlas.com
Sudan Historical Flags, CRW Flags Website, (nd). Taken from crwflags.com
Flag of Sudan, Wikipedia, 2019. Taken from Wikipedia.org
History of Sudan, Wikipedia, 2019. Taken from Wikipedia.org
South Sudan, Wikipedia, 2019. Taken from Wikipedia.org

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