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

Updated: Feb 22

The leadership of the Liberian Swedish Association, LSA, extends warm wishes to all Liberians residing in Sweden, Liberia, and around the world on this joyous occasion of Flag Day!

Liberia celebrates its National Flag Day annually on August 24th. This special day holds great significance as it commemorates the adoption of the Liberian national flag. The adoption of the flag stands as a monumental moment in Liberia's history, occurring just a month after the country declared independence from the United States. While the Liberian flag draws inspiration from the American flag, it holds its own unique meaning and symbolism. Each year, Liberians at home and abroad come together to celebrate and honor their flag, showcasing their unwavering devotion to their country's emblem.

The National Flag of Liberia

The significance of the Liberian flag extends far beyond its colorful design. To truly grasp its power and cultural importance, one must delve into the rich history of Liberia.

The story of Liberia dates back to the 18th century when it emerged as a pilot project of the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.). This organization aimed to relocate free people of color from North America, believing they would find greater opportunities and freedom in Africa. Between 1822 and the Civil War of 1861, thousands of freed and free-born black slaves were resettled on Providence Island in West Africa, laying the foundation for what would become the Republic of Liberia.

On July 26th, 1847, Liberia boldly declared its independence, becoming Africa's first independent nation and the continent's oldest modern republic. The recognition of Liberia's sovereignty by the United States after the American Civil War in 1862 solidified its status as an independent nation and paved the way for the creation of its flag—a symbol of newfound power and hope.

The Liberian Flag, unveiled on August 24, 1847, was meticulously designed by a committee of seven women, led by Susannah Elizabeth Lewis. Bearing similarities to the American flag, it reflects Liberia's origins as a colony founded by free people of color and formerly enslaved individuals from the United States and the Caribbean, with support from the U.S. government and the ACS.

The flag's design is rich with symbolism: the single star, known as the 'Lone Star,' represents Africa's first independent republic; the eleven stripes symbolize the signatories of Liberia's Declaration of Independence; the colors red and white embody courage and moral excellence; and the blue square represents the African continent itself.

Each year, on August 24th, Liberians at home and abroad celebrate Flag Day, commemorating the unveiling of their national emblem. Beyond being a mere flag, it serves as a powerful reminder of Liberia's journey—a testament to the resilience, courage, and determination of formerly enslaved individuals who found freedom and a place to call home.

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