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A Brief History of The Liberian Flag: Happy Flag Day!

The leadership of the Liberian Swedish Association, LSA wishes all Liberians residing in Sweden, Liberia, and across the World a Happy Flag Day!

The Liberian National Flag Day is celebrated annually on August 24. Liberians home and abroad celebrate and honor this day to mark the anniversary of the adoption of their national flag. The adoption of the flag is an incredible moment in Liberia’s history, coming just a month after the country declared independence from the United States. The Liberian flag has its own meaning and symbolism despite it being based on the American flag. The celebration of the flag is held every year to honor the Liberian people’s unwavering devotion to their country’s flag.

The National Flag of Liberia

The Liberian flag holds so much power to the people of Liberia and the world at large. To understand such power, which lies in the symbol and cultural significance, one must first understand the country's history.

The rise of Liberia as a country started as a pilot project of the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.) in the 18th century. The A.C.S. was a private organization dedicated to the removal of free people of color from across North America. The A.C.S. believed that previously enslaved black people living in the United States would experience better living conditions, prosperity, and freedom outside of the United States particularly in Africa. Between 1822 and the Civil War of 1861, The A.C.S. relocated thousands of freed and free-born black slaves from America and the Caribbean to Providence Island in West Africa to start a new life and nation, now known as "The Republic of Liberia".

Liberia declared her independence on July 26th, 1847 but was not recognized by the US until after the American Civil War in 1862. This made Liberia the first African independent nation and the first oldest modern republic and gave way to the Liberian flag - a new symbol of power and hope.

The Liberian Flag was approved on August 24, 1847 - one month after the country declared independence. The flag was unveiled in the nation’s capital, Monrovia at a ceremony that included comments from the chief designer and other significant figures. This day is important to Liberians, and it is celebrated every year in Liberia and amongst Liberians abroad.

Like the American flag, the Liberian Flag was designed by a committee of seven women, led by Susannah Elizabeth Lewis. The Liberian flag is modeled after and resembles the American flag because Liberia was founded, colonized, established, and controlled by free people of color and formerly enslaved black people from the United States and the Caribbean with the help and support of both the United States government and the ACS.

The flag as depicted above, includes a single star, sometimes called the ‘Lone Star’ representing the first independent republic in Africa; the eleven stripes signify the eleven signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the red and white colors symbolize courage and moral excellence; and the blue square represents the African continent.

The history of the Liberia Flag and August 24th is of great significance because it reminds Liberians that the flag is not just about a flag. It is also an inspiring story of hope, courage, and how formerly enslaved individuals found their independence and home.

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