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Ghana

Last modified: 2013-11-30 by antónio martins
Keywords: ghana | star: 5 points (black) | presidential | cross: teutonic | freedom and justice | okoh (theodosia salome) | fimbriation | canton: national flag | civil ensign | civil air ensign | doubt |
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Flag of Ghana
image by Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001
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History and meaning

The flag was officially hoisted 1957.03.06, replaced shortly with version with white middle stripe 1964.01.01 to 1966.02.28, when this flag was reintroduced. The flag is national flag on land and state ensign. Proportions 2:3.
Željko Heimer, 04 Jul 1996

The Album 2000 [pay00] says:

1. National Flag. CSW/-SW 2:3
and shows a 2:3 red over yellow over green tricolour with black star in the yellow stripe touching the edges of the other two stripes. A note to the figure explains that the presidential flag is the same, only with golden fringe.
Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

According to the official site, the flag designer was a Ghanian, Mrs. Theodosia Salome Okoh
Dov Gutterman, 13 Mar 2002

It uses Pan-African colours, with black star for being the first independent African nation of the 20th century.
David Kendall, 01 Oct 1996

It is believed that the black star on the flag of Ghana, the lonestar of African freedom, is taken from the flag of the Black Star Line. This shipping line was founded by Marcus Garvey in June 1919 and would take new negro colonists back to Africa. It closed in 1922. The flag was green with a red saltire and a large black star in the centre.
Mark Sensen, 20 Jun 2000, quoting from [cra93b]

According to Smith [smi75b], «the green-white-red horizontal of the ruling Convention Peoples’ Party and the green-yellow-red of Africa’s oldest independent nation (Ethiopia) combined to inspire Ghana’s flags.»
Ivan Sache, 26 Jun 1999

The flag of Ghana consists of red, gold and green horizontal strips with a five pointed black star in the centre of the gold stripe. The color red represents the blood of those who died in the country’s struggle for independence: gold stands for the minerals wealth, while green symbolizes the rich forest. The star represents the lonestar of African freedom.
Dov Gutterman, 19 Dec 1998, quoting from Johnston’s page

On 23 November 1958 a Ghana-Guinea Union was formed with a flag like that of Ghana but with two black stars.
Mark Sensen, 20 Jun 2000, quoting from [cra93b]


Former State ensign

There was also a blue ensign (state ensign) used in 60’s and abbandoned sometimes letter, maybe around 1985.
Obscura Secundus, 13 Oct 2001, quoted by Željko Heimer

I don’t find it in [smi75c] nor [smi82], though, so maybe it was abandoned even earlier. Anyone has some info on it? How would it look like (ratio, size of the flag in canton, eventual fimbriation)? I’d guess that there may well have been in both in yellow and white variant, if used in 1960’s.
Željko Heimer, 13 Oct 2001


Civil ensign

Civil ensign
image by Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

The Album 2000 [pay00] says:

3. Civil Ensign. ---/C-- ≅5:8

Red ensign with the national flag in canton finbriated with black line. The book [smi82] gives ratio as 2:3 (also for naval ensign), but ≅5:8 would cover that too. I am somehow ready to bet that there are more 2:3 flags in use then those that are 5:8.
Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

Smith [smi75b] and Album des Pavillons (correction #26, September 1996) show a thick black fimbriation. Pederson [ped70] describes (without image) a civil ensign of the same pattern, but with proportion 5:8.
Ivan Sache, 26 Jun 1999

Politikens Flagbook [rya00a] depicts this flag with merged red, just like in the white ensign for Warships.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 08 Oct 2001

The Merchant Flag is like the British Red Ensign, but has the National Flag of Ghana in the canton, with a narrow black fimbriation.
Santiago Dotor, 23 Feb 2000, quoting [c2b81], page 151


Civil air ensign

Civil air ensign
image by Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

Light blue field with national flag in canton and a large black star at lower fly. (Source: [smi75b])
Ivan Sache, 26 Jun 1999

Both the Air Ensign and the Civil Air Ensign are light blue with the national flag in canton and with an emblem in the fly: Air Force uses its aircraft marking, while the civil air ensign has a black star.
Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001


President’s flag

PR flag
image by Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

The Album 2000 [pay00] has a note at the national flag image explaing that the presidential flag is the same, only with golden fringe. Any idea why the presidential flag was changed?
Željko Heimer, 08 Oct 2001

Former version (?)

President’s flag
image by Željko Heimer, 30 Jul 1996

Blue with two eagles holding a disc looking like a shooting target with teuton cross in the middle and a black star above. Over the emblem it is written ’PRESIDENT’ and under it in two rows ’OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA’.
Željko Heimer, 04 Jul 1996

Smith [smi75b] says regarding the Presidential flag: «The flag is composed of authentic Ghanian symbols, meaning sovereignty, good luck and sanctity.» Therefore this “teuton cross’ has apparently here nothing to do with German symbolics. The proportions are «approximately 7:12», precisely like in the image above.
Ivan Sache, 26 Jun 1999


Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Ghana consists of a shield divided into four quarters by a green St. George’s cross rimmed with gold. In the top left-hand quarter is a crossed linguist staff and ceremonial sword on a blue background, representing local administration. In the top right-hand quarter is an heraldic castle on an heraldic sea with a light blue background, representing national government. In the bottom two quarters are a cocoa tree and a mine shaft representing the wealth of the country. In the centre of the green St. George cross will be found a gold lion, representing the continued link between Ghana and the Commonwealth. Surmounting the shield is a black five pointed star rimmed with gold, representing the lonestar of African freedom, and this star stands on the wreath to the colors red, gold and green which again stand on the top of the shield. Under the shield will be found the motto FREEDOM AND JUSTICE. The supporters of the coat of arms are two eagles, colored gold. Around each eagle’s neck hangs a black star suspended from a ribbon of Ghana’s colors.
Dov Gutterman, 19 Dec 1998,
quoting from Johnston’s page


Flag related national anthem lyrics

The national anthem of Ghana mentions the flag and the black star in its third stanza:

Raise high the flag of Ghana,
And one with Africa advance;
Black Star of hope and honour,
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies,
May the way to freedom truly lie
Source: Johnston’s page (the source says «Where the naner of Ghana freely flies», but I assumed "banner" was intended and corrected the text accordingly).
Ivan Sache, 22 Apr 2002


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